New group plans to challenge paid parking

A group of local business owners have formed a non-profit organization whose first order of business is to challenge the City of Fayetteville’s new paid parking plan.

The Downtown Dickson Save Our Street Society, led by Neal Crawford of Jose’s Mexican Restaurant, issued a press release Friday afternoon announcing its formation and its intention to ask the Fayetteville City Council for immediate changes.

When reached for comment Friday evening, Crawford said that the businesses on Dickson Street are still experiencing revenue losses from the paid parking program, and that his group would like all of the the on-street parking spaces in the Dickson Street area to be free.

“We want our streets back,” Crawford told us. “The main thing is, though, we want our customers back.”

The council is expected to discuss the paid parking plan during a scheduled three-month review at its next regular meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 7.

Crawford said that the organization is asking citizens and business owners who have concerns over paid parking to show up to the meeting as well.

The full release:

The Downtown Dickson SAVE OUR STREET Society is a non-profit association of concerned property owners, citizens and independent business owners of Fayetteville.

The heart and soul of Northwest Arkansas is Fayetteville and more specifically the area commonly referred to as Downtown/Dickson, which includes but is not limited to Dickson Street, Block Street, the Square and West Ave.

Simply put, our mission is to facilitate the most complete and accurate information assimilation that directly or indirectly affects the economic health of our beloved heart of NWA, and provide easy access of this information to citizens without political agenda.

To help the area known as Downtown/Dickson Arts and Entertainment District which is comprised of dozens of independent businesses that rely on ease of access for local patrons, U of A alumni and tourists alike. Access of accurate information will allow educated decisions and actions, present and future, by our elected representatives and employees of the City of Fayetteville.
The diversity of independent galleries, salons, jewelers, restaurants, bars, stores, speciality shops and entertainment venues is rich in history, architecture and uniqueness. That is the Heart and Soul of NWA. The viability of economic success is dependent on the city officials and residents.

A strong Downtown/Dickson St. will have a positive impact on Fayetteville’s tax base and the ability to continue to be a desired destination for another century.

We challenge the current parking arrangement. We purpose [sic] the WAC keep the paid receipts from the large city owned lot directly west of the WAC.

But give us our streets back! Before it’s a ghost town! We no longer have a parking problem ….. We have a customer problem.