NASHUA — A pilot program that would allow overnight parking on several downtown roads in the Tree Streets neighborhood is one step closer to becoming a reality.
On Wednesday, the aldermanic Infrastructure Committee voted to recommend final passage of the proposal, which must still be approved by the Board of Aldermen before it is officially implemented.
Currently, overnight parking of more than two hours is banned along any public roadway in the city, with violators being fined a minimum of $25. The one-year pilot program will allow overnight parking on a portion of 20 downtown streets.
During a lengthy discussion about the proposal, several adjustments were made by the committee. Rather than permitting 300 parking permits, aldermen increased the amount to 400 permits after being informed that about 600 parking spots are actually available in the designated area.
In addition, aldermen significantly decreased the price of the permits from a suggested $100 a year to $10.Several residents in the Tree Streets community may not be able to afford a $100 annual permit, according to Alderman Diane Sheehan, Ward 3, who suggested the cheaper fee. The primary goal of the pilot program is to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood while also getting vehicles off private yards, she said. If permits were $100, it would not likely prevent residents from parking in their yards, Sheehan said.
“I always thought $100 would be too much,” said Alderman Richard Dowd, Ward 2.
Alderman-at-Large Mark Cookson said the cost of the permits should enable the pilot program to at least be revenue neutral by covering the price of establishing and issuing the permits. The final permit fee may be reviewed and amended by the full Board of Aldermen if it decides that $10 is not appropriate, he added.
According to the proposed ordinance, the pilot program will enable on-street parking between midnight and 6 a.m. on portions of the following roads: Ash, Badger, Beech, Buck, Cedar, Central, Chestnut, Elm, Hanover, Kinsley, Mulberry, Palm, Pierce, Pine, Pleasant, Vine, Walnut, West Hollis, West Pearl and Wilder streets.
In order to obtain a permit, residents will have to offer a proof of residency by showing a current automobile registration, driver’s license, utility bill issued within the last month or other evidence of residency deemed adequate by the city clerk’s office.
The Board of Aldermen is expected to vote on the proposal at its next meeting on Oct. 8.