To the editor:
Any parking project should be a joint project between the village and the town. Residents of the town, to at least the westerly border of Ray Brook, are essentially residents of the village. The town residents utilize all the same services and amenities of the village - roads, shopping, beach, banking, working, bars/restaurants, etc. - but do not pay a village tax for this use. Consolidation is the future and should start with the parking project (or perhaps the Main Street sewer project). These are not Lake Placid village residents problems alone.
Possible parking solutions
* Radical: The 1980 model with parking in Saranac Lake, Wilmington and Keene, except for those with reserved parking spots in Lake Placid village.
a) Price Chopper, Cold Brook Plaza
b) Horse show grounds, ski jumps
c) Wesvalley Road, Lussi property - with bus transportation, tunnel or chairlift to Main Street
a) Bowlwinkles property, which would extend the Main Street district
b) Behind the Hampton Inn, both options have two street entrance-exit options
c) If parking has to be on Main Street, expand the existing post office parking lot, which has room for multiple entrances and exits.
Main Street from the post office to High Peaks Resort is a state highway, our Main Street and an already overcrowded corridor servicing pedestrians, two-sided street parking, delivery trucks, runners, bicyclists, plows, etc., etc.
To consider funneling all traffic to the center of Main Street to access an enlarged parking lot is to ignore the stress and inconvenience to be experienced by our visitors, to say nothing of our residents.
Of necessity, there would be a need for a complicated traffic-control device to allow for orderly ingress and egress.
On any busy weekday and weekend - i.e., now all of them - Main Street is in gridlock at any time for any number of reasons. To expand the parking capacity in the middle of that existing congestion would compound the problem in the extreme.
Communities everywhere in the world - Burlington, New York City's Broadway, Plattsburgh - are transforming streets to embrace pedestrian walkways to enhance the visitor experience and reduce the stress of traveling.
The village of Lake Placid and the town of North Elba should choose a parking solution that addresses a broader range of issues then how to stack as many cars as possible into the middle of Main Street.
Very truly yours,
Charles E. Walsh