February 25, 2005
Several businesses on the downtown mall are continuing to face two challenges: parking and construction. Some admire the recent developments, while many businesses are not so enthusiastic.
"They're constantly backing their trucks up in front of our building and they're blocking the alley now too so we can't park, people can't park, and people wont come near the trucks because they're nervous," said Liz Whittemore, a Downtown Mall vendor.
"The perception of parking is that we don't have it, and because of that we've had more parking than we've ever had in the garages," said Sara Greenfield, owner of another Downtown shop.
The parking issue isn't the only thing inconveniencing businesses. "We're constantly getting furniture deliveries and we have nowhere for our trucks to park and they can't back up to where they normally back up to so we're paying a couple extra hundred dollars every time we receive a shipment just to have them move things off the truck," said Whittemore.
The noise bothers businesses as well. "I have been listening to jack hammers for about 2 months now. Everything in the store shakes," commented Whittemore.
Some businesses said this construction noise isn't music to anyone's ears. The burning question is, is there an end in sight?
Bob Stroh of the Charlottesville Downtown Association said that the project will take over a year, but the routing problems along the mall will be solved shortly.
"City Council is working on it, city staff is working on it, DBAC is working on it, I think we're going to have an answer within hopefully 30 to 45 days," said Stroh.