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What Do You Think?

November 19, 2009

Editor's note: The Herald-Mail invites readers to answer poll questions on www.herald-mail.com. Readers also may submit comments when voting. A sampling of edited reader comments will run on The Herald-Mail's Opinion page on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

The question posted Monday was: Do you think downtown Hagerstown needs a third parking deck?

Poll results:

Yes -- 185 votes (28 percent)

No -- 469 votes (72 percent)

o "I can tell you there was a need for additional parking for the (Western Maryland) Blues Fest, but I am not sure there is a need any other time."

o "Perhaps it's a chicken and the egg kind of situation. Do you build a parking deck to lure people downtown or do you build one after people get frustrated with parking problems? Downtown Frederick has three and is building a fourth. It's busy enough in Frederick."

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o "Couldn't this money be put to better use by spending it on consultants, and getting some good, reliable recommendations for revitalizing downtown?"

o "First, I'd like to see what the operational and maintenance costs are per year on the ones already built? Would any funding come from the The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act? Will we get to see those pretty propaganda signs posted at the construction site? Seriously, my main question would be, why would another parking deck be necessary?"

o "They have these things called feet that most of us, myself included, should use more often. I'm not including handicapped or the elderly, but a little walking to get places wouldn't hurt us. People will walk a mile through Wal-Mart and a mile across the parking lot to the mall and a mile through the mall, but won't walk a few blocks to get to a store or event downtown."

o "We need better/more parking at the Suns stadium! Put one there!"

o "No, if they need more parking, tear down one of the buildings that are no longer in use and make a parking lot there. The issue is the ... students are having a problem finding a place to park, which was predicted before downtown Hagerstown was chosen as the place to build. Now, they want to add more parking, which should have been addressed in the beginning."

o "Downtown is pretty much dead and has been for a long time. When will they realize this and quit wasting money that could be better spent?"

o "Downtown is not dead. Went to the Ralph Stanley show at The Maryland Theatre and had dinner at Bulls & Bears before and was glad to see the activity there. After the show, we enjoyed the show on the second floor above the old Duffys, Leiters has a catering hall there now. Great!! We wanted to hang at Peach Pit, but had other obligations. This area can be a cool spot and it is heading that way. Build a deck whenever you can."

o "They say you gotta spend money to make money. The Maryland Theatre block is very attractive now. The Potomac Bead Co. is hanging in there. Frederick has nothing that compares to Hagerstown's square. Spend wisely on infrastructure, market the idea, build on what you have. An empty downtown will be drag on the local economy forever unless something is done."

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