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Have you ever changed your mind about shopping downtown because you couldn’t find a parking spot?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on April 19, 2011

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Photo of Manas Bhatnagar

“No. I don’t drive.”

Photo of Sally Pokorny

“No. Maybe it’s because I don’t mind walking.”

Photo of Holly Charlton

“I’ve never changed my mind, but I’m sure that people have.”

Photo of Zeke Westerman

“No, because I don’t drive. But when I did drive, parking wasn’t usually an issue because you could always park in the garage.”

Comments

sinkorswim 2 years, 12 months ago

Although parking can be frustrating downtown, it doesn't prevent me from going downtown. I don't mind walking and if I'm in a hurry I'm just careful what time of day/day of the week I go. However, the lack of availability of "everyday" products I'm looking for is what keeps me shopping at Target, Costco, the KC area, the internet, etc. Places I do shop are: Mark's Jewelers, Stitch On, Sunflower Outdoor & Bike, Jock's Nitch, Mad Greek, La Familia, and Starbucks. During the summer we're at the pool 5-6 days a week. Every now and then we frequent Free State Brewery, but the beer doesn't appeal to us (just don't happen to be beer drinkers), it's so loud in there, and the wade through the smokers out front is less than pleasant. I miss Arensbergs very much (Brown's just isn't the same...)!!!

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average 2 years, 12 months ago

Leaving aside known madhouses (sidewalk sale)? Once or twice, before the garage was built. Maybe it's just the times of day I deal with (and again, I avoid sidewalk sale), but I have never, not once, failed to find a parking spot in the garage.

As other posters point out, from the garage to most of Mass Street isn't any further than from the mid-distance parking at the Wanamaker Hyper-Walmart to the milk at the back of the store. And people get used to that.

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bastet 3 years ago

Honestly, some of you constant complainers about downtown are just ridiculous! Yes, there are times when it is hard to get a spot RIGHT OUTSIDE the door of your chosen store! Good grief. Just walk a bit. I've never been able to not do what I wanted to do downtown because of parking unless there was a huge special event going on.

You know that by the time you park in the south 40 at Walmart, walk through the parking lot and then through that monstrousity of a store, you will have walked about as far as you would from a parking place on Vermont or New Hampshire to Mass Street, and the atmosphere is much less appealing.

Certainly there are things you can't get in the stores downtown; shop on South Iowa when you need to, but don't get up on your dang self-righteous high horse about how "inconvenient" it is to support your neighbors and friends who are part of a unique and important aspect of the Lawrence community. Why exactly must it be "either/or"?

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rockchalker52 3 years ago

Some of my favorite stores & restaurants are downtown, some not. If I want to drive to one that's downtown, more often than not it's pretty easy to do so.

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Sigmund 3 years ago

Nope, but I have avoid buying downtown to avoid paying the high sales tax.

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Jersey_Girl 3 years ago

Oh, most definitely! After spending 25 minutes driving across town to get to downtown, if I can't find a parking space right out front on Mass, I just turn around and drive 25 minutes home because I certainly wouldn't want to go all the way around the block to park in one of the free lots on New Hampshire or Vermont or even worse, parallel park on either one. And gosh! That parking garage is so far away, it is so completely inconvenient to use.

Who the hell comes up with these questions? If you asked if I avoided shopping downtown b/c of parking, which would have been a better question, the answer would still be no. It's b/c Mass St. now belongs to KU students instead of Lawrence citizens, like it did back in the day when there was a Woolworth's and Raney's Drugs and Varsity was a movie theater, not whatever it is now.

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50YearResident 3 years ago

I can always find a parking spot on one of those great 15 minute meters. I shop to my heart's content, make lots of purchases and return to my car before the time runs out. Gosh, theres even four of them in every block.

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tange 3 years ago

Why would I consider shopping downtown, especially if I couldn't find a parking spot?

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autie 3 years ago

and tell TRob to stay out of the danged clubs....boy ain't got no business down there.

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HollisBrown 3 years ago

Playing drinking games with me might give you the bends. Plan on starting with a quart of vodka-in-a-plastic-bottle per day. The only way I handle my life is by sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber evry night.

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consumer1 3 years ago

the guy in the last picture can't afford a car he spends too much mney on Moose.

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The_Original_Bob 3 years ago

"I plan on playing drinking games with Hollis before going in for the picture."

If you see him reaching for the Aqua-net, it is time to go home.

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prospector 3 years ago

We better or I will be showing my PADI diver certification card for my picture ID . I plan on playing drinking games with Hollis before going in for the picture.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 3 years ago

prospector, Will I qualify for the free state ID? Do you know the intricacies of this law?

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HollisBrown 3 years ago

Not too familiar with Little Milton, but his one gives me an instant jeans tent: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmEBBskGizY

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autie 3 years ago

If the wind doesn't stop soon, I will be misty blue. Isn't today Waco Day also? I remember that warm day in Texas was rather windy too.....Live on CNN.

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HollisBrown 3 years ago

Holy smokes, Prospector! I've been trying to figure out who sang "Misty Blue" for a long time. I thought it was probably Gladys Knight. You are totally my Idol of the Day! Man, if a guy can't get him some lovin by playing "Misty Blue", he's in serious trouble.

