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City of Columbus May Shrink Pearl Market - RESOLVED

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion City of Columbus May Shrink Pearl Market – RESOLVED

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  • #452239

    manticore33
    Participant

    clumsybell said:
    What this person said is spot on and it’s why I have a problem with Liz Lessner associating this issue with parking meter increases. I don’t see them as the same at all. One is a code issue that is actually going to take businesses away, and one is an infrastructure update that some business owners had a problem with. I’m not a business owner (yet), but I have been a resident of the Short North area for about 6 years. I have a driver’s license but I don’t use a car to get around. I’m sure that savvy business owners are well aware of the fact that we kind of have a fossil fuel problem in this country. Some people might also be aware that Columbus has a serious car problem and a serious sprawl problem. I’m truly tired of tourists complaining about Columbus and then taking all their money back to the suburbs. I don’t know if these drivers were aware, but Columbus does have public transportation. If you don’t like paying extra for parking, then take public transportation or move back to the city. If you’re going to live out of the city, don’t complain when we charge you a premium for enjoying our crap but not living here! If you think the public transportation sucks, invest in it.

    I went to Toronto in 2005 and was able to use a charge card to charge to the meters there. Why shouldn’t Columbus have more up-to-date technology – and a little more money to pay for the crap that it needs, collected from the people who are using their money only to dabble in our city?

    Watching Short North and Downtown business owners complaining about the parking meter increase feels a whole lot like watching rich people complain about paying taxes.

    I’m sorry for the extent that this comment is derailing from the original topic, but after years of listening to business owners (and not anyone else I know) complain about parking meters, I can’t stand to see the whole “Columbus-as-fun-place-to-visit-but-not-live” attitude perpetuated. When we neglect to update our infrastructure, we end up with systems that work like COTA.

    The primary problem is having enough people to support your business downtown. Quite a bit of downtown Columbus is barren. As a business owner you depend on customers, without customers, you do not have a viable or successful business. Pioneers in downtown businesses need customers to come into the city to purchase goods and services. Downtown Columbus is not the Short North. The Short North has brought is people to the area and encouraged them to settle. To build a community you need to bring people in, show them what you offer, and invite them to stay. This is how you build the density you so desire.

    Now, the Scioto Mile and the great Lessner restaurants will bring me downtown when I would otherwise not go. You showcase your city by bringing outsiders in! The focus of this site and many of its passionate contributors is to stay “Columbus is different, look at us, see us, feel us, visit us, be one of us.” Making downtown difficult to park will reduce an outsider’s willingness to explore. I know the first time I went to Dirty Franks I was concerned about getting towed, ticketed, and/or whatever else because I was unfamiliar with the area. That is stress I don’t have in other communities. The City’s policies can go extremely far in making an area welcome or not welcome.

    Central Ohio is very competitive and full of really, really strong communities with *FREE* or *LOW COST* parking. For instance, my current hometown, Delaware, OH, is a wonderful city with a good retail and restaurant mix. Oh, and the streets are tree-lined with wide sidewalks, benches, and flower pots (much nicer to walk than the Short North). In fact, I rarely venture into the Short North or Downtown anymore because I have everything I need and more within 1.5 miles of my house. Delaware has matured to the point of being a very complete community with really, really great patio dinning (city embraced it, oh, and they just embraced food carts too).

    These are the types of communities that downtown has to compete against. And, not everyone wants to live in a home with common walls to other people. I previously lived in a condo and hated it with a passion. I enjoy my detached home with a yard. My wife and I plant a very large garden and my children love having swings right outside the backdoor.

    It would be interesting to take a tally of contributors to this site who actually live downtown, downtown proper opposed to the side neighborhoods to the North, East, South, and West. I am willing to bet, yourself included, most do not live in downtown proper. Which means you have to travel into the central city… And if you bring someone in the central city… they might just have to park.

    A post like “its mine, all mine, and only mine, deal with it or don’t come” makes me feel unwelcome. I have limited dollars and I am completely fine with spending those dollars at places who truly appreciate those dollars.

    #452240

    gramarye
    Participant

    AMEEKER said:
    Even the Gallery Hop – Event permit – idea sounds bad to me… for the same street festival feeling. That’s all well and good when it’s an EVENT, but for an ongoing thing, not so much.

