Doris Schumacher felt like the rug was pulled out from under her when she heard reverse-angle parking and lane reductions were yanked from the Main Street plan this week.
“I was absolutely sh-h-hocked this morning when I found out they went so opposite what they had been promoting. I was just blown away by it,” said the owner of DorAnne’s Gifts & Gourmet, 327 S. Main St. “I honestly don’t know why the major reversal when the downtown businesses were on board. We need parking, and we need things done differently down here and this was an opportunity to change the face of downtown. It’s not happening now.”
Across the street, Jayne Allen, co-owner of Coffee Amici, 328 S. Main St., said she too was very disappointed.
The elimination of reverse-angle parking forfeits a chance to gain up to 80 parking spaces on Main Street and eliminate downtown’s biggest downfall, she said.
Downtown business owners know that and were roundly backing the plan, she and Schumacher said. It appears, however, that those who complained loudest got their way, Allen said.
“What other people who are complaining about the project don’t realize is that we as business owners that have chosen to be downtown, this is what pays our mortgage,” Allen said. “We need find ways to entice people to come downtown. We need ways to slow the traffic down. To us, this seemed like the perfect plan. And being that Marathon was going to contribute, (the state) was going to contribute. It wasn’t coming out of taxpayers’ pockets … I think the public is misinformed.”