Medina asked to help alleviate downtown parking crunch

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 August 2016 at 7:50 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers – A farmer heads down Main Street last Friday. The village has experienced a recent upswing in the downtown business district, increasing traffic and a demand for parking.

MEDINA – The Village Board was asked by a downtown business owner to consider ways to make parking more available for people who need to be on Main Street for several hours.

The village has a 2-hour parking limit on Main Street, and that may not be enough time for some customers and visitors to spend time at the many shops and restaurants in the downtown, Rita Zambito of Zambito Realtors told the Village Board on Monday.

She said she is concerned some visitors may get parking tickets for staying on Main Street too long. That would discourage them from coming to Medina again. There are municipal lots just off Main Street but the walk may be too much for some customers, especially at the Canal Basin where there is a hill to climb before getting to Main Street, Zambito said.

Zambito suggested the village look at installing parking meters or have parking passes for people who want to park on Main Street for more than 2 hours.

Deputy Mayor Owen Toale said parking meters would be costly to install and wouldn’t be an option until the village’s next budget year, which starts June 1, 2017. The village didn’t budget for the cost for this fiscal year.

The board could consider extended parking in the downtown to perhaps 4 hours. That would require passing a local law.

Trustee Marguerite Sherman said some of the parking crunch in the downtown could be eased if more people used the municipal lots. She suggested more signage directing people to the municipal lots. Business owners also should use those bigger lots to free up space on Main Street.

Main Street already suffers from “sign saturation,” said Peter Houseknecht, superintendent of the Department of Public Works.

There are already signs about the 2-hour parking limit, but Houseknecht said people don’t seem to see those. Signs pointing to municipal lots might not be noticed, he said.

“I don’t have the answer,” Toale said.

Mark Zambito, Rita’s son and a real estate agent, urged the village to find a solution. He doesn’t want to see downtown visitors get ticketed for spending too much time in Medina. That would give the community a black eye.

Mr. Zambito said many downtown business owners and community leaders have dedicated themselves to downtown’s rebirth the past decade. But that momentum could be lost if customers get parking tickets.

“We’re going to lose everything we’ve worked our butts off for the past 10 years,” he told the Village Board.