This is a follow up about the public meeting held by Gloucester City Councilor Scott Memhard February 15, 2018 at Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library on beach traffic and parking with a focus on his ward. This post includes Councilor Memhard’s meeting notes, and the Beach & Traffic Ad Hoc committee presentation to City Council. Look for information and maps related to Long Beach, Good Harbor Beach, Stage Fort Park, and more. Chances are your ideas or concerns were mentioned–doublecheck for yourself. Future public meetings to be announced.
Here’s the presentation packet to the City Council from the Gloucester Beach Parking and Traffic Ad Hoc Committee, January 2017
Here’s Councilor Memhard’s recap of the Summer Beach and Traffic public meeting held at Sawyer Free Library February 16, 2018 (advertised in the Beacon, Gloucester Daily Times, and elsewhere long in advance):
“The Ward 1 Beach Parking Ordinance community meeting last night at the library was well attended. We had a lively airing of concerns and opinions, addressing the specific Parking Ordinance proposed changes, and general, wide-ranging discussion of the problem and various potential solutions, including:
> expanded off-site parking* and trolly/bus service to the beaches;
> better signage notifying drivers that lots are full and closed, with posted directions to alternate parking options; and
> other practical steps to relieve severe safely, access, and disruption from on-street parking congestion in our beach neighborhoods.“
*park n ride options would ease traffic especially with smartphone reservations/options. Locales like Rockport, Manchester, Provincetown limit cars. Several lots mentioned maximizing extant options such as negotiating with Stop&Shop, Shaws, Fuller, Blackburn, schools, etc. Stage Fort Shuttle already established and more train/bike. Train-trolley services have a rich history here.
ENFORCEMENT, HIGHER PARKING TICKETS, JULIE BROE 🙂
Scott Memhard recap continues:
“A fair summary would be that the general feeling of the attendees was, while broader use of “Resident Only Parking” stickers might be a good step towards limiting some illegal beach parking, this proposed Ordinance change, despite input from the Ad Hoc Beach Parking working group, Traffic Commission and Council O&A sub-committee, would NOT materially help issues of beach parking infringement in the neighborhood side streets.
> Greater police enforcement, ticketing and towing is really needed, although GPD manpower for this is limited by budget and staffing constraints, as well as tow company practical limits on busy weekends.
> People felt that the City’s commitment to better enforcement was currently lax, and would be most helpful if beefed up, including hiring dedicated summer weekend parking enforcers, like our downtown meter-maids.
> Consistent, effective Enforcement will change violators’ habits, and get the message out! Ticket, ticket, and more tickets, with multiple tickets being issued on same Vehicle, as is done in other communities.
> Also implementation of tougher Beach Zone parking fines and penalties, for which we are presently seeking State approval for.”
ONE WAY STREETS, OUT OF TOWN PERMITS, POLICE DIRECTING TRAFFIC, SIGNS
“Other suggestions included:
> Making certain street one-way during busy weekend mornings (Witham Street, Marina Drive, Thatcher’s between Barn Lane and Witham) was mentioned several times.
> Also, the important need/opportunity for bicycle paths & a pedestrian-friendly sidewalk on a widened Thatcher’s Road between Barn Lane and Witham Steet, widening the way into or over the marsh, with needed State and Conservation support.
> Elimination of out-of-town year-round beach parking permits was popular with residents attending.
> Weekend mornings having a Police officer directing traffic at Eastern Ave/128 would improve traffic flow, for both visitors and residents,
We also dealt with questions of the City’s legally installing signage and implementing additional regulations on streets that are privately owned, and the issue of liability in privately enforcing and towing violators. We hope to convene another Beach Parking Community Meeting again, in the Spring, either at the Library again, or perhaps in the evening at Cape Ann Coffees.”– Scott Memhard, City Councilor
February 15, 2018 Good Morning Gloucester Summer Beach Traffic and Parking Part 1- discuss
July 13, 2017 Boston Globe: Playing the Beach Parking Game a Summer Guide HIGHLIGHTS Bob Ryan Heidi Dallin park n ride CATA options
July 2015 Cape Ann Beacon Heavy Traffic
“We need to find better ways to move people around town. Trolleys, off-site parking facilities, even boat taxis and shuttles are being explored to help with traffic concerns.” Romeo-Theken adds, “We ask that everyone have a little patience and enjoy the summer in Gloucester; it’s too short.”
Based on DPW’s sensitivity with the Boulevard design and build, I think a petite sidewalk- marsh boulevard along Thatcher to Good Harbor Beach could be lovely and safer (anything that encouraged design for people rather than cars)