March 1,2017:- Amherst Cinema regularly hears from frustrated patrons who love the place and would like to return but won’t come back because finding somewhere to park in downtown Amherst is too much of a headache. That was the message Carol Johnson of Amherst Cinema delivered yesterday evening to the joint meeting of the Planning Board and Downtown Parking Working Group. Lack of parking is deterring customers, a common complaint among Amherst businesses. The solution? A parking garage.
Nevertheless, by 9:00 p.m. (when I headed home) it was clear that most of the policy-shapers in the room were against the idea of a new parking garage. Although I understand their reasons, I hope they will keep an open mind. If downtown Amherst is going to thrive–and become an even better place to live, work, and play–it has to become more welcoming to visitors. And that requires providing them with easy-to-find places to park. What do you think?