Let's be honest. Trying to find a place to park in downtown Oneonta since the closure of the parking garage has been one part Tetris exercise, and one part exercise in futility. Collecting parking tickets downtown has almost become akin to amassing Pokemon cards amongst residents and workers.

Since I've returned to working in Oneonta's downtown core, I've experienced these woes head on. Rolling into town early offers no special deals, it's as hard to find a spot early on a weekday as it is during midday.

Going From Annoy to Aggravate

There are two inevitable items on the horizon. The college students from both schools are returning to the area, many of them bringing their rides with them, especially those that rent in downtown Oneonta. Just behind the return of college students is the inevitable snow. Both factors will make the situation an incorrigible mess. At least with the garage, students, residents, and workers were able to duck into the garage to avoid the snow and allow the city to clear the streets. Seemingly, the best option we'll have during a winter storm will be to get snowed in at Damaschke Field in Neahwa Park and hope the free shuttles can get in and out.

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Spotty Enforcement

Per the city's website, parking enforcement resumed on June 14th. The way that tickets are issued don't make much logical sense. Right this moment, I'm looking at cars that have been parked on Chestnut Street near Main St in one hour limit spaces all day. I'm also seeing two cars parked in the clearly marked No Parking area adjacent to those spaces. None receive tickets, yet I park way out of the way in a parking lot and I get a ticket for being a smidge over time limits. Isn't what's good for the Honda good for the Kia? For workers in the downtown core, getting up every 1-2 hours, walking three blocks, and circling to find a spot is not conducive to modern productivity. Selective enforcement is simply unfair. Yes, there are newly painted spots, but all are typically full during a work day.

Solutions?

Due to an issue with NYSEG equipment locations, demolition of the garage is in a holding pattern leaving students, residents, and workers alike with no light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps enforcement should be suspended until things are sorted out. Punishing people for things outside their control is egregious at best.

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