Omit main street parking?
Apr 19, 2018 | 826 views | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For 28 years I have spent my days on Main Street in my store. If you allow parking to be banned, you will, without a doubt, destroy the downtown property values.

When we lose sales, the property will not be worth as much and, it is true, we will lose sales. I do not understand the why. What’s the purpose? If it is to make bicycle lanes that is a very poor tradeoff. The real tourists, 1.5 million National Park visitors from all over the world are who pay the bills, not a handful of bikers. National Park visitors are families and foreigners — our customer base.

We can’t get locals to shop now because they don’t like to park and have to walk. Tourists are no different. Obviously, any parking lot or garage will be for-profit, pay parking. I would call that gouging the tourists. They are not stupid. Is this a moneymaking scheme by some property owners?

When the temperature reaches 100-plus degrees in the summer you can’t actually believe the family is going to drag a bunch of kids and all their gear, shuffling grandpa, grandma and her walker, strollers, etc., a couple blocks to get to the stores. Nope. Those sales will be lost. They jump out of the car out front and run in the door to the air-conditioned store as fast as they can now. In fact, they spend the hottest parts of the day in the stores to be more comfortable. They probably opt to go to their rooms rather than hike in the heat — and that means a loss of money, sales tax and property tax.

No parking garage could be big enough to hold the hundreds and hundreds, maybe a thousand cars that pull in and pull out all day along the entire length of Main Street. There is a rhythm to it as it is. It works. Why fix it?

With wider streets for traffic we will have trucks closer to the sidewalks racing through town. The problem now is the truck traffic, not the parked cars. Actually I see them as a buffer between my place, the sidewalk and those speeding giants. Our traffic lights are set now to get them through town as fast as possible to avoid any idling and pollution, according to what the Utah Department of Transportation told me. Boy, with five or six lanes they could really fly and they will too.

As a retailer I’ll tell you it is not easy to make it in Moab. Every time someone raises my expenses, rent, utilities, insurances, wages, taxes, etc., I have to figure out how to get that many more sales. It is a constant battle trying to keep up and make any money at all. When you start cutting down the number of customers I can get I will be finished. I suppose there are more like me too.

I sincerely hope our city officials will fight UDOT for us and don’t make it inconvenient for our visitors to spend money here.

—Sharon Arehart


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