2-hour downtown parking sites made permanent
Updated 1:43 pm, Wednesday, March 25, 2015
The Board of Selectmen on Wednesday approved making two-hour parking at certain downtown sites permanent.
The areas include: Parking Harding Plaza, on a portion of Main Street from Post Road East to the intersection of Myrtle Avenue and Kings Highway North, and on Church Lane and Elm Street.
In November, the selectmen approved extending parking limits in those areas from one to two hours on a trial basis. They said they would re-evaluate the change in several months to see how it was working.
"I'm glad it worked out," said Selectman Helen Garten, following the board's unanimous approval Wednesday.
The only consequence of the initial action, he said, was that fewer parking tickets were issued by police. "The only negative is a positive," said Selectman Avi Kaner.
In fact, Police Chief Dale Call, in a memo to the selectmen, supported making the two-hour parking permanent.
During the November meeting, Call said the one-hour limit was adopted decades ago when the town was smaller and people went downtown for gas and maybe to shop at one or two places. He said one hour then was probably enough time.
He also said the argument in favor of maintaining the one-hour parking limit would be that it creates a quicker turnover of parking spaces -- and theoretically -- provides opportunities for more potential customers. But, he noted, customers generally just move their vehicles to other spots when they are near the one-hour limit.
The selectmen also unanimously approved recommending -- to the state Department of Transportation -- extending the parking limit from one to two hours along Post Road East from its intersection at Myrtle Avenue/Imperial Avenue to its intersection at Jesup Road/Parker Harding Plaza.