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Letter: Parking Garage Opponents Still Active

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To the Editor,

Your December 18 issue featured an interview with Yvonne Baab, who is in the process of closing her business, Global Gifts. While I am sure the wording was well-intended, it is misleading. I see no causal connection between the parking garage appeal and her store’s business. I certainly understand her hope for more tourists in town, and her desire for the Capitol Plaza’s new Hampton Inn to open. Many residents look forward to its opening.

However, the construction of the Hampton Inn is not dependent upon the parking garage. The Bashara family has stated they need 200 parking spaces on what is now their land. Months ago it was demonstrated that they could have 185 spaces without a garage by better using space, plus raising the hotel a half story to park vehicles below. While this is short of their goal, it seems to me a solid compromise with fewer spaces for some tenants or remote spaces which would suffice. If the garage is built later, there would simply be a larger total number of parking spaces than now aimed for.

In my view, The Bridge appears to have a bias in favor of the City on this garage appeal. It would help the discussions, the end result, and the relationships among involved parties if the press kept its coverage balanced and avoided catchy one-sided headlines. It would also be accurate reporting to factor in miscellaneous other projects like the “plaza concept,” which are proposing to eliminate and have eliminated parking spaces in the City.

Dot Helling, Montpelier