Live-Blogging the Parking Forum 2.0

Parking Forum 2.0 baby! It’s on!

First the good news: “We do believe this should require at least one more session.” Yes! Parking Forum 3.0! [OB]

We open with a word cloud. In which every word is the same size except for ‘parking’, ‘management’, and ‘system’. Which are larger. Still, the cloud imagery is calming. [OB]

The Unitarian is the ideal venue for a parking forum, it bears pointing out. What other denomination has the resilience to accommodate the subtleties and contradictions of parking? [OB]

Ah, talk now turns to the mythical 9-hour meters. Yes, they exist. They are out there. And color-coding them would certainly help make their location more obvious. But wouldn’t that also level the playing field rather too much? [OB]

Prominent ‘Parking’ signs expected to be completed by spring. This should help visitors, if not residents…

Talking of creating a visitor’s map of Amherst that highlights parking and other attractions. Paging Rhys Davies… [OB]

Evidently there are areas that are ‘regulated by the absence of signs.’ This strikes one as a highly efficient form of regulation. Anyway, if there are no signs, you can park there. Assuming where the signs aren’t is on a street, presumably. [OB]

Here we go. The big ticket item. Talk of a new parking facility. Do we need it and where would it go. Must obtain new data. We think we have a lot of supply now but what of the future? May need to re-establish parking commission or parking committee to carry this forward. Don’t all jump up at once. [OB]

As for where… Confirmed that Boltwood Garage was constructed to support 2nd level. CVS lot another oppt. 1989-90 Facilities Study found that CVS lot was more suitable, but for a variety of reasons ‘which some of you are aware of’ (euphemism?) Boltwood was chosen instead. [OB]

Currently 328 rental units downtown. Adding 120 units, making up 4.5% of all town rental units downtown. Whatever this may mean… Anyway, parking forum 3.0 will be middle or end of March. Now, comment period! [OB]

Three comments in and Nick is already holding his head. Suffice to say that someone compared building a new parking garage to putting in a pipeline.

Tamsin Ely points out that the Mass Board of Library Commissioners recommends that public libraries have one parking place for each 400 sq ft of library space. Given current space, the Jones should have 200 parking places. If Jones is renovated, as is hoped, they’d need 300 places. If they can’t demonstrate they have parking, they have less chance of getting construction grant in which state would pay 50% of reno costs.

Dick Bentley. “You mentioned that plans for an earlier parking garage fell thru for reasons we’re all aware of. What is it we’re all aware of?” “It’s a long complicated answer,” is his answer. [OB]

We’ve lost Nick. After 20 years, he can’t hack it anymore. Parking forums are a young man’s game. [OB]

Mary Wentworth. We should have had all this discussion abt parking before the planning board decided to waive the parking requirements and allow these 2 huge buildings, with the 3rd abt to go up, in the downtown. I think the planning board and select board and town mgr must really be nuts to think that the residents of Amherst are going to pay tax money for the construction of a parking garage. It’s just not going to happen. [OB]

Sarah LaCour. BID director, town mtg member. We do need a garage, and it should be in the CVS lot. We can’t expect each new development to create their own parking. There’s simply no room to do that. If we did that we’d have no development of any kind. We have identified the need to put density in our village ctrs. That’s what we’re doing. And making sure we have parking to go w it is an important tandem step. [OB]

Final remarks include an older woman who is pushing public transport, and little electric cars. And a younger man who claims there’s a secret spot behind the Lone Wolf. Is he to be believed? I hope someone told Obama to postpone the SOTU… [OB]