A pilot program to help assess the need and style of the future of downtown parking will begin Monday, May 14th and continue through Friday, July 20th. Parking meters in the downtown pilot area will be covered so they no longer accept coins. Instead, parking will be managed through a two-hour limit at spaces with covered meters. Enforcement hours will be 8 AM to 5 PM.
The decision to create this pilot is an outcome of a study of Maynard’s downtown parking capacity conducted in 2017 by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC). The Maynard Economic Development Committee, Town Planner, and the Maynard Police Department reviewed the study recommendations and created this program to better understand the impact of changes before implementing a permanent solution. Jack MacKeen, chair of the Maynard Economic Development Committee (EDC), states “The study recommended that the Town manage parking differently before considering adding more spaces. New spaces will be expensive, but getting people from available spaces to their destinations through our very walkable downtown is manageable and shouldn’t be expensive. This pilot is an attempt to model one possible way to manage parking differently.”
For the duration of the pilot, covered metered parking spaces along Main Street, Nason Street and in the central parking area will be limited to two hours per space. This should enable patrons to access local businesses from nearby spaces. Those requiring longer-term parking – employees of downtown businesses, for example – may park in the municipal spaces on River Street, behind CVS, and in the Summer Street Lot, as well as at metered spaces on Summer and Walnut Streets. These spaces will not have a two-hour limit imposed.
During the pilot, patrons who used to drop coins in the meters will now park for free in the pilot area. However, those parking for longer than two hours may receive an overtime parking violation citation of $15.00.
Town Planner Bill Nemser explains the reasoning is that for all day/evening parking, mostly for employees/owners, the slightly longer walk is hardly a change. “Think of how far you walk at a traditional mall or even a large strip mall. Our entire downtown is smaller than many malls, both indoor and outdoor styles. Enabling customers the convenience of parking closer should be a win for business owners and customers alike.”
The Maynard Police Department and Economic Development Committee will evaluate program results after July 20th to determine whether it is an appropriate solution to our parking management concerns.
For additional information:
Mark Dubois, Chief of Police, Maynard Police Department; 978-897-1011
Jack MacKeen, Chair, Maynard Economic Development Committee; 978-897-2863