I know I’m a little late on this but I feel the need to spout my two bits on the patio issue.
I can’t believe it’s an issue at all.
It’s not the patio that’s the issue here… . It’s the general attitude.
If those who are against the New World patio are serious about safety then perhaps we should look at some numbers.
If every coffee shop and restaurant with sidewalk access applied for a patio that took up one parking spot we would still be talking about fewer than 10 whole spots in the entire downtown area.
It’s nothing to see 30 or 40 cube vans, service trucks or huge dually diesel pick-ups parked around downtown with vision obscuring ability — that at least equals to the patio in question.
Should we ban vehicles of a certain size or opacity as well? The safety argument doesn’t wash at all. Besides, admit it, it’s a “lazy” issue, not a safety issue.
Maybe if people had to walk a little bit more around here there would be more empty parking spaces at the hospital and the medical clinics and the patio parking loss would be offset — not to mention the positive impact on our health-care system and waiting times, etc., etc.
It’s not the parking, or lack of it, that is keeping people from frequenting many of the downtown businesses.
Curb appeal is everything, folks. If your business is on the verge of collapse just because one parking space in the vicinity is being taken up by a busy, cool and inviting coffee shop patio for four or five months of the year then you clearly have bigger wolves at your door.
We all should get in a bus and do a tour of B.C. and see all the groovy, vibrant downtown businesses that co-exist with malls and big-box stores and are an attraction in their community … all because they are clean, interesting, well kept and vital.
If you want to dress our downtown up like a ghost town, that’s what you’re gonna get.
Raise the bar a little bit, folks. City hall is attempting to do just that and good for them … and us.
Dean Fulton is a freelance Tribune columnist and local musician.