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March 09. 2014 9:54PM

Parking lot study to go before Peterborough voters

PETERBOROUGH — May town meeting voters will be asked to approve a feasibility study for up to $80,000 for a proposed parking lot behind the GAR Hall on Grove Street.

Select board members decided to propose the parking lot after reviewing feedback from an online survey and a previous public hearing on multiple solutions to the downtown parking problem.

“Clearly the number one choice was to put parking there behind the GAR Hall and a foot bridge connecting it to Depot Square,” Selectwoman Barbara Miller said Sunday.

“It was really clear from both the online survey that we did and the public hearing that we had that that was everyone’s number one choice.”The town owns the GAR Hall, but has an agreement to sell the building for $172,000 to local businessmen contingent on the construction of a parking lot.

Miller said board members would either propose the feasibility study as a warrant article or as part of the town operating budget.

If approved the item would allow Public Works Director Rodney Bartlett to spend up to $80,000 to determine whether the proposed parking lot is feasible, Miller said.
The first step Bartlett would take would be to work with the Department of Environmental Services to determine if any environmental or flood plain issues prevent construction of the parking lot and foot bridge.

That is the first hurdle and could render the solution unfeasible, in that case only a small amount of the $80,000 would have been spent, Miller said.
The second most popular solution with residents, merchants and downtown workers was reconfiguring the parking that already exists downtown by adding more two and three hour time limitations.

Proposals to build a parking garage or increase satellite parking were not popular, Miller said.

“Employees are really the ones that are looking forward to having this additional parking resource for them,” Miller said.

“Most people felt a parking garage, no matter how you design them, they are not good looking.”

mpierce@newstote.com


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