To the editor:
I oppose the consideration of the building of a parking garage in the proposed location (the middle of Main Street) as well as taking the museum lot by eminent domain. At the town hall public meeting March 13, I agreed with many of the participants in regard to taking over any property under the power of eminent domain. The amount that is being offered by the village to the museum does not seem like a fair price, given the Essex County assessment numbers that were provided to the board. Allowing the village to take this property by eminent domain would be providing an open permit for the village to use this power for other properties as well. I would not want to set this precedent.
There is no doubt that the village requires more parking. I think that a parking garage built in the middle of Main Street would increase traffic congestion, adding to hazardous driving and pedestrian conditions in that area. Feasible options for other parking garage locations are the Olympic Hill parking lot and the lots behind the Olympic Center with regular shuttle service every day.
Coupled with my opposition to the location is the cost of gaining an additional 80 parking spaces. Given the estimates from last night ($20 million for the garage), the approximate cost for one parking space (of the 80 new spots gained) in the proposed garage Main Street location would be $250,000. Currently, workers on Main Street are allowed to purchase a permitted parking space for $150. With the proposed garage, a permit would cost an estimate of $1,500. A working person on Main Street cannot afford that price to park on Main Street!
Ivan Zdrahal, the hired engineer for the proposed garage, explained that the proposed parking garage is based on a study that was performed in 2007. The amount of change in this village from 2007 is astronomical. The Conference Center has been added, the Ironman event has expanded by participant numbers and days, athletic camps are here for months, and many more events have been added. We cannot rely on a study from 2007 to build such an expensive structure.
In addition to the previous points, I think that building a parking garage in the middle of Main Street would take away from the charm and beauty that Lake Placid has to offer. People are not coming to Lake Placid to purchase a certain item; they are coming for the Lake Placid experience, part of which is being able to stroll up and down our beautiful Main Street and browse in many of our local shops. Visitors come to Lake Placid to experience the quaint, small-town feel, not to experience a shopping mall with elevator parking.
If we continue on this trend of inserting large concrete structures in our town, we will have all the parking we need because we will not have any visitors, similar to other small towns in the Adirondacks.
Please, let's not turn our lovely village into another Lake George!
Thank you to the village board for considering other location options for the proposed parking garage.