Opinion: Support needed for downtown

It sounds as if there are a lot of creative ideas for easing the parking crunch during the upcoming construction in the heart of Middlebury. I especially like the idea of making Main Street one-way — if trucks were prohibited (except for local deliveries), portions of Main Street might even accommodate parking on both sides. And if this works on a temporary basis it might turn out to be a good permanent arrangement.
But the most important thing local residents can do to keep Middlebury from becoming a ghost town after the construction is completely within their own power. Make a resolution to keep patronizing our downtown businesses during the construction period, even if it means parking outside the center of town. Walking an extra five minutes (or, better yet, riding your bike or taking the bus) is a small price to pay to avoid facing rows of empty storefronts after the railroad tunnel construction is completed.
All the creative parking solutions in the world won’t keep Middlebury’s downtown vibrant if local residents don’t do their part to support our local merchants.
Spencer Putnam

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