Lifelong Fort Thomas resident, Ben Petracco identifies the Midway district parking problems and offers solutions. This is Ben's first post, so let's welcome him to Fort Thomas Matters. Here's Ben:
The Midway street scape project was recently finished which included lighting, landscaping, street resurfacing and new sidewalks. The project created a more open area moving the telephone poles which occupied the now absent islands to more modern street lamps on the sidewalks. The aesthetic aspect of the project worked very well, now I want to bring the logical part of the project to the foreground.
With businesses lining the street like The Midway, The Olde Fort Pub, Fort Thomas Pizza, Sarelli’s Café & Catering and others the street scape project limited valuable parking spots and did not provide new parking for customers to take advantage of.
On any given night the outside tables are fully occupied where they are available. The Midway and The Olde Fort Pub provide outdoor seating for patrons looking to put away some libations and some good eats. One can only imagine how business would increase if there was more parking available. With these two businesses being the main staples of the sit down customers, Fort Thomas Pizza has more of a carry out clientele, but could prosper from more parking slips as well.
A new business has been rumored to move into the area, The New Garden Restaurant, but the problem persists, where could customers park. If the city wants to utilize the other vacant store fronts along the street, parking would need to be provided; no business owner is going to develop a business where your clientele have to walk long distances to get to your front door.
I have identified a problem, so I am going to suggest some solutions.
- Parking could be developed behind these stores. Some of the buildings have available parking behind them, but nothing that has been updated or made business friendly (lights in parking lots, multiple lots).
- A parking lot could be made in between the building complex and the electric company building; this lot would be below street level but would provide the most spots for the space.
- One last idea would be to purchase a portion of the lawn from the Veterans Hospital and convert it into a large parking lot providing ample spaces right across the street from the stores the customers are interested in. Granted there is a current lot between the Veterans Hospital and the soccer complex, but it leaves customers with a walk to the businesses and with young children or inclement weather this is not a customer’s ideal place to leave their car.
To increase business there must be customers (preferably happy ones). To increase the customer base there must be available and logical parking, and while the street scape project has made the business stretch of South Fort Thomas Avenue beautiful it has not left customers many options where to leave their car. It is a popular street with increasingly popular businesses, and if you build the spaces the customers will come.
Do you have suggestions where to construct a parking lot?