Councilors Wrestle with Anticipated City Hall Parking Problems

City Council Vice President Melinda E. Barrett.

Further discussion and review is expected by the Haverhill City Council on a revised parking plan at and around City Hall, to accommodate Haverhill District Court civil business during a courthouse renovation project.

No action was taken by the council Tuesday night on discussion of a recent parking study by independent parking, transit and development consultant John M. Burke, at the Fiorentini administration’s request. It recommends the city post and enforce a one-hour parking limit at the City Hall parking lot and issue parking permits to employees. It also recommends securing shared parking agreements, with owners of nearby lots, for 22 court employees, “as close as possible to City Hall” and as many as 100 visitors, primarily between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.  However, council Vice President Melinda E. Barrett told WHAV she and other councilors want to ensure taxpayers with business at City Hall have parking space there as well.

“They’re going to try to utilize some other spaces that aren’t even paved right now. They’re going to pave over some area behind… the white building. I guess they’re going to pave behind there and grab nine spaces. They’re going to use another parking lot, the church, for some other spaces. I don’t think they’re going to be front row,” Barrett said.

She added the plan is a work in progress.

“I think it’s a working document. I think there will be continual changes, depending on how things develop. I don’t think we’re stuck in one mode there,” Barrett said.

The parking study identified, in addition to 137 city hall parking spaces and another seven spaces at an adjacent school department property, a potential 449 off-street and 81 on-street parking spaces for court business within two blocks from City Hall.

The district court’s civil division is expected to conduct business from the second floor at City Hall, including Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers, by January as a one year, $8 million court house renovation project, first reported by WHAV in August, is scheduled to begin. The court will use City Hall during its normal daytime hours. Under a “license to occupy” agreement, approved by the council last month, the City would receive upgraded cabling in council chambers the court would use to record its proceedings with their own equipment. Also, among other things, the Massachusetts Department of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance would replace carpeting inside the chambers.

Criminal proceedings under the Haverhill court’s jurisdiction will be held at Newburyport District Court during the court house renovation project.

8 thoughts on “Councilors Wrestle with Anticipated City Hall Parking Problems

  1. Amazing the amount of time and effort wasted on such a minute issue. The man hours pent on this vs real tax classification and financial matters is astonishing.

    • Very true. Small minds are occupied by small things. Not all but most. Let us remember that it took 8 years to finally formulate a downtown parking plan. Just think what it would have taken if they were involved with the Harbor Place project. We would still be looking at the Woolworth building. ! Lol

  2. City owns the lot behind the church (soon to be dominos), how about court employees and city hall employees park there.
    Issue parking stickers to the employees and enforce it. If an employee can’t abide the rules maybe they can’t be employed.
    Or a better idea, if the city places bike racks at city hall maybe the mayor and his people will ditch the cars and pedal to work… Hehehe, I crack myself up.
    Telling employees where to park and the mayor and his people biking to work. Just like Cambridge, Newburyport and Newton.. If only our city could be…