Montpelier has a growing parking and traffic problem downtown, to the point where it is choking business and creating unsafe pedestrian conditions. Part of the problem is temporary, due to construction around the city, but part of it is due to our vibrant downtown. If we add 1,000 dwellings to the city as planned, this problem will get worse.
I understand that the City is proposing to increase the size of the proposed Capitol Plaza/Hampton Inn garage to address these problems. The proposal is premature, however, and it could create more problems than it solves, as well as become a financial burden on all taxpayers. Specifically, the City has not updated its transportation vision or goals for nearly 10 years. We have no plan to measure proposed solutions against. The proposed garage doesn't meet the requirements of our current zoning ordinance. We don't know its impact on traffic or environmental hazards. Also, we don't have a clear idea of what the life-cycle cost of this garage will be or its effect on our property taxes.
I am totally for solving our parking/traffic problem soon. I am pro-business and want to keep our downtown healthy. I will, however, be voting "no" on my ballot because the garage is not ready yet to be approved.