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Dear Decaturish – Decatur parking is a hassle for seniors

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Dear Decaturish – Decatur parking is a hassle for seniors

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FILE PHOTO USED FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES: The Active Adult classes at the Decatur Recreation Center. Photo from Be Active Decatur


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Dear Decaturish,

There are additional problems with the parking in Decatur not mentioned in your recent article about Souper Jenny’s departure. I’m 72 and walk — painfully — with a cane. Walking several blocks from a parking garage to a business or restaurant is a hardship for many of us, and the new meters are designed to interface with so-called smart phones. I have a simple flip phone that merely makes and receives phone calls, and I can’t figure out how to feed the meters. Cash is even more complicated, apparently requiring one to hoof it up and down the sidewalk to find a kiosk. I have given up going into Decatur.

I have discovered that the high cost of parking in Decatur now offsets the delivery fees charged by Door Dash and Grub Hub, so I have begun dealing with Decatur restaurants that way. But even if I order the same amount of food as I would in person, they don’t get to sell me the glass of wine I typically order when I go out. So they make about $10 less per “visit” from me. Also I usually go out with a friend, and when I “order in” it is just for myself here at home. So that is another $30 to $50 that the restaurant won’t receive.

Senior discounts on parking or validating parking for seniors who use metered parking would be very helpful. We want to come. We just can’t get there!

It should be noted that seniors often have more disposable income for spending over and above necessities than young people who have high tax bills, college loans and mortgages and car payments and babysitters to pay. We also tend to be loyal customers and do a lot of repeat business, whereas younger customers are more inclined to be fickle, looking for the trendy, “in-crowd” spots which come and go quickly. Most of us are not wheelchair limited, but still are mobility challenged to some degree. It’s a marketing mistake to write us off and “rope us out” of downtown .

For what it may be worth.

– Julia Ewen

Avondale Estates

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