Aronsohn is not against the parking garage.
He is just against the parking garage RIGHT NOW.
From his own website:
The parking problem in the business district is notorious. Too many cars. Too few spaces. And the situation will likely get worse with the planned renovation to the train station, which is scheduled to start next year.
For years, consideration has been given to the construction of a parking garage, and there are a handful of proposals on hand in the Village Manager’s office. All would alleviate some of the parking problems. All would provide additional retail space. But all would also have the potential to negatively impact the flow of traffic and temporarily exacerbate any additional parking problems caused by the train station renovation.
As a temporary measure, I would therefore suggest merely developing the designated location – on the corner of Franklin Avenue and North Walnut Street – into an expanded parking lot alongside the adjacent lot already in operation.
This would save money… save time… and would alleviate at least some of the parking problem in the very near term. If necessary, the development of an above ground parking facility could be revisited in a few years – after the train station project is completed.
Simply stated, it would be wrong to overwhelm the downtown with two major construction projects happening simultaneously.
That was from the Aronsohn campaign website. For a more current view of his thinking, read the Aronsohn opinion piece in The Ridgewood News (December 19).
“Simply stated, I am not convinced that we need a large, potentially expensive garage in our downtown area, and I am not convinced that we need additional commercial space. In fact, the more I learn about the situation, the more I believe that a garage now would be a big mistake.
Granted, downtown Ridgewood is often congested and finding a parking space in front of your favorite restaurant or store can be near impossible at times. But there are always – repeat, always –empty parking spaces in the central business district. You just have to walk a block or two to find them. And if you are unwilling or unable to walk a couple of blocks, then a garage – situated on the edge of the business district – would not likely help you.
And as for commercial space, our focus should be on trying to fill the many vacancies that already exist throughout the downtown area. The possibility of adding stores – even a “big box” store – may be attractive to some, but now does not seem to be the time to take such a gamble. In addition to our own vacancies, one only has to drive down Route 17 and in neighboring towns to see that the recession is taking a very real toll on our local economy.”