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Chester County Press

Kennett Square would benefit from parking shuttle

06/18/2014 10:46AM ● By Acl

Letter to the Editor:

The June 11 Letter to the Editor saying Bayard Taylor library would be turning to a 1950s solution if it left the Kennett Square downtown was right on the money.

A possible solution to the challenges would be to operate a continuous shuttle between a new parking facility at the Waywood site and the downtown.  Instead of taking the library out of town to suit parking needs, why not take the parking out of town to suit the needs of a downtown library and commercial establishments?

The thriving restaurant industry should welcome a convenient parking shuttle, as might Genesis and other businesses. Running a loop west to Mill Road and returning, stopping wherever riders desire, would deliver users to a new, multi-story library and solve the parking problem as well. A multi-story library, perhaps combining commercial or professional office space on the ground floor, might even link to existing parking at the New Garden shopping center.

This might require a multi-level garage on the Waywood site, making Cypress and State Streets single lane for other traffic (allowing 15 minute on-street parking only for delivery trucks and “hop-out/hop-in” parking), and community support, but it also would be a regional answer and help justify solicitations from regional municipalities. The new parking facility in Kennett Township might also share space with an income-generating use.

What main street merchant has not dreamed about more walk-in customers? What out-of-town customers have not dreamed about shuttle rides to and from the downtown? Of course, it would take creative thinking to make the economics work. However, people will pay for parking if the ride is cheap, and they would find all-weather shuttle service as convenient as any suburban plaza or mall.

Thomas E. Martin, Jr.

Kennett Square