Parking problems may loom in apartment development

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There has been a great deal of excitement about a proposed new four-story Arts Apartment Building in what we call downtown Rome. 

The site is the vacant lot between Dominick Street and Erie Boulevard, next to what we senior citizens remember as Goldberg’s Department Store.

When someone proposes to invest over $10 million in new apartment housing in Rome, that certainly is a cause for excitement.  But  there’s an old saying that seems to apply here...”The devil is in the details.”

If you drive down Dominick Street these days you will notice that parking is limited, and the lot where the 60-plus apartments are to be built has 20 to 30 cars parked in it on any weekday.  Details, details, details... Where do the current users park?  How do you attract users for the currently vacant space downtown with no convenient parking?  How do you keep the apartment residents from using the spaces on Dominick Street that are critical for the existing businesses?  

Will there be dedicated spaces for emergency vehicles?  Is this the new standard in Rome for new businesses and apartments...no on-site dedicated parking?

The loss of close-in parking to apartment buildings is also being felt in other cities.  The May 18th Albany Times Union in an editorial commented on it being a problem there.

Rome has already lost the most convenient parking for Fort Stanwix National Monument to Aspen Dental.  Can we afford to lose  additional parking?

It’s great to attract new development, but let’s make sure it works for everyone.

— David Wood, Rome

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