I was pleased to read in The Independent that an initiative process has begun in order to let Livermore voters decide the character of our downtown. I believe the Central Park Plan offers Livermore what the hundreds of people who took part in the planning workshops said was most important for Livermore’s downtown: open space and parking. The Central Park Plan proposes a public park stretching from L Street on the west to South Livermore Ave. on the east, and, crucially, more parking spaces where they are most needed — near the Bankhead Theater.

I’m a volunteer at the Bankhead and have heard many patrons complain that they arrived late to a performance because they couldn’t find a parking space. When a new, popular movie opens at Livermore Cinemas, the parking problem is especially acute. Older, less mobile patrons of the Bankhead, as well as of Livermore Cinemas and nearby restaurants, need parking near these amenities; the planned garage on L Street, a quarter-mile away, is too far, even for patrons who aren't mobility-challenged. We need parking adjacent to the Bankhead, especially handicapped parking spaces. These are provided in the Central Park Plan.

I will be signing the initiative; I look forward to being able to vote for a visionary downtown plan with a beautiful central park and convenient parking for the city we love.