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HollisBrown 3 years ago

I'm just living for April 29, the opening of "Fast Five"; July, when the new season of "Breaking Bad" starts; and whenever Bob Dylan gets here. It's gonna be a stellar summer.

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prospector 3 years ago

Hollis, I know he would give you the body shutter/ san tequila. It was just one song on There Goes Rhymin; Simon. I liked Kodachrome too. So shoot me. So you okay with Dorothy Moore's classic, Misty Blue, and the works of Johnny Taylor, Denise LaSalle, Little Milton and Bobby Blue Bland.

I only grow a beard and let my hair grow for six months when I am due for a Drivers License renewal.picture. Got to make sure I don't look like the picture the state has of me. Now I get to confound poll workers with it.

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notanota 3 years ago

No. It's the hours they're open that make me change my mind. Parking's a hassle, and I don't always get a nearby spot, but I do get a spot.

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The_Original_Bob 3 years ago

"I forgot that besides being Patriots Day and Bicycle Day, it is also Clitoris Awareness Day."

Coincidence that those are all on the same day?

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 3 years ago

Crap. I forgot that besides being Patriots Day and Bicycle Day, it is also Clitoris Awareness Day.

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autie 3 years ago

I'm not sayin who.....but somebody has a birthday tomorrow...

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irvan moore 3 years ago

no, i changed my mind about shopping downtown because downtown turned into an entertainment district.

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HollisBrown 3 years ago

Prospector, you mean Paul Simon, the wingnut with the bowtie? Hell, I'd listen to him sing before I'd even acknowledge the Simon and Garfunkel Paul Simon. I bet Sean Penn is into both of them, though. I had this friend here from SF getting a PhD at KU, the same one that would scrutinize my trash can for recyclable items. Not the musical type at all. But of course she had one, yes one CD. And of course it had to be Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits(all 2 of them). Good album, but also the album that turds with beards and round glasses happen to leave out on the coffee table so you'll know that they're just oh so intellectual.

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Kelly Johnson 3 years ago

I only shop downtown when I need something specific that I can't easily get elsewhere. I don't mind walking from the parking garage but usually I don't have time for that.

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Kirk Larson 3 years ago

I usually ride my bike. Parking's everywhere. Otherwise, I don't mind walking. It's good for you.

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7texdude 3 years ago

The only reason to go downtown is if I want a used book at the Dusty or check out the selection of used CDs at the Love Garden. I'll park at the library with their extended parking meters and walk to Mass St. I will admit to being an out-of-shape guy, but it isn't that hard to walk to Mass St. from the library. If I don't find anything, then I'll check out the library.

It seems like the downtown merchants keep making excuses as to why their sales are down. Maybe the problem is their products and their customer service and not the parking and the homeless. Just sayin'

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BABBOY 3 years ago

Mass Street is little over rated.

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RoeDapple 3 years ago

If Downtown would make the customer their number one priority, from parking to pricing to service they would be the biggest draw in NE Kansas. I don't see that happening, so they can continue to wither away like so much road kill for all I care.

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jackpot 3 years ago

No I can find a spot or walk to shop.

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pizzapete 3 years ago

I usually go downtown as a first choice for dining out, but if it's too busy I opt for some place further off the grid.

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RoeDapple 3 years ago

I dunno Hollis . . . When I tried to talk to the roofers about an underlayment issue around my chimney they all just looked confused and shrugged. They did understand when I pointed at their trucks and repeatedly yelled "Vamoose! Vamoose!" When the roofing company called to determine the problem I told him I didn't care who he sent as long as at least one could speak English. The new crew showed up the next day and did the job to my satisfaction. Four of the five were Mexican but at least I could talk to them

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The_Original_Bob 3 years ago

"Those tornadoes smacked a legendary place, Malaco Records.

http://www.clarionledger.com/article/..."

Good read. Too bad for them. Sounds like another tornado outbreak today.

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LadyJ 3 years ago

Long before the city ruined it by putting trails down there, kids living along the river north of 6th and Mass used to play in the woods along the river. Had our own trails and didn't need any silly bridge, there was a fallen tree to get across the creeks. Used to build huts and forts down there. But of course the city stepped in and took over and spoiled it.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 3 years ago

Hollis, I used to have a employee that used to go down to the river and read during lunch. Once he was invited to join the "Mens Social Club". I am pretty sure that River Front Park is a local cruising area. You catch Hepatitis C that way, which I understand is a very painful condition and leads to general crankiness.

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HollisBrown 3 years ago

The trees down by the river do make for an intimate hiding place. About 10 years ago a friend of mine and I were biking along the trails at Burcham Park. We rode right past a couple of high school boys discovering each other in the bushes.

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HollisBrown 3 years ago

About this time of year they start setting up some kind of farmers market in the parking lot at Sears. I didn't see any Mexican produce last year but I bet it's catching on. And I'm not sterotyping in the least but do you know what's better than a Mexican roofer? Nothing! I watched this crew do a roof down the street the other day. Simply mesmerizing.

