Parking solutions needed

Published 7:47 pm Friday, May 7, 2010

For years, this newspaper has strongly endorsed and complimented city leadership for having the foresight to develop a well thought out comprehensive plan. Without such a living, working document, the growth of Suffolk would have been far too disorganized and there’s no telling what the terrible results would have been.

With that said, the same approach needs to be applied to the ever worsening traffic and parking congestion that has become downtown Suffolk.

And, it appears, the city, in conjunction with the Downtown Business Association, is tackling the problem — although somewhat slowly.

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The suggested changes to the two-hour parking and all-day parking are needed, but it would seem the problem is much deeper than what comes across as rearranging the deck chairs of the Titanic.

The inability for traffic to flow easily along East Washington Street, North Main Street and some side streets during the afternoon rush is only made worse by frequent train crossings.

A comprehensive traffic and parking plan should be developed, and should include, but not be limited to: the development of another north-south thoroughfare that relieves stress on North Main Street, rethinking of the malfunction junction at East Washington and Hall Avenue, and better traffic light management along North Main Street that would allow less stop-and-go driving.

As new businesses open in downtown and once-vacant buildings find new tenants, the traffic and parking congestion will only become worse.

Downtown Suffolk is becoming a much stronger player in the economic recovery of Suffolk, and the streets and parking that help serve the city’s center are in need of quick attention.