PHIL IN THE BLANK: Tale of two Clarkstons

Writing about Clarkston grad Shaun Manning’s classic tale of Macbeth in his new graphic novel, (“Writer sees red for new work,” page 25), another classic comes to mind when considering the parking situation in Clarkston – “A Tale of Two Cities.”
Clarkston has a village east side, as referred to by City Council member Scott Reynolds during a recent City Council meeting. This is the residential neighborhoods of Buffalo, Church, and East Washington in which after hours parking has been an issue lately.
The west side would include homes along West Washington and Holcomb roads.
It wouldn’t be the first time I wrote about gangs in Clarkston. I mentioned them in the story “The gangs of Clarkston,” April 12, 2017.
That story was about Clarkston children sorting themselves by neighborhoods for informal sporting events decades ago, shared by Charles Gray Robertson III.
The 21st century version has come into play as elected officials and residents struggle with downtown parking.
Pay-to-park downtown is finally under way, which will raise money for more parking, hopefully.
But folks have called for the city to consider adjusting the pay-to-park times at the Main and Washington lot, which currently starts at 11 a.m.
During the day, the lot is nearly bare. It’s full of folks happy to pay during the evening, however, especially on or close to the weekend.
This is because Clarkston, especially downtown, has another two sides – day and night. Daytime downtown is usually quiet, with folks stopping for some shopping and a bite to eat.
But after dark, downtown tends to be filled with hip young people lining up for dinner at the trendy downtown restaurants, Union, Union Woodshop, Honcho, and The Fed. So maybe make paid parking start at 4 or 5 p.m. instead of 11 a.m.
But the pay-to-park lot might drive parking into the east side neighborhood, which leads to calls to make the east side no-parking. Which might make parking increase on the west side, leading to more no-parking calls there.
Council member Reynolds is hosting a Village East Side Parking Meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 12, at City Hall.
Hopefully this and upcoming Parking Committee meetings can come up with an ending unlike Dickens’ tale. People lost their heads in that one.

One Response to "PHIL IN THE BLANK: Tale of two Clarkstons"

  1. Cory Johnston   April 17, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    I attended Scott Reynold’s East Washington parking meeting and the special meeting of the City Council on Monday, April 16. It seems we also have the two Clarkstons of business owners versus residents, residents and taxpayers versus visitors, and revenue versus convenience and free parking. It wasn’t settled at either meeting and while Monday’s special meeting was supposed to only discuss hours of operation of the paid lot, the discussion was much broader, as it should be. When you have and provide limited information, both the discusson and results will also be limited. After more than two years of discussion, that appears to be where the Village is.


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