Checking the responses to various media websites carrying the story about the city's decision to move ahead with the Plaza plan, it's become clear there is a shortage of accurate information out there .

Many of the responses seem to indicate that you believe the idea is to eliminate 220 parking spaces, leave a big empty lot and NOTHING else in the surrounding area changes?  Indeed, what a stupid idea.

Except that’s not the plan.

The Plaza idea is being called a “Game Changer”.  That means a dramatic, radical change to intentionally shake things up and bring about significantly different results.  Things will have to be DIFFERENT to get different results, right?

If we create the proper environment, more, new business will want to come to Yakima and locate near the plaza--just like they have in dozens of cities all over the country.  Medford, OR, Racine, WI, Portland, OR, Lake Oswego, OR , Casper, WY, Oak Park, IL, Missoula, MT, Santa Fe, NM, Lincoln, NE and more.

The consulting company indicates that for every public dollar invested, another 5 to 7 dollars of private money-or more- follows. That’s more sales tax for more services for you.   So we trade parking in the plaza for  170,000+  sq. ft of NEW retail, shops, restaurants, etc. MORE reasons to come down town and return life to our city.

And yes, the idea is to be pedestrian friendly.  That means W-A-L-K-I-N-G!   It also means having interesting and engaging things to walk to and walk past along the way.

Longer term parking solutions are being studied…but in the short term…100 spaces at the Dragon Inn just west of the Orion.  On third ave from the Federal courthouse south for a block to Walnut--angle parking on both sides of the avenue will generate another 60 spots…the farthest being just one block away. Just across Walnut and across from the Police Station to the East is a city lot with 60 spaces available…that’s 220.  West of the plaza are 80 more spaces for nights and weekends. AND discussions are under way with the mall owner for access to 14-hundred spaces in the old mall that would exit out on to the street just across the street from the Olive Garden.  I hope this helps fill in the gaps and answers some questions.