    Walker said:
    Why does an ongoing street market sound like a bad idea?

    Empty sidewalks sound like a bad idea to me.

    Same here. I’d be overjoyed to know that there was enough demand to support sidewalk retail stands on an everyday basis. A semi-permanent chaotic bazaar downtown would be a big improvement.

    I do empathize with the point raised above that brick-and-mortar business owners could justifiably feel a little put upon if we gave more leeway to sidewalk vendors, but I think the far more productive equitable solution there is to back off the brick-and-mortar business owners as well.

    #452241

    StowCbusCleveland
    Participant

    berdawn said:
    I believe that Coleman is quoted in the article. I’m guessing Mr. Smith would say the whole thing needs better parking.

    In the Dispatch blurb? I see where Coleman told them to find a solution, but that’s it. Did I miss a link?

    #452242
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    clumsybell said:
    I went to Toronto in 2005 and was able to use a charge card to charge to the meters there. Why shouldn’t Columbus have more up-to-date technology – and a little more money to pay for the crap that it needs, collected from the people who are using their money only to dabble in our city?

    We have them. They’re just poorly promoted and only available for purchase in 2 locations:

    Click to access Parking%20Card%20Overview.pdf

    #452243
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    clumsybell said:
    I’m sorry for the extent that this comment is derailing from the original topic, but after years of listening to business owners (and not anyone else I know) complain about parking meters, I can’t stand to see the whole “Columbus-as-fun-place-to-visit-but-not-live” attitude perpetuated. When we neglect to update our infrastructure, we end up with systems that work like COTA.

    I know quite a few non-retail-business-owners who complained about the recent parking meter hike, myself included. (I’ve got meters outside my office, but I don’t really use them for work).

    While an increase in parking meter fees is detrimental to retail businesses, the bigger complaint was because of the reason it was being raised, and the way that it was done. The original plan was for the city to increase parking rates across the board by 50% with no public input on the process, and to use the money to fund reserve bonds for the new Convention Center Hilton Hotel.

    The plan was reversed after some very justifiable public outcry, a committee was put together to develop a better plan that would increase meter revenue for the hotel without being such a ham-fisted rate hike. In the end, meter enforcement times have been adjusted from 6pm to 10pm all over most of Downtown now, so if anything it sounds like our metered parking situation after the input of retail business owners has turned into something more supportive of the ideals of charging car commuters for their visits to enjoy Downtown and/or encouraging transit ridership. Previously, meter parking was free after 6pm all over the city. Crazy, huh?

    #452244
    Josh Lapp
    Josh Lapp
    Participant

    According to his twitter the mayor is getting involved. “@dispatcheditor @amiller78 Pearl Market is an asset to downtown Columbus. Today in Cabinet, I asked Dir. Brown to find a solution ASAP.”

    http://twitter.com/#!/MichaelBColeman

    #452245
    Tom Over
    Tom Over
    Participant

    joshlapp said:
    According to his twitter the mayor is getting involved. “@dispatcheditor @amiller78 Pearl Market is an asset to downtown Columbus. Today in Cabinet, I asked Dir. Brown to find a solution ASAP.”

    http://twitter.com/#!/MichaelBColeman

    How much of the mayor’s motivation to get involved w/ this issue stems from the attention CU has paid to it ?

    #452246

    AmyArt21
    Participant

    Cardiff said:
    I used to love the market – a great way to get fresh air on a lunch break – but after the market changed hands it became stuff like T-shirt stands, banks offering credit card applications, school groups with fundraising candy and misc. junky stuff. People seem to love it though, it’s always crowded.

    Over the past 4 or 5 years, there have been a handful of local artisans who tried to sell their work at Pearl Market. Hand-screened t-shirts, jewelry, artwork. The people who I know who used to sell at Pearl Market (including me) just weren’t seeing the sales to make it worth it. It’s a shame, because it would be awesome to see more handmade merchants at the market, but unfortunately, the shoppers are largely uninterested in handmade goods. They want a bargain or they want food.

    #452247

    cbus11
    Member

    Mayor Coleman has always been a strong supporter.

    [img]http://www.downtowncolumbus.com/rightnow/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/mayor-michael-b-coleman-and-the-veggies-6308.jpg[/img]

    #452248

    berdawn
    Member

    StowCbusCleveland said:
    In the Dispatch blurb? I see where Coleman told them to find a solution, but that’s it. Did I miss a link?

