After months of construction and delays due to weather, the businesses on the north side of East Main St. between Caddo and Mill once again have parking up front.
Jenny Moen, owner of Ten Star Pizza, expressed her excitement.
“We are ecstatic about the parking in front of the restaurant,” Moen said. “We’re so glad our customers don’t have to hike for their pizza anymore.”
Moen, who has owned the restaurant for about a month, said that the construction and lack of convenient parking has definitely affected business. However she feels fortunate to have regular customers.
“We have our diehard fans who keep coming in no matter what so we’re very thankful for them,” Moen said. She went on to say that she has  already noticed the difference.
“Today we had a great lunch, and I think that was because people could pull right up,” Moen said.
Stephanie Choate, owner of Ardmore Emporium, said that she could also tell a difference in the amount of people coming into her business on Saturday.
“We’ve definitely had more traffic this weekend,” Choate said. “It’s really nice to have those spaces back.”
Raigan Miller, sales associate at The Stag, said that she thinks the completed
Streetscape project will look pretty and likely bring more people downtown. She’s concerned, however, about how everything will work once people begin reversing into parking spaces.
“The back-in parking is going to be confusing,” Miller said. “Just watching people drive down this when it was one way, I’d almost see several wrecks a day, but this is going to be crazy.”
Miller is referring to one of the more contentious aspects of the Streetscape project, reverse angle parking. In reverse angle parking drivers reverse into their space and pull out into traffic as they leave — as opposed to pulling into their space and reversing out into traffic as they leave.
Choate shares some of Miller’s concerns.
“That’s definitely going to be interesting because I’ve had a lot of people tell me they won’t come down here and even attempt it,” Choate said. “That’s when I tell them we’ve got parking on the side too.”
Moen is also apprehensive about the new parking situation, however she thinks it could prove beneficial.
“I think it’s cool,” Moen said. “I think it will be very aesthetically pleasing, and it will be safe for pulling out into traffic. But for people who are a little reverse challenged, it’s a little bit scary!”