Mary L. Wentworth: A new parking garage in Amherst — ‘Hel-lo!’

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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Amherst Town Manager Paul Bockelman and our Town Council are thinking about building a second parking garage. Hel-lo! A parking garage was a novel idea back at the beginning of the last century, but thanks to a hundred years of using vehicles powered by fossil fuels, we are now faced with an itty-bitty problem known as the climate crisis​​​​​​​.

Didn’t Bockelman and the counci​​​​​​​l just vote unanimously to support a bill in the state Legislature that would reduce carbon emissions? What the heck?

Our town government, at the behest of two or three business people who are always interested in extracting more money out of what used to be a nice little college town, now want to breathe new life into the car culture by encouraging “tourists” to drive their carbon-emitting vehicles into Amherst to attend concerts at a new performing arts shell while their children relax at a new playground in Kendrick Park after spending hours at a “de-Jonesed library.”

It almost seems like Jonathan Tucker never left town ha​​​​​​​ll. Priorities are still out of whack. If we are going to spend money extracting building materials from Mother Earth, we should be using them and our funds to build housing. Certainly the homeless would appreciate some thoughtfulness on our part rather than leaving them a parking garage to sleep in.

Mary L. Wentworth