image description
The City Council expects to take the meters up at the subcommittee level in August.

Pittsfield Council Preps For Parking Meter Analysis

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
Print Story | Email Story
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council is preparing to start its analysis of the parking meters in August. 
 
A petition had been filed to eliminate meters from the newly constructed Summer Street parking lot. Berkshire Nautilus Owner Jim Ramondetta and manager Glenn McBurney have fought the meters saying it will harm their business and asking for the lot to stay free parking for 90 minutes, as it had been when the Columbus Avenue garage was there.
 
Council Vice President John Krol filed the petition on the gym's behalf and it will next be discussed by the council's Ordinance and Rules subcommittee after being rejected by the Traffic Commission.
 
Councilor At Large Melissa Mazzeo sits on Ordinance and Rules and gave a shot over the bow on Tuesday that she wants all of the information possible about not only the meters in that lot but the entire parking management plan.
 
"We shouldn't be afraid to go out and reevaluate this whole parking plan... I just want to have as much information of the past as we possibly can," Mazzeo said. "If it is a detriment to the community we shouldn't be afraid to stop and fix it."
 
Mazzeo would like to know what lots are planned to get metered or not, where they are and how they are used, she'd like a copy of the originally parking study (which is available here), details about maintenance needs of garages, and information about the demand issues at the First Street lot. 
 
Ward 4 Councilor Christopher Connell wants a report on the usage of each meter to determine where meters would best be placed. And Councilor At Large Peter White would like a report from the Council on Aging about how many seniors are using the Melville Street lot spaces outside of the designated ones for the center.
 
"I really think we need to look at everything. I would like to see the performance of these kiosks and let's make some definite changes," Connell, who has been pushing for meters to be added to Wendell Avenue for a couple of years to no avail, said.
 
And Ward 2 Councilor Kevin Morandi wants "concrete numbers" showing the revenues and expenses. iBerkshires recently took a look at the finances of the meters to date, which can be read here.
 
An updated look at the parking meters has been called for by just about everyone - the public, the council, Downtown Pittsfield Inc., and downtown businesses - to determine the effectiveness of the parking meter plan and make any needed changes.
 
"We hear we don't want to have winners and losers in this but we have that," Krol said, saying the current system is not equitable across the board.
 
The plan the consultants was never fully implemented. Concessions were made on the plan by Mayor Linda Tyer's administration when the meters first went into place to leave some timed parking spots on side streets. Some of the lots were also kept timed but only until renovations happened - both the First Street and the Summer Street lots have recently been redone.
 
The parking plan was created in 2014 and the meters were installed in January of 2017. The council now has two years of data to look at before making decisions as to what changes to make to the meter system.
3 Comments
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to info@iberkshires.com.

Innovation Center on Schedule For January Opening

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Innovation Center is still on schedule to open sometime in January.
 
The center's Executive Director Ben Sosne gave a brief update to the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority last week and said board should expect a grand opening in the first half of January.  
 
"I was just through the building and it looks fantastic," he said on Tuesday. "I am really excited to get this thing open and welcome everybody in."
 
He said in the next few months they will be moving in tenants and figuring out final specs.
View Full Story

More Pittsfield Stories