    Can one not assume from that statement he does not support this action? It seems rather straightforward.

    #452249

    clumsybell
    Member

    Hey! Thanks for letting me know that a business needs customers to succeed. I’m almost 30, but somehow I must have missed that point!

    If you don’t like my sarcasm, please don’t condescend to me as if I’m an idiot. Walker managed to post a reasonable response and I am glad that he clarified specific problems people had.

    The biggest reason I brought up the Short North in my arguments was not to say that the Short North is downtown. As a six year Short North resident I certainly understand that they are different districts – again, I appreciate a Delaware resident clarifying things, though! Because of your comments, I think you might not have been paying as much attention to the meter debate as I was, so let me give you what I remember. The Short North Business Association, Liz Lessner (who also owns two Short North businesses in addition to downtown ones) and other SN business owners were some of the most vocal in opposition to the parking meter increases and updates. Therefore, in discussing the problems I have with these complaints, it is necessary to consider both regions as related, as the business owners did in the first place.

    If you don’t like paying for parking, then don’t drive. If you don’t like it… park and ride. Being mad about paying an extra couple bucks for enjoying this place makes you seem REALLY petty to the people who actually live here. It’s like not having the money to tip when you order food. Don’t order food if you can’t afford to tip. I appreciate that your finances are limited, but I guarantee you that most of the finances of people in Columbus are limited as well. It’s not fair to ask us to shoulder the costs of your car.

    As for your comment about MY living outside of downtown, it completely ignores the fact that Columbus has public transportation. Those of us who live in neighborhoods close to downtown, but not Columbus proper, can take COTA to visit downtown. So thanks, but no thanks (again) to your advice to me on how I might successfully navigate a trip to Downtown in the future. Somehow I’ve been managing it fine without your suggestions, without a car, and mostly without driving there with friends for 6 years. Because we. take. the. bus.

    I’m glad that land is cheap in Delaware and that you can have free parking coming out your ears. But Columbus is not Delaware. The reality is that like so many other things that cost money, parking in downtown Columbus is cheap compared to many other places in the U.S. Columbus is not Delaware, so please stop demanding it of us. A Columbus designed to attract tourists like you is a Columbus that is more difficult for people like me to live in from day to day.

    If “mine, me, only for me” is the attitude you got from my post, and if the ability to drive your car into the city is so important for you, and if having to worry about paying for a meter is indeed as very stressful as it was when you visited Dirty Frank’s, I’d hate for you to visit NYC, Boston, Washington D.C., San Francisco, or any of the 47 other American cities with better public transportation systems than ours!

    FYI, there are also detached houses in Columbus.

    manticore33 said:
    The primary problem is having enough people to support your business downtown. Quite a bit of downtown Columbus is barren. As a business owner you depend on customers, without customers, you do not have a viable or successful business. Pioneers in downtown businesses need customers to come into the city to purchase goods and services. Downtown Columbus is not the Short North. The Short North has brought is people to the area and encouraged them to settle. To build a community you need to bring people in, show them what you offer, and invite them to stay. This is how you build the density you so desire.

    Now, the Scioto Mile and the great Lessner restaurants will bring me downtown when I would otherwise not go. You showcase your city by bringing outsiders in! The focus of this site and many of its passionate contributors is to stay “Columbus is different, look at us, see us, feel us, visit us, be one of us.” Making downtown difficult to park will reduce an outsider’s willingness to explore. I know the first time I went to Dirty Franks I was concerned about getting towed, ticketed, and/or whatever else because I was unfamiliar with the area. That is stress I don’t have in other communities. The City’s policies can go extremely far in making an area welcome or not welcome.

    Central Ohio is very competitive and full of really, really strong communities with *FREE* or *LOW COST* parking. For instance, my current hometown, Delaware, OH, is a wonderful city with a good retail and restaurant mix. Oh, and the streets are tree-lined with wide sidewalks, benches, and flower pots (much nicer to walk than the Short North). In fact, I rarely venture into the Short North or Downtown anymore because I have everything I need and more within 1.5 miles of my house. Delaware has matured to the point of being a very complete community with really, really great patio dinning (city embraced it, oh, and they just embraced food carts too).

