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Sunday, September 9, 2012

And the number of parking spaces in Wallingford Center for PUBLIC parking is…

So before I get to the meat and potatoes of my post I want to remind everyone that I have the agenda posted for the regular Wallingford Town Council Meeting over on Wallingford Patch for Tuesday’s Council meeting on September 11, 2012.

Of special note regarding that I want to make sure to call out the following point; the Simpson Court / Private Downtown Parking Lot issue returns to this upcoming Town Council meeting.

You might not know it from this agenda item but the issue of Wallingford paying for the private parking lot at the rear of the businesses at Simpson Court uptown is going to be discussed.

8. Discussion regarding:

Report from the Town Attorney on the Simpson Parking Lot Wall
Possible options for the Town to pursue

The “Possible options for the Town to pursue” regarding the “Report from the Town Attorney on the Simpson Parking Lot Wall” is to apply for a state grant in the amount of $500,000.00 to “improve the Simpson parking area.”

The above link provides you with some additional details and along with my thoughts on that.

With the recap done – on to this post

I decided to talk a walk Sunday morning with my oldest son and count all the public parking spaces available in Wallingford Center.

By definition, a public parking space is one that is made available for the general public to park their car at will (within the limits posted by any signage) on a first come, first served basis.

I will outline what I counted and where as well as what I left out that I could have otherwise justifiably counted as part of the parking scheme for Wallingford Center.

So first – what did I leave out? 

I left out the entire Wooding-Caplan site; even though we are presently rebuilding the area and may be using it for the next five to ten years, there has been no effort to fully commit the area permanently for parking. So due to that I skipped all the planned spaces there – all 100 spaces

I also left out the first block of every street off of Center between Route 5 and Main. It would be very easy to justify that area of parking as being available (as it is) but for the sake of discussion I left those spaces out too. I also left out any available spaces on Prince Street and Church Street.

I also did not count the BUSINESS spaces at the rear of Archie Moore’s because if there is any public parking back I didn’t see the signage so I erred on the side of caution and left it out.

The highlighted map below details the specific areas that I left out of my count.


All those yellow highlighted areas I left it out of the count – approximately 200 additional spaces for a total of 300 when combined with what I did not count at Wooding-Caplan (that area is shown below).


Also, beyond the 300 mentioned above I did not count the spaces we currently have use of by way of the year to year agreement on the private property behind the business at Simpson Court (as shown below)


What I did count

The 43 spaces at the Credit Union on South Main (shown below).


The 173 spaces at Town Hall and along South Main


The 69 spaces in Simpson Court and along North Main to Church Street


The north side of the lot, which has public parking space designation, between North Whittlesey and North Orchard which totaled 30 spaces.


The small lot behind that, across the street from the synagogue, which has 15 spaces.


The north sides of the Back of America lot and the lot across Meadow Street (only the areas designated as Public Parking by signage) – total spaces 83.


I also counted all the spaces available on Hall Avenue down to North Cherry and all the spaces at the rear of the Train Station that are available to the public as Public Parking – 108 in all.


The last major area of mention is Center Street itself from Route 5 North to Fair Street which encompasses 107 spaces. 


So what’s the bottom line?

When you add all of these areas of available parking together you have a grand total of 628 spaces for the public to park their cars.

And there is even more space if you include the omitted first block areas of the side streets directly off of Center Street.

In the 27 years of driving my car into Wallingford Center for any reason whatsoever on any random day I have never had to walk more than one block to get to the destination of my choosing and that is because there is plenty of parking if you know where to look and are willing to walk about a block’s distance when necessary.

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