01/25/06 — Problem abated: Council is right to eliminate parking in downtown median

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Problem abated: Council is right to eliminate parking in downtown median

There might be a reason to look further into available parking and safety issues downtown in the future, but for right now, the Goldsboro City Council absolutely made the right decision by restricting out-of-bounds parking on Center Street.

Council decided at its meeting Monday to prevent trucks and other large vehicles from parking on the median downtown. The vehicles have been using the sidewalk area as spill-over, leaving unsightly oil stains behind.

The stains aside, trucks straddling the median are an eyesore in themselves — and counterproductive to the goal of making downtown Goldsboro an attractive place to spend an afternoon shopping or an evening at a rebuilt Paramount Theater.

The spaces on the street are not big enough for trucks for a reason — they shouldn’t be parked there in the first place.

Delivery trucks and other large vehicles belong behind stores or in a parking lot somewhere off the street. Securing those vehicles is the responsibility of the owners, not the city.

Marring the appearance of what otherwise might be an attractive and appealing area downtown is not the answer to the problem.

As far as security issues go, however, if there really is a problem with vagrants breaking into trucks that are left in alleys, perhaps there does need to be an extra patrol or two downtown. If Goldsboro police are notified of the need, or must have extra resources to deal with the problem, City Council should be just as willing to provide the support there, too.

Businesses have a right to demand that their property, their vehicles and their inventory, not to mention their customers, are safe. That is the city’s responsibility.

If Goldsboro officials are serious about expanding the appeal of the downtown area and getting more people to support future projects and businesses there, they must deal with nuisance issues like parking and safety.

The new parking rules, as well as other recent improvement efforts and long-range planning, are the best ways to start progress toward achieving that goal.

Perhaps now, city officials can set their sights on a new target — elimination of some of the dilapidated housing and buildings in the downtown area.

Published in Editorials on January 25, 2006 8:50 AM