GUEST VIEWPOINT: Parking solution needs many ideas

Someone once said “The road to success is paved with many parking spots.”
Maybe that’s not an exact quote, but you get the point. As a member of City Council and the Parking Committee, I’m hoping to provide some insight into our parking efforts.
To frame things correctly, we have two parking issues.
The first is space, a commodity we have very little of. We have many outstanding businesses that make our city special – a fact that should never be taken for granted.
But this drives high demand for parking our infrastructure is woefully unprepared for. We’ve had to be creative when it comes to finding space.
The committee’s proposals potentially generate over 100 spaces if the many moving parts come together.
Among these are angled parking in front of Depot Park, parking on the south side of White Lake Road, and potentially utilizing Deer Lake Beach lot and other lots outside of the city proper.
Granted, some options may require people to walk but they are options nonetheless.
Additionally, the lot across from Depot Park has opened to paid parking. While this is a privately-owned lot and not associated with the city, it certainly helps our space issue.
Likewise, Honcho employees now park at the United Methodist Church. These are examples of the city and business owners working together to achieve positive results. Combined, these options create well over 200 spaces.
The second issue is revenue. We have parking lots and spaces that haven’t been maintained in many years. We have city-owned parking areas on residential streets that need upgrading.
Proper signage and strong enforcement are essential. Additionally, we require funding for a long-term parking plan that does not kick the can down the road.
Can we lease or buy property to expand parking? Not until we have the revenue to do so.
Someone has to pay for our infrastructure needs. As a city we do not have the funds to supports these costs, and there is a stated goal of avoiding tax increases in order to compensate.
Thus, barring a winning lottery ticket or an increase in philanthropy, paid parking is likely the solution.
As it stands, the city-owned lot at Main and Washington would be the starting point.
The Parking Committee and the city manager are working hard to quickly solve these parking issues that have been growing for years.
Additional details related to the above options are being addressed (ADA compliance, short-term parking, employee parking, charged hours, etc.).
You may disagree with these ideas, but you can still commit to helping by introducing alternative options. In other words, we’re all ears when it comes to new ideas.
We encourage you to attend a Parking Committee meeting for more details, as we have many irons in the fire. Remember that we’re all in this together.
Rick Detkowski is a member of the Clarkston City Council and the Parking Committee. Contact him at

2 Responses to "GUEST VIEWPOINT: Parking solution needs many ideas"

  1. Mike Fetzer   August 10, 2017 at 6:45 am

    Paid parking is a reality where demand outstrips supply. The market will control whether shoppers are willing to pay the price or accept parking spaces remote from the city core. Hopefully there will be planning to accommodate persons with disabilities. It seems unfortunate, though, that the interests of a few business owners always/usually seem to trump those of homeowners in city planning decisions. No financial data or proof of business inability to pay is required. Didn’t kick in your parking fees for years? Forget about it! If a business is annoyed with financial obligations they might move–and no one will come to take their place. Only by relieving businesses of the obligation to facilitate parking for their customers will homeowner house values be protected, residents and others are told. Yes, prospective homebuyers will love the in/out parking in front of your home on a residential street. Maybe you’ll be a lucky one who gets your own “private parking” sign in front of your house.

  2. David   August 10, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Many people have commented on Facebook very smartly by saying -People will gladly come to Clarkston to spend $100 on dinner, but complain about $5 parking.


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