Parking restrictions hurting business

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — Snow removal efforts are going well in New London, but there are complaints that the parking restrictions are bad news for business.

In downtown New London a parking space on the street is a real find, so when storms come in and block those spots, businesses say they suffer.

“I think everybody gets scared and it distracts people from coming downtown,” said Justin Robbins, an employee at The Exchange.

The Exchange is among several downtown bars and restaurants which say parking bans are bad for business.

Some people said that they would not even come down to New London if there was a parking ban in effect.

“Got to be able to park on the street, got to be able to be close to where I need to be,” said Rick David from Rhode Island.

Parking bans are put in effect to let plows clear out the roads
Parking bans are put in  place to help plows clear  roads

Ellen Cummings, the owner of Flavours of Life, says it was the storm, not the parking ban which kept her closed Wednesday.

“When it snows there’s very few people walking downtown going shopping,” she said.

Parking bans are put in place a few hours before the first snow flake is expected to fall,  so cars are cleared and plows can get through the city streets.

“We go off of the best information we can as to when it’s going to snow and when it’s going to start and how much, but they’re estimates always, so it’s never an exact science . But, we do the best we can while putting safety first,” said the Mayor Daryl Finizio of New London.

Mayor Daryl Finizio grew up in a family owned business and understands parking bans can drive some customers away.

“They automatically think, ‘how are we going to get downtown, where are we going to park when we do get downtown,” said Robbins.

There are alternatives for downtown residents and business owners when streets are off limits such as downtown parking lots and city garages.

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