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The Public Safety Committee is recommending seven metered parking spots on the east side of Ashland Street.

North Adams Public Safety Committee Advises Parking on Ashland

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Public Safety Committee voted to recommend metered parking on the east side of Ashland Street during a brief meeting on Tuesday. 
 
The request had been made to the Traffic Commission more than a year ago by Glenn Maloney on behalf of Very Good Property Development, which owns one of the buildings on that side of the street. Maloney said allowing parking in what is now a no-parking zone would allow more convenience for not only his building but other commercial businesses on the street. 
 
The matter was before the Traffic Commission twice before it also voted in May to recommend the City Council approve the seven metered spots between Summer and Quincy streets. 
 
The council had kicked it to Public Safety after several members raised concerns about traffic and a neighbor about about pedestrian safety. 
 
"I've reviewed the packet that Mr. Maloney sent, I've compared it to the ordinances and have reviewed this area multiple times," said committee Chairman Jason LaForest. "There are only minimal moments of congestion, primarily relative to the Cumberland Farms space. As that moves farther south on Ashland Street, presumably opening in late winter, early spring, I think that issue will be alleviated."
 
Cumberland Farms recently closed on the old City Yard and is expected to begin construction on that parcel later this summer. It's current location between Quincy and Chestnut streets has created some congestion with vehicles entering and exiting at certain times of the day.
 
Committee member Benjamin Lamb noted that the full council had debated the issue in some depth at its last May meeting. 
 
"Suggestions were made that they can park in parking lots [across the street], well, that's a private parking lot, that's not a viable option," he said. "We need to recognize that fact that not all parking spots are public parking."
 
It was important to note where there are gaps in parking for buildings and operations and to keep in mind that there are grant applications outstanding to renovate Ashland Street, he said.
 
"So that's also something just to keep in our the backs of our minds that this is actually not a permanent situation," Lamb said. "Nor are any of the parking spots necessarily permanent on the street based on what the future design might look like for that quarter."
 
Maloney said he was glad to have a decision either way. 
 
"What I'm hearing is actually what I was asking for is that a decision one way or the other be vague, based on common past practices in ordinance and information, which I think is important," he said. 
 
He also found that in reading the state's manual on traffic calming practices that parking spots along a roadway was one option. Also, that bringing customers closer to a business or service may mean fewer people crossing streets. 
 
"I don't see a problem putting parking there," said Councilor Wayne Wilkinson, who has an office in the nearby Oasis Plaza. "The biggest problem, in my opinion, is that all the parking, the metered parking, on Summer Street, the [east] part of Summer Street, is basically used up by people that are working in around downtown area."
 
Maloney, who is president of the North Adams Chamber of Commerce, said that is a problem and will require convincing business owners it's in their best interest to leave parking open for potential customers. 
 
"I'd just like to point out that the form of the order in keeping with tradition how other parking ordinances are written in the city is not specifying the exact location or the number of spaces," said committee member Eric Buddington, who drafted the order. "The council would have that authority."
 
Lamb concurred that the order does comply and "has the vetting of the Traffic Commission, whose purpose is to address these issues directly."

Tags: ashland street,   parking meters,   public safety committee,   

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North Adams Happenings: Aug. 21-27

SAVE THE DATE
AUGUST 29th - DownStreet Art
DownStreet Art, the last-Thursday-of-the-month popup program of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (MCLA BCRC), returns to downtown North Adams from 5-8 p.m. on August 29, 2019. As always, DownStreet Art is free and open to the public.
More information.

AUGUST 30th - Starry Night Movies at UNO Park Presents: Hidden Figures
On August 30th, we are showing Hidden Figures. The story of "three brilliant African-American women at NASA who serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation's confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world" (Google).
The festivities start at 6pm. More information on activities and games coming soon. Movie will begin at 8:00pm. Bring pillows, blankets, and low back chairs to take in this incredible untold story under a starry night on the UNO Park lawn.
More information.
 
