Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

November 28, 2012

OUR VIEW: Concerts belong downtown, but appease Y, library

Consideration needed for library, YMCA

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Where do you put a popular concert series that’s looking to grow without upsetting the new neighbors?

That’s the question being asked around town since it was suggested that the Canal Concert Series could move into the parking lot behind the Lockport Family YMCA and the Lockport Public Library.

The answer to the question is, very likely, nowhere. In a city the size of Lockport, there probably isn’t a perfect location to host the concerts without causing a disruption.

After five years at Ulrich City Centre, the concerts in 2013 seem destined for the Chestnut Street parking lot, behind the library and Y, and in front of the site of a planned new ice arena.

Only about one-fifth of a mile separates the current and proposed sites, but it’s enough of a relocation to cause concern for the nearby agencies. However, it may be the only logical alternative within the city limits.

When it’s demolished, the parking ramp site will be too small. There’s not enough parking at Wide Waters. Outwater Park is attractive, but it’s in the middle of a residential neighborhood where parking would be mostly limited to the streets. Hundreds of residents would be inconvenienced.

Neither Wide Waters nor Outwater are easy for visitors to find. It’s easy to find downtown, and it’s downtown that needs to be showcased for visitors.

There’s a very real concern from the YMCA and library about parking for their customers during the day. Both must be satisfied because they are vital components of downtown.

Perhaps when it’s built the ice arena will offer additional parking. In the mean time, it’s imperative that leaders from the city, library and YMCA reach an agreement. It won’t be perfect, but it’s the only viable solution.