Downtown parking structure doesn’t have to be a big, ugly structure and would benefit the community

Dear Lake Orion Review Editor,

Hello, my name is Noah Johnson, I am 15 years old, and in order to earn the Communication merit badge for Boy Scouts, I have to write to the editor of a magazine or my local newspaper to express my opinion or share information on any subject I choose.

The subject I have chosen is the increasing urbanization of Lake Orion, and the need for additional parking. As business downtown grows, the need for more parking grows as well. This need is not being fully met, and so there has been talk of a parking garage, among other things, being built. In order to learn more about this issue, I interviewed village Manager Joe Young, a member of the Parking Study Advisory Committee.

In this interview, I learned that this need is due to several new businesses opening, particularly restaurants. I also learned that they have done two studies of parking decks as well as adding surface parking lots, adding on street parking, and restriping existing spaces. Finally, I learned that not only do businesses support new parking, but that they have been some of the main sources requesting it. Based on this, it would seem obvious that the local government and businesses will unite to construct as much parking as they can.

However, not all residents of Lake Orion support this plan. Some believe that by building a tall, noticeable, and frankly unsightly parking structure would take away from Lake Orion’s small town feeling and start to turn us into more of an urban city. Perhaps this increasing urbanization would even make living here stop seeming like as much of a vacation.

I, on the other hand, think that is ridiculous. So what if a parking garage is somewhat noticeable? It would meet a need that our township has, and I believe that that is much more important than ruining our “small town vibes.”

Besides, who says we would have to keep it as a big, ugly parking structure?

There’s lots of fun things we could do to spice up the parking garage. We could hold a Chalk Day, for example, and let kids and teenagers draw all over it with chalk. Maybe we could opt for something more permanent and grow some flowers along the side instead.

Whatever we end up doing, it will certainly not turn out as badly as the people who oppose this plan say, and it certainly won’t stop Lake Orion from being where living is a vacation. If anything, it would make it more of a vacation spot, as additional parking would attract visitors from nearby cities.

So, I support adding a new parking structure, and after reading this, I hope you do too.


Noah Johnson

Orion Twp.


One Response to "Downtown parking structure doesn’t have to be a big, ugly structure and would benefit the community"

  1. P. Bowman   April 24, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    Rochester, MI has two. Great additions. They do not take away from the small town feel.


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