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Nashua aldermen consider overnight parking in Tree Streets neighborhood

Union Leader Correspondent

May 15. 2013 8:54PM

NASHUA — Aldermen are considering a pilot program that would allow overnight parking on several downtown roads in the Tree Streets neighborhood.

On Tuesday, the Board of Aldermen was presented with a proposed ordinance that — if approved — would enable the one-year pilot program to be launched.

Currently, overnight parking of more than two hours is banned along any public roadway in the city. Violators are fined a minimum of $25.

However, seven aldermen are endorsing a proposal that would allow overnight parking on at least a portion of 20 downtown streets. The pilot program would include a limited number of permits, which could then be used to park overnight in certain locations on the specified streets.

Overnight parking could give this section of the city new opportunities, according to James Vayo, a local resident who spearheaded the idea. Changing the dynamics of the Tree Streets community by allowing individuals who own vehicles to rent apartments in that vicinity could be beneficial to the area, added Vayo, of Renaissance Downtowns.

“I believe this would be a very good thing for our neighborhood,” Vayo told city officials this week.

It would also make life more convenient for residents who already own cars in that area but have to park overnight at the Elm Street parking garage, said Vayo.

According to the proposed ordinance, the pilot program would enable on-street parking between midnight and 6 a.m. on 20 specified roads. Residents who live on those 20 streets where overnight parking is permitted will be allowed to purchase a $100 permit enabling them to park overnight on the street.

The cost of the permit could be paid in full or in four quarterly installments, according to the proposal. It recommends that a maximum of 300 permits be issued, and that overnight parking during snow emergencies still be prohibited.

“I believe this is a move in the right direction,” said Paul Shea of Tolles Street.

If the parking climate in the downtown area is more welcoming, Shea said, college students might opt to rent apartments in the area, which would enable them to experience more of the city’s culture and lifestyle.

Another local resident, James Cutter of Palm Street, wasn’t as positive about the proposal. He voiced concerns about precious parking spaces being utilized by residents and filling sought-after spots now used by employees at Marguerite’s Place, an organization that assists homeless women and children.

The streets included in the proposal are portions of Ash, Badger, Beech, Buck, Cedar, Central, Chestnut, Elm, Hanover, Kinsley, Mulberry, Palm, Pierce, Pine, Pleasant, Vine, Walnut, West Hollis, West Pearl and Wilder streets.

The proposal has been assigned to an aldermanic committee for further review and analysis.

Politics Nashua