Council Approves Uniform Downtown Parking Hours, Adds Saturdays as of February

Herbert H. Goecke Jr. Memorial Parking Deck. (WHAV News file photograph.)

The Haverhill City Council took another step last night to making the city’s paid parking plan for the downtown area more understandable, convenient and financially viable.

Studies by the Parking Commission have shown people are confused because parking hours are not uniform in all locations. Parking Commissioner Josiah Morrow has heard the same complaint in person.

“As a commissioner, the number one concern from residents that I hear about paid parking is the lack of consistency between the different lots and the on-street parking in the downtown area. So, creating a uniform policy and protocol for the entire downtown will mitigate many of those concerns,” he said.

As a result, the Council voted last night to make the hours of available parking uniform throughout the area. Currently, the city charges for lot parking from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and, for on-street parking, from 3-8 p.m. The new hours will be from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. in all locations.

Additionally, the city will begin charging for parking on Saturdays, which has been free until now. Mayor James J. Fiorentini said this change is needed because people who come downtown to shop or dine on weekends cannot find parking spaces.

“Pay for parking stops at 8 on Friday night and doesn’t start again until 8 on Monday morning, and what we’re seeing is people who live downtown parking on the street Friday night and leaving the car there until Monday morning. This is killing our restaurants on Saturday,” he explained.

The council voted 7-0 to adopt the new hours with Councilors Joseph J. Bevilacqua and Michael S. McGonagle abstaining.

Originally, the mayor planned to initiate the new hours—as well as the rate increase from 50 cents per hour to a dollar, which the Council passed last week—on Jan. 1. He agreed to hold off until the beginning of February, however, after several councilors suggested waiting a little longer because of the coronavirus.

One other aspect of the parking plan—increasing the cost of a monthly parking permit from $20 to $25—was tabled.

Comments are closed.