    These are the types of communities that downtown has to compete against. And, not everyone wants to live in a home with common walls to other people. I previously lived in a condo and hated it with a passion. I enjoy my detached home with a yard. My wife and I plant a very large garden and my children love having swings right outside the backdoor.

    It would be interesting to take a tally of contributors to this site who actually live downtown, downtown proper opposed to the side neighborhoods to the North, East, South, and West. I am willing to bet, yourself included, most do not live in downtown proper. Which means you have to travel into the central city… And if you bring someone in the central city… they might just have to park.

    A post like “its mine, all mine, and only mine, deal with it or don’t come” makes me feel unwelcome. I have limited dollars and I am completely fine with spending those dollars at places who truly appreciate those dollars.

    #452250

    clumsybell
    Member

    Walker – thank you for clarifying. Most of what I heard about this story was through news articles, and sometimes details get missed. Also, I’d forgotten about the way the city enacted the parking meter increases, which is vital to remember when considering all sides. The voices in the press were retail and the message that I heard was not, or not only, the one you shared. If I’ve been carrying around a mistaken view of people’s viewpoints, I do apologize. It would be especially ironic considering what you said about the actual result of the business complaints.

    I wanted to share how I felt about the issue because in discussing this issue with people it’s the view I’ve found among everyone I know here. Obviously my sample is self-selecting, but it’s also a viewpoint I hadn’t really heard mentioned by anyone besides us. I hope that as we move forward these concerns will be more addressed in discussions about things like parking meters.

    Walker said:
    I know quite a few non-retail-business-owners who complained about the recent parking meter hike, myself included. (I’ve got meters outside my office, but I don’t really use them for work).

    While an increase in parking meter fees is detrimental to retail businesses, the bigger complaint was because of the reason it was being raised, and the way that it was done. The original plan was for the city to increase parking rates across the board by 50% with no public input on the process, and to use the money to fund reserve bonds for the new Convention Center Hilton Hotel.

    The plan was reversed after some very justifiable public outcry, a committee was put together to develop a better plan that would increase meter revenue for the hotel without being such a ham-fisted rate hike. In the end, meter enforcement times have been adjusted from 6pm to 10pm all over most of Downtown now, so if anything it sounds like our metered parking situation after the input of retail business owners has turned into something more supportive of the ideals of charging car commuters for their visits to enjoy Downtown and/or encouraging transit ridership. Previously, meter parking was free after 6pm all over the city. Crazy, huh?

    #452251

    ZHC
    Member

    I will have more to say later after hours when I don’t customers, But I will say
    There may be no downtown small business owner I’ve ever met who is more committed to green business practices and supporting improving our public transportation situation in Columbus (including the streetcar) than Liz Lessner.

    She is someone who walks the talk. And you’ll discover she is a very reasonable person if you actually get/take the chance to talk to her. There is a reason she is held in such high regard by many of us and that is because has because she has earned it.

    in any event I’m glad to see the mayor getting involved to mediate hopefully a fair outcome for Pearl market and the neighboring restaurants. Given that the PR mess has already happened, it’s probably the best possible next step at this point.

    What I really hope is that the city improves the process, so it doesn’t cause this much hullabaloo to resolve situations like this.

    #452252

    gramarye
    Participant

    manticore is correct. The bus system in Columbus is not adequate to bring enough shoppers to downtown on a consistent basis to support the kind of retail development downtown that will make it a vibrant place that people will want to live and invest in. Nor would upgrading the public transportation system to create such a network be quick, easy, or cheap, particularly when one contemplates extending such a network all the way out into the suburbs from which downtown hopes to attract visitors. Even a good public transportation system will be only a complement to auto infrastructure.

    Parking may be cheap in Columbus compared with New York or Boston or San Francisco, but Columbus is not New York or Boston or San Francisco. The very legitimate concern of lizless and other business owners opposing the parking rate hike was that it made Columbus (particularly the downtown neighborhoods where there are a lot of metered parking spaces) less competitive against Columbus’ suburbs. That was the same concern, manifesting differently, that lizless mentioned earlier in this thread with respect to sidewalk-use policies.

    #452253

    Tenzo
    Participant

    The number one reason I hear for people not coming downtown is; “There isnt any parking”

    They mean both parking spots and having to deal with the new cyclon parking meters.

    (By the way, nice nibblits on that corn)

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