Public Meeting Thursday to Consider Paid Parking Changes

New downtown parking recommendations will be revealed Thursday by the city’s latest parking consultant.

According to Mayor James J. Fiorentini, a public meeting on downtown parking is being held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, at 90 Washington Street. A parking consultant for the city will present recommendations drawn from a survey conducted the past several months with more than 75 downtown residents, business owners and others. Fiorentini said he gave the consultant a single charge of making the existing system more customer-friendly.

Fiorentini said he rejected a recommendation last year by a previous consultant to make significant increases in kiosk-based parking fees and in permit fees.

In a so-called “sneak preview,” Fiorentini said more spaces would be added around the upper level of the Merrimack Street parking deck and on Bailey Boulevard. Plans also call for signage improvements and more uniform paid parking hours.

Paid parking in the Washington-Wingate-Essex Street downtown block and at the Merrimack Street parking deck and the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority (MVRTA) bus terminal lot, has been in place since August, 2012.

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