Nashua merchants not sold on free parking proposal
While several business owners say they appreciate the gesture by elected officials, they stressed that free parking in December could be detrimental to their sales since vehicles will remain parked in prime spots for hours on end.
Under the proposal, parking fees would not be enforced during that time period in metered lots, garages and on-street parking within zones one through three downtown.
“This has been done before, and it has really proven counterproductive for businesses,” said Koutsos.
“People will park there all day. I am very much against that,” said Lannan.
In addition to a lack of parking turnover, Lannan said there will be less revenue coming into the city if the parking meters are not enforced during two busy weeks in December.
If the proposal was enacted, the estimated loss of up to $20,000 in parking revenue during December would be significant, according to Lannan.
At least one local resident, Paula Johnson, told the aldermanic Committee on Infrastructure this week that she supports the free parking pilot initiative.
She maintained that parking enforcement officers will still patrol the downtown area to ensure that time limits are being followed.
Alderman-at-Large Brian McCarthy is suggesting that back-in angled parking be permitted between Alec’s Shoes and the Persian Rug Gallery, a change that he believes would create additional downtown parking spots along a busy section of Main Street.
Board members did not vote on either proposal this week, as both items remain tabled in committee.
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