I am always astounded by the number of people who will effectively boycott a business based on whether or not it has a parking lot. Reading Steve's post about the reopening of the Townsend Park Bakery (hoooooRAY!) reminded me of this.
Even though I don't have a car right now I do vaguely remember what it was like to own and operate one and parking was never an issue for me. If a restaurant or store had no parking lot I would find a nearby metered spot or, *gasp* a spot that wasn't nearby and walk to my destination. This is still something that the majority of the citizens of Earth are capable of, right? Excluding, of course, people with disabilities, most of us could presumably walk just about anywhere we needed to. I mean, if I really wanted to, I could walk to Colonie Center from my house between Dove and Lark streets. Walking enthusiasts routinely hike the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia without whining. So why is it such a big deal to walk a few blocks from where you parked on Washington to the Townsend Park Bakery? I'm just not buying it.
Now, I totally get why someone would not want to fight for parking near their home. That's not the issue, here. No one wants to have to circle their neighborhood for a half an hour looking for a spot just so they can get to their front door. This is one of the many reasons why I don't currently own a car, as Center Square is notoriously challenging to its residents. It's a daily struggle and one that I wouldn't want to undertake.
The difference between that situation and a business not offering parking is that you probably aren't going to be swinging over to Townsend Park every day if you don't live in the area. For a once-in-a-while trip, yes, it may be borderline inconvenient; you might not be able to park directly outside of the bakery but if you can't find a spot within a reasonable walking distance (let's say, two blocks, because if you have kids you probably don't want to make them shlep any farther than that) then I will buy that loaf of bread for you and throw in a hearty apology, complete with an, "I'm sorry," dance. Something tells me I won't be polishing up my tap shoes any time soon.
And another thing. I know that being a driver gives you the false impression that driving is the most pleasant and efficient way to travel. I assure you that this is not the case. So once you find a spot, park it and leave it. There are lots of other fun things to do and see on foot, especially in Center Square. Oh, I know, I know. You want to hurry home so you can find parking. Nevermind.