Parking not a problem
I frequently consider the availability of convenient parking when going out to eat or shop. I am happier with the current parking situation on Ninth Street than I used to be, because now I am far more confident of being able to find a place to park. Usually I can park for free on the street, and the two-hour limit has never been a problem. Even when I cannot find a free spot, I am OK with paying $1 per hour to park in the paid lot.
It does not seem fair that so much of the blame for paid parking on Ninth St. has been focused on the city. They do not even own the lot. The current owner greatly increased the cost of the rent to the city, beyond a level which the city felt that it could handle alone, as it used to under the rental agreement with the previous owner of the lot.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News & Observer
The parking and transit connection
It’s reasonable to assume that parking will become more expensive and more of a bone of contention, not just on Ninth Street but everywhere in Durham. I hope that this will motivate merchants and citizens to become activists for useful, convenient public transportation. If the average citizen can depend on that service, parking could remain available for the elderly and disabled, and be available at a cost for others.
One of the problems with the bus service we have is that the routes don't work for people who want to come from Old North Durham, Northgate Park and Duke Park to points west to shop at Ninth Street, Whole Foods, or go to jobs at Duke. The Bull City Connector helps the area downtown and south of downtown, but it does not help areas north of downtown where you would be most likely to find the people who would appreciate a 20-minute bus ride to that area. Instead, they would be looking at a long bus ride with the uncertainty of a transfer downtown, and they don't do it.
The other thing good public transit could minimize are the long lines of family cars at magnet schools and private schools throughout the city, idling and inching into position twice a day. If we had good public transit, some segment of middle and high school students could ride it to school.
Right now we have a service that does the minimum for the disadvantaged. It is important for those with advantages and political clout to see the need for public transit that they can use and make it happen, or we'll be fighting about parking and traffic congestion for the next 10 years.
A double standard
I don’t see or did not see anything wrong with the ghost bikes around Durham, I don't think it is fair that people can put up crosses, flowers and balloons or pictures of people and think that is OK but not allow the bikes. That’s kinda of a double standard. I think.
I believe some people are just unhappy and want to see others that way as well. I think the ghost bikes should go back up.
Send your letters to email@example.com. All submissions and online comments may be edited or space and clarity. Thank you.