To Park Or Not To Park

February 23, 2010

I am not anti-entrepreneurial although I do like saying the phrase out loud. Anti-entrepreneurial. Kind of rolls off the tongue.

Unlike some of my statist, collectivist, ivory tower academian comrades here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke, I have dallied in the arena of small business at various times in my life. Import/export. Sales of commemorative bric-a-brac. There was even that time in my youth when I financed a year+ tour of the United States exclusively through sperm donations.

So I am down with my business brethren especially the small variety. They are the backbone of our economic system and the lifeblood of any vital, vibrant community. As go small businesses, so goes society. And to hear a local west end B.I.A. (Business Improvement Area) tell it, as goes parking, so goes small business, etc., etc.

Seems that for the past couple years there has been a tussle going on between the Dundas West B.I.A., the TTC and the city over street parking along a strip of Dundas Street West. Business owners claim that the elimination of almost all parking during rush hour traffic along the drag hurts their businesses. The TTC contends that street parking during the busy times hinders them from delivering quality service. Anybody who’s ever traveled that section of road by whatever mode and at almost any time of day will tell you it’s always a mess.

Still, one has to wonder about the value of a business that is dependant on a customer base that is only willing to patronize it if they can throw out the anchors and park right in front of the establishment in question. Your product might not really possess that strong a draw if customer loyalty is so anemic that when forced to so much as walk around a corner, they can’t be bothered. Make better bread or provide a more interesting circus and customers will find their way to your shop regardless of where they have to park their cars.

helpfully submitted by Urban Sophisticat