I am continually amazed at how many Ohio towns suffer from a lack of parking. What is even more surprising is that almost every town that suffers from a lack of parking also suffers from a dearth of successful businesses. How can this be? The answer is, is that it cant. Parking has become the boogie man of downtown revitalization and takes the blame for every other short coming in the district. Don’t get me wrong, parking is important to downtown and necessary for growth, but so few communities actually suffer from this problem, and those that do, are happy to have the problem. It means they are drawing a crowd and crowds are good for downtown. Some of the best downtown in the state have inadequate public parking and even fewer have parking decks. They have a draw and people are willing to walk for a business worth visiting. Think about when people visit a mall. No one thinks twice about walking a couple of hundred yards to get to their destination. The same happens when a downtown has a signature event. People park blocks away and don’t feel put out about walking five minutes, because they have a destination they deem worth visiting. Parking is not a problem; parking is far too often an excuse for a lack of good business. Blaming the lack of parking for an empty downtown is like saying a Jonas Brothers concert would have been better if there were only more seats available. In no other facet of business do we cite a lack of supply as the reason for the lack of demand.
Director of Revitalization