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Turning Main Street into one-way traffic could help parking problem

December 17, 2015
Lake Placid News

To the editor:

Travel is the second greatest form of education known to man. Reading is first. That's why Lake Placid has a chamber of commerce.

The current problem in Lake Placid is parking.

Perhaps it would be best at this point to take a step back and define Lake Placid and its role in travel for the world market.

For purposes of discussion, dividing the world into hemispheres and considering summer and winter categories primarily, Lake Placid ranks high in attractability. In the complete facilities category, only a small number of others can match Lake Placid's assets.

Perhaps the focus should be switched to a unique plan that would address the issues of expanding business opportunities and making access to them easier!

Parking would then take care of itself.

Step one would be to re-design Main Street to one-way traffic, and even regulate the flow of traffic to only certain times for certain activities, deliveries, etc. Some existing parking on Main Street could be retained, expanded or developed. The new Main Street would encourage walking.

Step two would be to re-design Wesvalley Road to one way, continuing the flow of traffic from one-way Main Street to Saranac Avenue to Wesvalley to Station Street to Route 73 to Main Street or Route 86. The one-way loop would be complete.

Along these routes, care would be given to protection, speed, scenery, plantings and views. Extra design care would be given to existing residents. Also, commercial properties would be encouraged to develop. Greatly expanding business opportunities.

Traffic flow to and from the Mount Van Hoevenberg Complex, the ski jumps, John Brown's farm, and the River Road would be greatly enhanced.

Limited parking could be continued in specific areas all along the way, but old-fashioned walking could be encouraged.

There are ways to encourage walking. It can start right in the copy written to describe the town. Lodging properties can offer hints or guidelines. It can be capitalized on in advertising. Business icons, arrows and distances ease the pain, along with maps. The trolley can still function. This fact alone would save a lot of traffic. The character of Main Street has to be preserved and enhanced. A beautiful, uniquely designed Main Street would be the envy of many resort towns around the world. Lake Placid is one of the rate towns that has snow and water right now. Stowe, Aspen!? Sorry!

At the bottom of Stevens House Hill, a well-designed narrow roadway could be constructed a long way down the side of the lake. There might very well be some parking there in vacant lots or existing properties along there. At a minimum, it would dress up a sad area. Design would allow for all waste water from above to be eliminated.

The idea for storefronts with a multi-level low silhouette parking garage in the back of the lot in discussion now is solid.

Views wherever have to be utilized. It's a unique area. A mountain town with tremendous views, where you can get cleaned up while you look around.

The excuse money is a scared wimp-out. Every day, there is a big deal about huge sums of money being appropriated, donated, confiscated, approved and granted. Also, we still have banks and bonds and plenty of time. What it will take is vision, courage, persistence and tireless, unending work - or making everybody buy a scooter.

A small zone in the outer loops could be dedicated to transfer of re-supply for trucks and busy hours. Everybody has to hurt a little. The alternative is not working well.

Also, it is well to remember visitors are here to relax and enjoy. Ease and extra time are the order of the day. An old Lake Placid proverb says, "Over Excitement and Over Eagerness Dampen Outcome."

Joe Pete Wilson

Saranac Lake



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