Dear Editor,

Omit Main Street parking? For 28 years I have spent my days on Main Street in my store. If you allow parking to be banned, you will, without a doubt first and foremost, destroy the downtown property values. When we lose sales, the property will not be worth as much, and, it’s true, we will lose sales.

I do not understand why? What’s the purpose? If it’s to make bicycle lanes, that’s a real poor tradeoff. The real tourists, 1.5 million national park visitors from all over the world are who pay the bills, not a handful of bikers. National park visitors are families and foreigners. Our customer base.

1. We can’t get locals to shop now because they don’t like to park and have to walk; tourists, no different.

2. Obviously, any parking lot, or garage will be for-profit, pay parking. I would call that gouging the tourists as they will. They are not stupid. This must be a money-making scheme by some property owners?

3. Merchants fight over parking, it’s that important to sales. No owner or worker is allowed to park on Main Street ever! It’s that valuable.

4. When the temperature reaches 100-plus degrees all summer you can’t actually believe the family is going to drag a bunch of kids and all their gear, shuffling grandpa, grandma and her walker, strollers, etc., a couple blocks to get to the stores? Nope. Those sales will be lost. They jump out of the car out front and run in the door to air conditioning as fast as they can now. In fact they spend the hottest parts of the days in the stores to be more comfortable. Probably opt to go to their rooms rather than hike in the heat to town and that means a loss of money and sales tax, and property tax.

5. No parking garage could be big enough to hold the hundreds and hundreds, maybe a thousand cars that pull in and pull out all day long the entire length of Main Street. There is a rhythm to it as it is. It works. Why fix it?

6. With a wider street for traffic we will have trucks closer to the sidewalks racing through town. The problem now is the truck traffic, not the parked cars. Actually I see them as a buffer between my place, the sidewalk and those speeding giants. Our traffic lights are set now to get them through town as fast as possible to avoid any idling and pollution, UDOT told me. Boy, with five or six lanes they could really fly, and they will too.

As a retailer I tell you that it is not easy to make it in Moab. Every time someone raises my expenses, rent, utilities, insurances, wages, taxes, etc., I have to figure out how to get that many more sales. It is a constant battle, trying to keep up and make any money at all. When you start cutting down the number of customers I can get, I will be finished. I suppose there are more like me too. I sincerely hope our city officials will fight UDOT for us and don’t make it inconvenient for our visitors to spend money here.

Sharon Arehart