Divided Commission Rejects Plan To Add 8 Permit Spaces in Park Street Lot

Saying the spaces should be left to short-term shoppers and diners, members of the Parking Commission last week voted 3-2 against offering eight additional permits for the Park Street Lot. Tucked behind Elm Street near the corner of Park, the 126-space lot already accommodates 36 “commercial permit” holders, 25 individuals with grandfathered permit spaces and about 17 municipal employees, officials say. Issuing eight more permits for those who work downtown would squeeze out those seeking to pay by the hour for spaces in order to visit retail shops and restaurants, according to Parking Commission members who opposed the measure. In addition, those who work downtown should be directed to buy a permit for lots located further from the center of town, such as on Locust Avenue or on the former Center School site along Maple Street, according to Commissioner Chris Hering. “The further out you get, the longer you are able to park,” he said at the March 4 meeting, held in Town Hall.