Parking Problems In Harwich Continue As Cape Summer Season Ends

HARWICH – A plan to expand the parking lot at Schoolhouse Road in Harwich was deferred by selectmen at recent meeting last month, with town officials opting to instead appoint a seven person committee to handle all parking issues in the town.

Due to an expanding business sector that’s led to an uptick in tourism, parking has been at a premium in Harwich Port.

New developments have also been to blame for the reduction of some parking spots that were previously available.

Town residents argue that too much parking on residential streets and at the beaches has led to a bothersome buildup of traffic and congestion.

Some solutions to the problem have been proposed, but also have come under fire from varying residents in the town. A protest broke out when Chamber of Commerce President Michael Ulrich proposed that the town remove trees along the north side of the Schoolhouse parking lot to make room for an additional 36 parking spaces.

Bob Cohn, a resident of Pleasant Street, was happy with the decision by selectmen to defer expansion plans for the Schoolhouse parking lot.

Cohn says that he’s unsure if “there is a clear right or wrong here, but there are competing interests.”

Cohn adds that he’d like to see an equal amount of town residents on the committee as there are business owners and town officers.

“Business people agree that part of the ‘parking problem’ is a lack of sufficient parking,” Cohn explained. “Residents on the other hand, were often told that there is too much parking on their street, too many parking lots, too many beach parkers, too much traffic and congestion. I have yet to meet a Pleasant Street neighbor who is happy with the on-street parking.”

Richard Waystack owns a parking lot in the town, and explained at the meeting how he’s had to post signage in his lot because of the overflow it receives from beach parkers and employees from other businesses over the years.

“There was a parking study done. It was done by the Planning Board. Madam Chair I had made sure you aware of that, I believe you have a copy at this point. That whatever committee is appointed that you start with the parking study that was already done here in 2014,” said Waystack.

“Let’s not re-invent the wheel. Let’s make sure they have that information and look at the recommendations that were made four years ago that were never implemented for whatever reason.”

Town Administrator Christopher Clark says that any residents interested in joining the committee can do so by filling out citizen activity forms available at the Selectmen’s Office.

By TIM DUNN, CapeCod.Com News Center

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