Carla Becker: Baffled by parking situation in Amherst

Thursday, August 10, 2017
Baffled by parking situation in Amherst

After careful review of the parking situation and proposed changes in Amherst (“Select Board delays vote on parking changes,” July 21), I am still baffled that an outside group thinks we have adequate parking in town when I can’t find a space in the Boltwood parking area or even close to it when I come to town for dinner, especially on a Friday night.

Why does Amherst think they can
charge $1 for parking
in town when I can go to Northampton and park in their garage for 50 cents an hour and I get the first hour free?

How does this make Amherst more accessible to everyone? I will do my shopping and eating elsewhere.

Carla Becker


State grant lifeline for Jones Library

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners’ grant of $13.8 million for the renovation and expansion of the Jones Library represents a lifeline to the future.

When the funds are made available, they will give the town the opportunity to reinforce the central place of the library at its heart, at a cost not significantly greater than the cost of the library’s badly needed physical repairs and updates.

Now more than ever, Amherst needs a library that can serve as a vibrant center for all the disparate elements of its substantially more diverse populations.

This project will provide a facility to which they can all make equal claim and have equal access.

Jones Library for Everyone, a group of interested citizens formed to support the project, looks forward to helping refine its design and to securing the balance of the funding needed.

Kent W. Faerber


The writer is a spokesman for Jones Library for Everyone.

Agrees on rethinking Jones Library project

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners did not award a grant for demolition and construction this year for the Jones Library.

I agree with Sarah McKee as she writes in her July 21 guest column (“Must rethink Jones Library project”) that we, as a community, would do well to rethink the library project with a “townwide participation and … perspective.”

She, along with many other thoughtful and smart community members, and with Town Meeting members who voted not to apply for the state funding, have been thinking long and hard, for over a year, about how the Jones Library system can progress through the 21st century. This pool of community study and wisdom holds important ideas. The task now for the trustees is to devise a way to access this valuable thinking.

One issue that was presented at the annual Town Meeting, by a Town Meeting member, was the need for building responsibly with the environment as a stakeholder. We have buildings in Amherst and throughout the Valley that are meeting requirements for greener construction standards set by three green building institutions.

The U.S. Green Building Council certifies buildings through the LEEDS program. Architecture 2030 and the Living Future Institute are two other organizations that could help the library trustees and the town in planning a greener building.

I believe many of the activists who have participated in this debate would like to come together with the trustees in a new atmosphere of mutual respect and open-mindedness to rethink the library together, including consideration for all three Amherst libraries, 21st-century environmentalism and a program of library services appropriate for the unique community of Amherst.

Molly Turner


Takes issue with
perceived parking
flip flop

I’m pleased that Sarah la Cour and the Business Improvement District are supporting parklets in public parking spaces. It sound like a great idea to me.

But I’m confused. Is this the same Sarah la Cour who also asserts that there are too few public parking spaces in downtown Amherst (“Downtown parking problem can be solved,” April 14)? Especially when there are events going on like the Downtown Beats concert, when one of the parklets will be set up?

There’s no parking problem in Amherst. The Business Improvement District acknowledges it with its parklet program.

Ken Kleinman