Parking in the town of Amherst

Published: 08/12/2022 17:49:02 Modified: 08/12/2022 17:45:47 The City of Amherst government is again trying to take over the p...



Published: 08/12/2022 17:49:02

Modified: 08/12/2022 17:45:47

The City of Amherst government is again trying to take over the parking lot from the citizens of Amherst. Now they also want to remove parking on Sunset Avenue and Elm Street.

The Amherst City Council should allow as much unpaid daytime parking as possible for visitors, workers and students. I know the owners of Lincoln Avenue have been reciting horror stories about parking on this street, but that’s not what I see on a daily basis. I see a manageable traffic pattern under control with frequent speed bumps.

I also see hard-working members of the community: workers, students and visitors, who use a public resource – free public parking – in a careful and efficient way. Those people parking on Lincoln Avenue are doing nothing wrong. They contribute to the community, pay taxes, work and learn. They do their best to navigate Amherst’s infuriating parking landscape, without the city paying for it.

After parking, they have to walk or bike half a mile or more to get to work or class at UMass or downtown. The City Manager proposes to effectively ban daytime parking on Lincoln Avenue. Did he speak to these community members before making this proposal? No. Has he considered all the consequences of this change? No.

Free parking is a scarce public resource in Amherst, a resource that belongs to the community as a whole, not to the 13 homeowners who have parking in front of their homes. The City Manager proposes to remove 200 additional parking spaces for community use.

If Amherst wants to be the place to visit, live and work, it should commit to making parking convenient and free. After all, we are in the Pioneer Valley, not in the suburbs of Boston.

james barna

Amherst



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