Opinion: Middlebury must protect its downtown

The new Middlebury town office will scale back parking behind the library and Ben Franklin. The proposed covering of the “ugly lower parking lot” by constructing a three-story commercial and residential building would virtually eliminate downtown parking.
There is a very expensive (at least $5 million) 3-year rail overpass proposed. When the new bridge and roundabout were created, there was a rumor that Main Street would be closed and turned into a pedestrian mall. Why not just make that a reality? Close Main Street and Merchants Row. Construct pedestrian overpasses that will satisfy the required clearance for the railroad. Use the Triangle Park area for parking.
1. No matter the funding source, federal state or local (1 percent sales tax), every effort must be taken to realize maximum cost benefit.
2. Solves parking for downtown merchants.
3. Dramatically reduces inconvenience of construction.
Win, win, win.
Edward Payne, Bridport

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