Free Emerson St. Parking May Be Replaced with Parking Meters

Twenty-six parking meters, similar to the one above, may be placed along Emerson Street.

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

More paid parking may be coming to downtown Haverhill—this time driven by business complaints along the street.

The plan to place parking meters along Emerson Street is before Haverhill city councilors for discussion tonight. Last month, business owners told the Central Business District Parking Commission that patrons have difficulty visiting because of a lack of on-street parking spaces. Concerns were also heard by the city council’s Administration and Finance Committee. Councilor Colin F. LePage, chairman, gave WHAV listeners an overview of the problem.

“They said they have merchant complaints of people staying on Emerson Street—overstaying their time. And Emerson Street, my understanding, is unrestricted parking and also two-hour parking.”

He explained automobiles are often parked longer than two-hours on restricted spaces, and some drivers use spaces all day, hindering would-be customers. LePage said his own review suggested there are not enough signs. “I went down Emerson Street the other day and I only saw two signs that actually had the hours on them—what the timeframe is.”

However, Public Works Director Michael K. Stankovich told parking commissioners the solution is either stronger enforcement of time limits or the installation of meters. Police Capt. Michael Wrenn, said the city’s own enforcement of time limits has been a problem since the resignation of the only full-time parking officer last fall.

Officials ruled out parking kiosks, like those that appear elsewhere downtown. Instead, LePage explained, “Now you want to try single-meter heads, so every parking—instead of going back, up and down the street with the kiosks and parking space numbers and all like that. Now, you’ll have a meter for every space.”

If the plan advances, 26 single-space meters with various payment options would be installed for a three-month trial, beginning in June. Parking would be restricted between noon and 8 p.m. LAZ Parking would assist with enforcement.

2 thoughts on “Free Emerson St. Parking May Be Replaced with Parking Meters

  1. While you’re at it and someone is looking at parking spaces, you may want to also take a look at parking at the Senior Citizen Center on Welcome Street. Parking lots, at certain times during the day, tend to always be filled to capacity and patrons are forced to park on Welcome Street and the surrounding streets. These are NOT metered spaces and I doubt that a kiosk would be appropriate because there is not enough sunlight to provide power (if solar powered).

  2. Often times the merchants that present the complaints are the cause of the problem. Many merchants and their employees continue to ark on he street in front or near their business.