Wednesday 8/21
9:00 A.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Open Hours UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Terrific Tots Playgroup The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.  

10:30 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Preschool Story Time North Adams Public Library, 74 Church Street, (413) 662-3133 More information. 


11:30 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Little Wonders Baby Playgroup The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information. 

5:00 P.M. (FREE), WORKSHOP, Simple Zero-Waste Swaps for the Bathroom: A Zero-Waste Workshop UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

6:30 P.M. (FREE), MUSIC, Concerts at WIndsor Lake Presents JP Murphy 200 Windsor Lake Drive, (413)664-6180 More information.

8:00 P.M. (FREE), GAMES, Trivia Night! Ramunto's, 67 Main Street, (413) 398-5152 More information.

Thursday 8/22
9:00 A.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Open Hours UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

4:00 P.M. (FREE), TUTORING, After School Program UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

5:30 P.M. (FREE), KIDS, North Adams Public Library Trip North Adams Public Library, 74 Church Street, (413) 662-3133 More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), BIKING, Downtown Bike Around Anthony's Municipal Parking Lot More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), MUSIC, Party in the Park Presents The Brave Brothers Noel Field, 310 State Street More information.

7:30 P.M. (FREE), BINGO, Musical Bingo at Mingo's Sports Bar and Grill 41 Roberts Drive More information.

8:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. (FREE), MUSIC, The Chalet: Eavesdrop The Chalet at Courtyard D, MASS MoCA, 1040 MASS MoCA Way More information.
Friday 8/23
7:30 A.M. (FREE), MEET AND GREET, Coffee Date at the NAMAzing Eagle Street Parklet NAMAzing Eagle Street Parklet More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Drop-In Playgroup The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.

11:00 A.M. (FREE, PARKING $5), KIDS, Kidleidoscope New England's Natural Bridge, 1 McCauley Road More information.

12:00 P.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Open Hours UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

7:00 P.M. (By Donation), CRAFTING, Knitting Nights with Common Folk Common Folk, 73 Main Street More information.

7:00 P.M. ($1 and up), GAMES, BINGO! North Adams Elks 487 Lodge, 100 Eagle Street, (413) 664-9039 More information.

8:00 P.M. (FREE), MOVIE, Movies Under the Stars at Colegrove Park Presents: The Goonies Colegrove Park Elementary, 24 Church Street, (413) 664-6180 More information.

8:00 P.M. ($18 - $44), MUSIC, Roomful of Teeth MASS MoCA, 1040 Mass Moca Way More information.

9:00 P.M. (FREE), MUSIC, Karaoke Friday! State Street Tavern, 167 State Street, (413) 664-9152 More information.
Saturday 8/24
9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. (FREE), MARKET, North Adams Farmers Market The Wigwam Western Summit, 2350 Mohawk Trail More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE, PARKING $5), TOUR, Natural Bridge History Tour New England's Natural Bridge, 1 McCauley Road More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), GARDENING, Gardening Program UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

2:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. (FREE), MUSIC, Motorama Cruise-in Concert Presents Whiskey City & Live Wire Noel Field Athletic Complex, 310 State Street, (413) 664-6180 More information

8:00 P.M. ($20 - $30), CONCERT, Cha Wa MASS MoCA, 1040 Mass Moca Way More information.
Sunday 8/25
9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. (FREE TO SPECTATORS, CAR REG. $15), STREET FAIR, 9th Annual Motorama Car Show Downtown North Adams, (413) 664-6180 More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE, PARKING $5), TOUR, Natural Bridge History Tour New England's Natural Bridge, 1 McCauley Road More information.

4:00 P.M. (FREE), MUSIC, Racks and Stacks- Barbecue and Vinyl Music A-ok Berkshire Barbeque, 2601 MASS MoCA Way, (413) 398-5079 More information.
Monday 8/26
1:00 P.M. (FREE), KIDS, Crafternoons! North Adams Public Library, 74 Church Street, (413) 662-3133 More information.
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