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prospector 3 years ago

Hollis, Where will the tent selling Mexican produce go?

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HollisBrown 3 years ago

Autie, I think it's great that your granddaughter is a district judge. You should be very proud.

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HollisBrown 3 years ago

I know for a fact that Sears employees get paid $6.50/hr.+commission. No wonder I almost got gang raped in the electronics dept. last time I was there.

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g_rock 3 years ago

And if I ever can't find a parking spot, I wave my magical hair unicorn horn and poof...I make one of those tiny shoe box cars vanish. No one would ever notice in the first place.

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HollisBrown 3 years ago

Oh, just to be safe: Autie, I think Manas is a fine young woman. You have e a very nice looking daughter. Seriously though, I vote for Lollapalooza 2011 in the Sears parking lot. What the hell else are they using it for?

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 3 years ago

autie, How come Sally looks so much younger than you?d

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Adrienne Sanders 3 years ago

I go downtown a lot and have for over a decade. There is always parking available in the garage. Always. If you are too lazy to walk from the garage to your destination, that's your problem, not a parking problem. It's not very realistic for everyone to expect there to be a parking space right in front of their destination.

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HollisBrown 3 years ago

If you want to see a parking nightmare, go to Sears sometime. I spend an average of 2.5 hrs. looking for a space every time I go there.

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prospector 3 years ago

Never I just don't get rock star parking at the brewery everytime. Just rock star treatment inside.

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HollisBrown 3 years ago

Autie, I think Zeke is a fine young man. You have a very nice looking son.

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The_Original_Bob 3 years ago

Autie - How do you know Zeke? Do you go to the same hair stylist?

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g_rock 3 years ago

I'm impressed with Zeke's hair. Tornado unicorn. It is a new trend!

And I usually have good parking karma downtown. But never at Target.

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autie 3 years ago

it just always seems weird when I know one of the on the street respondents....kind of like a horror movie.

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Steven Gaudreau 3 years ago

I have found a place to park 100% of the time over the past 20 years any time or day of the week. Circling the block a few times or parking in a lot on New Hampshire have always worked. Patience and walking an extra block or God forbid two, there is always a space.
I don't understand the downtown haters. What else does Lawrence have to offer out of towners? I'm sure someone is now going to tell me about a wonderful caterpillar garden a mile south of town but the reality is that downtown is our main attraction. Embrace it!

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Pete_Schweti 3 years ago

Answer: Yes. Do I think that justifies an $80M parking garage? NO.

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Richard Heckler 3 years ago

Heavens no because there is always places to park even if it is 3 blocks away either side of Mass Street.

Walking,using the T and biking make parking a moot point.

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HollisBrown 3 years ago

Talk about ingenuity! I bet you've never done this, Ronaldo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCFXeC...

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HollisBrown 3 years ago

I do not think men with big butts look good, except for some of my brothas. As great of a musician as he is, Jack White is a damn wierdo with child-bearing hips. He should do something about that.

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grammaddy 3 years ago

Many times! Haven't shopped downtown since JoeCollege shut down.

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autie 3 years ago

Walking ain't so bad. I enjoy the carnival atmosphere and the always welcome the opportunity to have a lively encounter with a "somebody who inquires insistently on my inclination to assist them financially". Toss a bum and listen to street musicians...great times man.

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HollisBrown 3 years ago

See? Even Rick Astley likes the parking garage. I dig the new swirly-doo, Rick! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZ5Taj...

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LogicMan 3 years ago

A serious question:

What's available downtown that I can't get much cheaper in the big box stores or via the Internet? Bars and crowds don't appeal to me.

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HollisBrown 3 years ago

Nope. I don't go downtown because I won't pay $3 for a bar of soap when I can get it at Walmart for 89 cents. There is plentiful parking downtown. Just take a peek in the empty parking garage sometime. It's the fatwads who insist on parking right in front of the store that have the problem. Fine by me. The parking garage is one of my favorite spots in town for dancing. Lots of room for breakin' and poppin'.

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Benjamin Roberts 3 years ago

Yes, about once a month ... which is half the times that I attempt to shop downtown. Sometimes I simply postpone the purchase. The other times I go to the parking lots with stores located on them on South Iowa Street. Translation: I spend a good portion of money at S. Iowa stores that was intended for Mass stores.

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LadyJ 3 years ago

But Roe, it's right there by the river. You could watch people fishing and stuff while the others are shopping. Just park in the parking lot by city hall, it's free. They have some nice trails by the river with lots of trees so nobody would even see you there.

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Boosh 3 years ago

Good morning Roe. Glad you're in a good mood :)

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RoeDapple 3 years ago

Yep! Don't hardly even mess with downtown anymore. Only time I go is as a passenger with someone else, kicking and screaming like a 4 year old the whole time. Not enough years left in me to waste time looking for a parking spot too far away, feeding a meter with all my change and still running out of time, paying overinflated full retail prices to staff who treat locals like lepers. All the while dodging the street bums that smell like something a coyote barfed up. . Good morning everyone! I woke up in a good mood this mornin'!! . Oh, and "First"!

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