Apr 2, 2008

The shopkeepers take all the spots

I was in the center of town of Bet Shemesh today. It has been a very long time since I have been there. We can get pretty much most of our stuff taken care of here in RBS, so have not had a need to go down to the center of town in a very long time. Today I happened to be there.

Bet Shemesh, old Bet Shemesh, claims to be suffering a very long downturn of business. They (the business owners from the "center of town" area) claim the center of town is seedy and the businesses are being abandoned by the residents for the newer shopping areas in the newer parts of town (RBS, for example). They say there is not enough parking for people to come shop. They say lots of things to blame others (the city specifically) for the fact that their businesses, that have been there for a very long time, are now watching as newcomers take over and the business goes to other areas, with the City seemingly abandoning them.

So, today I had to be in the center of town for a meeting and then to pick up a couple of things. I got to take a look at the situation firsthand, for the first time in a long time.

First of all, people were there, people were shopping, and it looks like the city has cleaned up the area a bit.

Second of all, I did notice it was hard to find a good parking spot right by the stores. If I have to park a couple of blocks away from the store I need to go to, I would definitely think twice before going shopping in that specific store and would consider my alternatives. So they might have a point on that claim of not enough parking.

However, I also noticed that all the parking in the area closest to the stores was filled up with cars belonging to the shops and business owners. not 100%. There were some customers coming and going, but a lot of them were cars and trucks associated with the stores and businesses.

So it is a no brainer why there is no parking and why customers are therefore going other places where there is more parking available.

A shopkeeper who shows up at, let's say, 8:00 AM to open his store for business. he parks in front of his store, as do his employees and delivery guys. Let's say he takes up anywhere from 1-4 parking spots. Most of these cars are going to be staying there the whole day. That means in front of his store, no customers will be able to park, because of him.

Add to that all the other stores in the area, each with its owner and employees taking up a few spots each, and you will find there is little room for any customers to park in the vicinity.

So the customer has to park 1-2 blocks away, making it inconvenient, especially if he/she will be shlepping bags back to the car. So it is a no brainer why customers are shopping elsewhere.

if the business owners were smart and were not just looking for other people to come up with solutions, they would park their own cars, and their employee cars, a couple blocks away, allowing all, or most of at least, the immediate parking area for customers, which would make it more convenient for people to shop there.

The employee cars are staying parked most of the day anyway, so there is no reason they need to take up the spots closest to the stores.


  1. They should put in parking meters that limit the time a person may park in one spot.

  2. that is a reasonable suggestion.

    I can see people being upset about suddenly having to pay for parking, but it might work. I can also see the bosses still parking there and just adding money to the "meter" (parking card really), every couple of hours....


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