Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Town's Downtown Parking Proposal

Downtown parking is on the agenda for tonight's Town Council meeting. Below is Town Administrator Jeff Nutting's discussion points (draft):  

To: Town Council
From: Jeffrey D. Nutting 
Subject: DRAFT - Discussion of Downtown Parking 

The goal of parking management in the downtown is to provide for turnover of spaces for customers at reasonable time intervals. The parking "problem" has several issues including: 
  1. Keeping MBTA commuters from using spaces reserved for customers 
  2. Parking for some downtown employees 
  3. Parking close to business establishments 
  4. Underutilization of some spaces 
After several meetings with the business community and discussion with staff and the police department I offer for discussion the following suggested changes to the downtown parking: 
  1. Streets - Generally the colored lines are as follows: 
    1. Red - No Parking. 
    2. Purple - 2 hour parking enforced Monday - Friday from 8 AM - 2 PM. This is generally the immediate down town area. 
    3. Blue - 2 hour parking enforced Monday -Friday from 6 AM - 10 AM. These areas are currently a mixed bag of 2 hour parking with various restrictions or residential parking. The intent is to prevent commuter parking in these spaces in the AM. 
    4. Green - Merchant Parking enforced Monday - Friday 6 AM - 2 PM If there are no colors than parking is allowed 24/7 except for snow and ice or other events. 
  2. Downtown Parking Lots - 
    1. Commuter Parking - 
      1. Currently there are 53 spaces in the Depot Street lot and 17 Spaces in the West Central Street Lot. 
      2. Hours = I propose that we sell commuter spaces Monday-Friday 6 AM - Noon. 
      3. If spaces are available after noon anyone can park in the space. The current fee 
        is$480 per year ($125 per quarter) or about $2 per day. 
    2. Merchant Permits - 
i. Currently 22 spaces - I propose to sell merchant parking. 
  1. Hours = Monday - Friday 6 AM- 2PM. After 2 PM anyone can park in the spaces. 
  2. The current fee is $360 per year ($180 for six months) or about $1.35 per day. 
    Currently one business uses 16 spaces, one uses 5 spaces and 1 uses 1 space. I suggest the Council consider increasing the fee to match the Commuter space fee of $480 per year. The spaces have the same value and cost the same to maintain. 
  3. Add an HP spot in the Ferrara lot. 
  4. Keep 5 spaces for customers and continue to sell the rest for commuter rail. 
  5. Adjust the number of customer spaces as may be required by reducing commuter spaces in demand dictates a change. 
Once the Town Council adopts a plan it should be reviewed the plan in six months.