Letters to the Editor

SLO needs more parking to ensure its downtown thrives

Downtown San Luis Obispo in October 2016.
Downtown San Luis Obispo in October 2016. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Thank you, Carol Dover, for your accurate assessment of the current parking situation in downtown San Luis Obispo (“Lack of accessible parking drives the elderly from downtown SLO,” March 9).

The ongoing developments on both Palm and Broad streets are not directly the problem. It is the permanent loss of at least a few hundred parking spaces, which the city permitted without a shred of planning and forward-thinking as to how this would affect downtown businesses. As a result, and as Carol noted, people now avoid downtown.

What’s worse is a ridiculous idea that once the construction is done — which, on Palm Street, has now lasted a full year, and probably will not be completed for another year and a half — that business will resume and thrive. Where, pray tell, will all of the employees of the new hotel on Palm Street park? Apparently, the hotel will house 80 rooms with about 50 on-site parking spaces. The parking problem will only worsen.

I call upon the city to fast-track the proposed parking structure on Nipomo and Palm streets. If you want a thriving, strong downtown, you must have access to it.

Jim Dee, San Luis Obispo