Committee Recommends Expanded Parking in Harwich Port

HARWICH – An ad hoc parking committee in Harwich recently presented recommendations to selectmen for expanding parking in Harwich Port.

Committee Chairman Alexander Donoghue said the committee is recommending the use of the former fire station property on Bank Street for parking for employees of Harwich Port businesses. He also recommended the town provide a shuttle for the employees using the lot.

Donoghue says the location is the most viable.

“As a quick estimate there appears to be about 35 parking spaces at the property,” he said.

There are currently boats on the property. Donoghue said the harbormaster has indicated that they would soon be in the water and the lot would be open.

The recommendations also called for instituting a two-hour limit at the Schoolhouse Road parking lot to encourage Harwich Port employees to use the proposed Bank Street lot. The limit would also prevent beachgoers from using the lot all day.

There would also be separate parking set aside at the Bank Street lot for visitors using the nearby conservation area.

Donoghue said the lot should also be lined to alleviate confusion and parking hazards.

Bank Street residents expressed concerns for increased traffic and speeding that could result from using the property for parking.

Resident Robert Piantedosi said the committee was unbalanced to favor businesses.

“We need a balanced conversation about how we are going to do this,” he said.

Piantedosi said Bank Street residents were not allowed to participate on the committee and that there were no public notifications about meetings.

“Obviously a lot of work was done and I appreciate much of that effort, but I think it was clearly unbalanced,” Piantedosi said.

Resident Stan Moody said the discussion needs to be opened up with residents.

“There are a lot of people here who are concerned about it and I think they should be brought into the conversation,” Moody said.

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