Parking is a huge issue for businesses that want to strike a balance between serving tourists and locals. A lack of parking will encourage downtown businesses that serve people within easy walking distance - namely, tourists and those who can afford to live nearby.
I don't know how many times I or my family and friends either gave up on giving business to a downtown merchant because I couldn't find a place to park - not to mention the times I didn't even bother trying. I can also say with certainty that good businesses like Levin & Company have noticed a steady downtick in drop-in visits by locals - which is proof that I and my friends are not the only locals avoiding downtown. I’ll respond directly to the parking question with my specific ideas to address this issue.