|North Adams Commission Passes on River Street Parking Ban|
|By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff|
04:07PM / Monday, March 20, 2023
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Traffic Commission is holding off on any changes to parking along River Street near the Corner Store.
The commission had received a letter from resident Nancy Bullett and several phone calls from residents about congestion specifically between Holden and North Holden streets caused by cars parked along River Street.
"The way the cars were parked right up to the corner and with the high, like the SUVs, and that [drivers turning out of North Holden] really couldn't see oncoming traffic," Chair MaryAnn King told the commission on March 8. "You had to like almost pull out halfway in the road to turn before you can see oncoming traffic."
She said she didn't want to hurt any businesses by prohibiting parking along the north side and so had spoken with the police. The result was the Highway Department installed new signs for "no parking here to corner" on both sides of the street to remind motorists that parking within 20 feet of an intersection is prohibited.
The south side of River from the store almost to North Adams Sheet Metal is a 15-minute parking zone that was being abused, King said, "officers have been made aware of it, officers have been ticketing in that area."
"I have noticed since the signs have gone up, it really has alleviated a lot of the congestion in that area," King said, later adding, "I would like to leave well enough alone for now just to see like, I said, I don't see it as congested and I have been frequenting that area."
She asked for authorization to draw up a letter to local businesses to remind them it is a 15-minute zone and the violators could be cited. She also noted that there is city owned property nearby where people are parking and, despite some chatter of Facebook about being ticketed, she said no one has been ticketed for parking in those empty lots.
Commissioner Marie T. Harpin said she had driven through there a number of times over the past couple weeks because of the complaints.
"I just drove back around this way and it does seem that those signs that you put up have helped because it really only leaves maybe one or two cars that you could park on that side of the street," she said.
City Councilor Bryan Sapienza, who had also brought up the issue at council before being informed the Traffic Commission was handling it, said the signs may be working but in the future, "we may not have a choice" in banning parking on that stretch.
The commission also held off on any decisions regarding a second crosswalk near Greylock School. King said she had received a memo from the principal and reached out but had not gotten a response by the time of the meeting.
There was a question of whether having two crosswalks that close together would pass state muster and King was concerned about cars being parked between two close crosswalks. The matter was table until more information was forthcoming.