Chatham Selectmen Rescind Two Hour Parking Limit on Main Street

KA_Chatham_Main Street Shopping Stores Shops Road22_112415CHATHAM – Chatham selectmen have rescinded their vote on setting a two hour parking limit on Main Street.

In November, the board approved the decision to set the limit, which would have went into effect from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily between June 15 and September 15 between the rotary and Shore Road.

That move caused concern with business owners on Main Street and selectmen agreed to revisit the issue at a later date.

Becky Voelkel, owner of Mahi Gold and president of the Chatham Merchants Association said that she knows parking on Main Street is a big issue with the town.

“We understand your frustration,” said Voelkel. “If you were in our position, I believe you would understand why were so frustrated. Simply put, we were not informed.”

Voelkel suggested to selectmen the forming of a working group to tackle the Main Street parking issue.

Selectmen later agreed to form the working group.

Voelkel said that the group would be comprised of representatives from the Chatham Chamber of Commerce, Chatham Merchants Association, lodging and restaurants, Community Development, selectmen and police, with a focus on downtown parking as a whole.

The group would hold a number of meetings that would be open for residents to attend and share their opinions.

Voelkel laid out a timeline for the group that starts with members meeting with residents and business owners to get concerns and information for improved parking.

From there, members will narrow the information down to a focused agenda of issued that will be addressed.

In early spring, the board will be presented with updated progress that the group has made to date and potential immediate improvements for the 2016 season.

The group would then spend the summer season gathering information and implementing improvements approved by the board, before gathering in front of selectmen again in late fall, to present what they learned and gathered from the season.

“I think this is something that you actually wanted, we’re late to the game, but not so late, nothing’s been done for 50 years, I think another year of waiting will be beneficial for everyone,” said David Oppenheim from the Wayside Inn to selectmen.

Selectmen also approved a motion to direct the town manager to identify possible sources of consulting, who are experts in designing traffic flow and parking.


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