For the first time since the Village of New Paltz metered the Plattekill parking lot, I had the occasion to actually use it. I'm fortunate to live close enough to downtown not to need to drive.
Oh, it's got plenty of spaces. I found one easily enough and then walked all the way back to the Plattekill entrance to pay - I could have saved a chunk of time by leaving through the lot on Main Street, but I didn't realize I didn't have to pay on Sunday. Why? Because the only sign announcing the days and hours of operation is on Plattekill.
Good thing I didn't have to pay, because I would have had to return to my car to display my proof in the window. Must be really convenient for a mother carting around two children, or someone with an arthritic knee, or anyone else with mobility issues that do not rise to the level of a handicapped parking permit.
It's also charming that the unsuspecting out-of-towner who finds the lot by way of Main Street may never know that they have to pay to park. They would drive in through a private, free lot which is likely full and naturally proceed into what appears to be an extension of that same lot, only with spaces available. Considering the Village Board's intent was to provide more parking for the customers of area businesses, I don't think a surprise parking ticket is the sort of welcome that warms the heart.
I'd have to review the amount of money they pulled in on parking tickets and other revenue since the lot opened to be sure, but I think the village's short-term parking goals aren't exactly aligned with the needs of the Downtown Business Association, visitors to New Paltz, or people who just aren't in a position to walk very far.