I just learned about the city’s plans to develop three of our free public parking spaces in the downtown area. How can Westbrook possibly attract anyone (tourists or residents) to our downtown when the major source of parking is located on the far end of town and is not particularly accessible to most of the city? Are we expecting people to walk back to their destinations from the new garage? If we develop our free parking lots it will make the city a much less desirable place to live or to do business. I wish I’d heard about the proposal to develop these parking lots a bit sooner, but these plans were carefully kept under wraps and the residents of Westbrook were kept in the dark. Developing these free parking lots for housing and commercial space will completely wreck our city. As for the parking garage currently under construction, why couldn’t it have been built at Rock Row? It is completely out of place in its current location.

These plans may have been in the works for decades, but this is the first I’ve ever heard of them. I didn’t live in Westbrook during the urban renewal, but the current construction and pace of development downtown seem equally destructive to me. I urge members of the City Council not to support these plans and to preserve our access to these parking lots located throughout the city. Please allow the residents of Westbrook to continue to enjoy their downtown.

Debra Kantor

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