Sound Off Delaware: Dover parking

In a recent Commentary, Delaware State University professor Dr. Samuel Hoff offered a suggestion that instead of a Dover parking garage, the city utilize a combination of two ground-level covered parking areas with free spaces at each end of downtown along with Park-and-Ride buses, which would offer transportation back and forth,

• Agree 100 percent. Free parking is a pull and an incentive for shoppers to go into Dover. Paid parking is a huge put off! I’ll not pay to go to Dover. That’s ridiculous. There’s free parking at the mall and free parking at all the other locations/businesses all around the city. Why would anyone want to go downtown and pay? Run a trolley service. Promote the existing bus services.

Does the government think that if they aren’t visibly spending money, the public might think they’re not doing anything? Poo! All we see is the “spending money” and very little in return.

And, if they think there are problems with the “feeling of being safe and secure” on the streets of downtown, just wait until they find out the problems an enclosed space will present! A haven for the homeless and a new place of business for the druggies!

My suggestion would be to eliminate business and make it into a wonderful condo area with entertainment facilities. There are more strip malls than anyone will ever utilize and yet they build more while most sit partially vacant! I’m constantly amazed. — Barbara Cool

• Why is parking essential for downtown Dover? Since the opening of the Rodney Village shopping center probably 50 years ago, the number of viable businesses in downtown has diminished constantly. A daytime trip from the post office to the railroad tracks reveals many vacant storefronts. Of the relatively few businesses along that trip, very few offer products of any real interest. Add to the absence of such businesses, factor in the stupidity of a significant piece or real estate on Loockerman Street, which is given over to E-ZPass whose customers do not need a prime location there.

In reality, downtown Dover’s business has vanished. After the Rodney Village opening, the Blue Hen Mall developed to drain off other viable downtown businesses, followed a few years later by Dover Mall. The city’s leaders, along with the business owners and downtown property owners have essentially done absolutely nothing to invigorate the downtown. It is too late, folks. The downtown has been dead for far too long to be resuscitated. — Bill Anderson

• The commentary submitted by Dr. Samuel Hoff sure makes sense to me. City officials should follow his advice regarding more free parking if they really want to turn around the dismal condition of downtown Dover shopping — Ken Abraham

• Suggested solution. Avoid Dover if you can and bypass 13 around it. — Rob Roth

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