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Derry

June 5, 2014

Downtown parking key issue at joint session

DERRY — Signs pointing to downtown parking areas could be clearer, some town officials say.

A joint session between the Town Council and Planning Board sparked discussion about parking, including where people could park and how well those spaces were defined on signs.

On Broadway, parking is mostly on the street or behind the main strip of buildings. Some officials said they don’t think those lots are clearly identifiable.

Planning director George Sioras said there are still parking issues, but many people are walking around town to get lunch or coffee.

That’s a good thing for Broadway, he said.

“We have to walk places,” Sioras said. “You find where you have to park.”

One town lot off Wall Street offers parking, Sioras said, but that lot is often underutilized as it is hidden down behind other buildings.

“People also have a perception of problems,” he said.

Some said there’s a need for better signs to show the way.

“They are not clear where to park,” Town Councilor Tom Cardon said.

Many agreed.

“We don’t advertise our parking well,” Councilor Michael Fairbanks said.

Councilor Al Dimmock said the Wall Street lot is close to the Veterans of Foreign Wars building. Many people don’t know it’s a public lot.

“People aren’t sure where they can park,” he said.

That includes the access points.

“It’s next to useless,” Dimmock said.

The parking area near the town-owned Abbot Court area is not well lighted, he said, making it an unpopular place for people to park who want to access Broadway.

Dimmock said vandalism that need to be addressed.

“You take your life in your hands when you want to get to that parking lot,” he said. “It wasn’t just lighting, it was vandalism and people just don’t feel safe there.”

More talk about parking will be on a future Town Council agenda.

“We’re all after the same thing,” Town Councilor Josh Bourdon said.

That includes developing the downtown more and making sure the parking the town have is well used.

“Down the road, you’re going to need more parking,” Sioras said.

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