Downtown business owners upset with City
5/31/2012 (Updated 10:53:55 PM)(Source: Travis Eldridge)
BINGHAMTON -- Prior to "Bar Crawl", the popular downtown event for BU students, City Officials posted "No Parking" signs, but several Washington Street store owners said those signs drove away business.
"On Tuesday no parking signs were put up, but really the only thing legible from the street was the "No Parking." Not the specific date, which was Thursday, the day of bar crawl," said David Whalen, owner of Binghamton Hots. "So lunchtime business and afternoon business was really slow for the two preceding days."
Business owners claim the signs weren't then taken down until late in the day Friday, causing more slow traffic. They said they didn't mind "Bar Crawl" as an event, but said it did take an economic toll.
"Being that the signs, and the bags were put over the meters so far in advance was not really good," said Kim DeLisa, owner of Orion Beauty and Balance. "Like I said people didn't stop to read the fine print, they're in their cars, so they drove right on by."
There may only be about 20 parking spots along Washington Street, but business owners said those spots go a long way in determining their success.
"A lot of times when people come down to Washington Street there is no parking or the street is closed so they're going to be forced to park in the parking lot or on another street, theyll keep driving, theyll go to another store with a parking lot," said Candice Gellar, owner of M.Y. Botique. "They'll go somewhere else."
Four business owners sent letters to the city with these concerns, and FOX 40 got the following response from Mayor Matt Ryan's office:
"This not only is standard practice across municipalities, but also is necessary because of limited staffing in the Traffic Division."
The statement also went on to add, "We nonetheless will ensure that we convey them as prominently as we can, and we will continue to search for additional tools for the job."
With limited budgets, the City claims there aren't many things it can do differently. However, business owners say that shouldn't be the case.
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