Letter – Grange parking plan inadequate

Published 4:08 pm Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

What is the plan for Main Street Baptist members to have closer-proximity parking than what is in the Grange at 10Main plan? Or is it just tough luck for them?

Are they legally owed better? No. Are they morally owed better? Absolutely. Is there a better plan than currently proposed? Where is the “do no harm” in this?

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The additional traffic of the new residents driving out to the bypass for church services will only make it tougher for Main Street Baptist’s folks to safely cross Main Street.

The property at the corner of Washington and James streets fills up when the YMCA hosts a triathlon. That is gone.

Vehicles also fill up James, Washington and beyond. This past year, much parking was at the former Little’s Supermarket location. When it disappears into the project, what is the plan for that event and other large downtown events?

This needs to be settled now in conjunction with any approval of the Pierceville project. This is infrastructure and not something to iron out after the fact at a later date. Parking was tough enough even with the lot at the corner of Washington and James available. Participants parked and walked or rode their bikes to the staging area. Running shuttles for bicycles or forcing participants to ride their bikes from who knows where is not a good plan. And from what location? Shuttles for at least a few hundred bikes would be quite messy.

What about parking for the YMCA and library with increased usage? Any idea of projected new membership numbers?

If the new Farmers Market gets really popular and the hotel gets really busy, is the proposed parking enough for all? I reside half a block from the YMCA and library. I walk to both. So while I live in the “backyard” of both Luter projects, this is not personally a “not in my backyard” situation for me.

Again, I ask: What are the plans?


Bob Hines