Provincetown Makes Parking Permit Changes

Provincetown, USA – October 18, 2014: People wander along Commercial Street enjoying a summer day and the shops. A small quaint tourist town on Cape Cod.

PROVINCETOWN – The Provincetown select board has agreed to close a section of Commercial Street to vehicles on weekend nights during the summer and to increase rates for parking permits.

The decisions were made at the annual traffic meeting last week.

The new parking permit rules were proposed with the hopes of generating more revenue for the town by making the MacMillan Pier lot more attractive to visitors.

Under the new parking permit regulations, a resident parking permit may be purchased by anyone who pays excise tax or property tax in town.

This change was made to try and ease tension between resident and nonresident property owners.

Nonresident property owners have felt for years that they should have more say in the town government.

Town Emergency Management and Transportation Coordinator Eric Sussman said he thinks it’s fair to include the nonresident property owners on resident parking stickers as they pay a majority of the taxes in town.

The changes also creates two tiers of parking permits. One permit excludes the MacMillan Pier parking area and costs $55, the other includes the lot and will cost $150.

Previously the lot was covered by all permits.

“When current residents want to look at this and say ‘okay my permit price is about to rise’ yes but I ask that folks remember that this is revenue that provides so much else,” said Sussman.

“As previously stated sure, this is the mechanism that allows us to create more resident only parking zones and more resident spots, that does increase that $55 value if suddenly you’re able to park on any residential street in town and we can make more streets resident only streets.”      

The town is aiming for the lot to be primarily a tourist lot.

This would allow for tourists to reduce the time they drive around looking for spots and as a result would ease congestion.

It would also allow for the town to designate more areas elsewhere for resident-only parking.

Police Chief James Golden recommended that the board vote to close a portion of Commercial Street to vehicle traffic on Friday and Saturday nights in July and August.

“The problem is that with everything going on people aren’t paying attention to ‘oh my God there is a car coming up behind me,’ God forbid if it’s a hybrid cause then it makes no noise at all,” said Golden.   

“We manage that area every summer and more and more it’s becoming more and more and that’s 200 percent the reason we made this request. The years of public safety vehicles making loops on Commercial Street that’s done, it’s just too congested.”  

The board took Golden’s recommendation and voted in favor of the closures.

From 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Commercial Street will be closed between Ryder and Winthrop streets.

Currently, a similar closure is in place with the exception of taxicabs.

Golden had suggested that the area be closed to all traffic except public safety vehicles, but the board made the allowance for pedicabs.   

About Luke Leitner

Luke Leitner grew up in Watertown Massachusetts and now lives in West Yarmouth on the Cape. He has been a part of the news team in the News Center since the spring of 2019. He studied business communications at Western New England University.
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