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City's parking plan is a good first step

Tribune Staff • Sep 19, 2017 at 1:00 PM

It’s great to see Grand Haven officials take a permanent step to manage parking concerns in the city, especially on the heels of the city’s own downtown parking study and a recent Grand Valley State University tourism study which showed parking availability as a concern by visitors.

The summer-long, three-hour parking restrictions in several downtown and Centertown lots approved by City Council earlier this month is a great first step for the city to ensure there is available parking for people coming to spend money at our downtown businesses and restaurants.

Even so, Grand Haven officials must not stop there.

We urge the city to keep close tabs on the downtown parking issue to make sure the results of the recently approved regulations are working as intended, and not having any adverse consequences on businesses or visitors.

Surveys of downtown merchants, monitoring of parking lots, as well as taking note of any public feedback can go a long way in determining the policy’s effectiveness.

And we also hope the city keeps looking at additional strategies to better manage parking. This includes installing better signage pointing out various parking lots that are available for short- and long-term use, finding ways to shuttle visitors from parking lots to their destination, and even looking down the road at the possibility of adding more parking.

We all want our community to thrive, and we depend on the people who visit to make a lot of the success possible. It’ll take ongoing work on the part of the city and its stakeholders to make sure that the needs of businesses and the needs of visitors are balanced.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Mark Brooky. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

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