Thursday, June 18, 2015

Parking Report

Not hard to find parking on a Sunday morn after UMass lets out

Senior Town Planner Jeff Bagg has become the de facto Parking Czar having helped organize three public forums on the issue over the past year co-sponsored by the Select Board, keepers of the public way, and the Planning Board.

 On Monday night he presented a "draft report" to the Select Board thus kick starting a process that will hopefully lead to solutions that can be implemented in our lifetime.

 Jeff Bagg presenting parking study draft report to Amherst Select Board

By far finding #1 was "Begin planning process for new parking facility now" with 84% of respondents supporting the question (all of them drivers no doubt).  The other major finding is for the town to figure out a way to "maximize the efficiency and availability of existing parking supply."

 Click to enlarge/read

And the key suggestion is to do both simultaneously, since constructing a parking garage takes more time than some downtown businesses have to spare.  The "100 years war" was named after the first fiasco erecting the Boltwood Parking Garage 15 years ago. 

Existing parking lot behind CVS is perfect spot, but half privately owned


Anonymous said...

With plenty of private parking downtown not used at night, why doesn't the town work with the owners to let people park there when those businesses are closed? Amherst College has a big parking lot nearby that is rarely used at night, so why not talk to them. Ditto for St. Brigid's, Amherst Dental, Jones, the Bank of America atm, the Congregational and Episcopalian churches. And the high school lot is not used much at night. Why not open the local residential streets for parking during the day if it's not allowed? Add some spaces to the public lot near the Bang's Center. Stop renting out yearly spaces in the underground lot so more people can use them for shopping and dining. What's wrong with people walking a block or two?

The need for a new parking garage doesn't jump out at me.

Anonymous said...

Good ideas from Anon 11:56.

There is a problem in the zoning that currently squashes these possibilities, namely that private parking facilities currently require a special permit from the ZBA so nobody can even sell parking permits downtown.

I believe the Planning Board may bring this as an amendment in the fall.