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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.”


RoeDapple 6 years, 9 months 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"!

jackpot 6 years, 9 months ago

Good go Roe, if KU-Law can't be first he takes his keyboard and goes home.

fissuregirl 6 years, 9 months ago

I'm wondering why would someone working down town park at a meter? when there's a parking garage......

Boosh 6 years, 9 months ago

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

LadyJ 6 years, 9 months 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.

RoeDapple 6 years, 9 months ago

I would be easy to spot. camo golf shoes

LogicMan 6 years, 9 months 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.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 9 months ago

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

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 9 months ago

...or should I say"...was forced out of business."

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months 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.

Pete_Schweti 6 years, 9 months ago

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

Adrienne Sanders 6 years, 9 months 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.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 9 months ago

For real. I had a crew re-do mine after the "microburst" a few years ago. The choreography is amazing. Like they had worked together all their lives. So quick ,So precise. I wish I had filmed it.

LadyJ 6 years, 9 months 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.

RoeDapple 6 years, 9 months 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

pizzapete 6 years, 9 months 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.

jackpot 6 years, 9 months ago

No I can find a spot or walk to shop.

RoeDapple 6 years, 9 months 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.

7texdude 6 years, 9 months 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'

Kirk Larson 6 years, 9 months ago

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

Kelly Johnson 6 years, 9 months 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.

irvan moore 6 years, 9 months ago

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

Kirk Larson 6 years, 9 months ago

Why does it not surprise me that you are unaware of the clitoris?

notanota 6 years, 9 months 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.

50YearResident 6 years, 9 months 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.

Jersey_Girl 6 years, 9 months 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.

Sigmund 6 years, 9 months ago

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

Terry Sexton 6 years, 9 months 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.

bastet 6 years, 9 months 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"?

average 6 years, 9 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.

sinkorswim 6 years, 9 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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