Saturday, March 29, 2008

Chat with the mayor about parking

Today a friend and I ventured forth to City Hall to meet with Mayor John Moak at his Saturday open house. Time was at a premium - people were filtering at a regular rate - so I only had a couple of minutes to chat about municipal matters. He did say, however, that he and I should sit down and discuss some issues I raised.

Today, I really wanted to know his response to Stephen Karp and his team saying publicly that parking and traffic issues were the city's problem and the city has to resolve them itself.

"I'm pushing back on that," the mayor said. "I'm going to need some justification for that. I'm not convinced there's a parking problem now."

Of course, he added, if "people" take (parking) off the waterfront, there will be a problem and "I'm not naive to the fact that we need public parking."

By "people," of course, he means the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority (NRA), the quasi-governmental entity that owns the two parking lots on the river.

Just to be clear, New England Development or Newburyport Development or whatever they are called here, has to provide parking for whatever they build at Waterfront West as part of the Waterfront West Overlay District (WWOD).

"He's taking care of his parking down there," Moak said. "He has pledged up to 400 spaces."

So basically we're talking a possible city parking garage and one serving Waterfront West. Two parking garages in our little city (more on this in another post).

On another note, I noticed while driving home that the space where Newburyport Lighting used to be has a "For Lease" sign hanging on the door. Wasn't that where Chico's was supposedly going in? Maybe I missed the report in the daily paper ... always a possibility.

1 comment:

Ari said...

I thought I heard the Chico's deal went sour, but this story from last month indicates different.