NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

May 21, 2013

Newbury board sends 'no parking' ban to curb

(Continued)

Reilly confirmed that limited manpower on some shifts makes it necessary for his officers to prioritize certain calls, such as a high risk domestic violence incident, over parking compliance issues on Plum Island. Still, the chief insists that when his officers see cars parked with tires on the roadway, they do find them in violation and issue tickets. After a recent complaint to police by Eagan, Reilly assigned an officer to specifically patrol the roadway for an entire weekend. Traffic and parking issues are also reported on Old Point Road, Southern Boulevard, and even portions of Northern Boulevard, he noted.

Selectmen assured the residents that the MVPC analysis is one of several avenues being explored to resolve the problem. “We’re thinking about these issues and not taking them lightly,” said Selectman Geoff Walker.

Because of the way it developed — from primarily summer cottages to larger year round homes – the island is “an urban planner’s nightmare,” said Selectman David Mountain, who formerly chaired the Planning Board.

“We’re dealing with a real mess,” that will require concrete solutions, he said.

Carole Doyle, a 16-year resident, wondered if overflow parking from the restaurant might be directed to a nearby lot at PITA Hall instead of onto the road.

A resident since 1969, Maurice Cassidy is frustrated by the lack of respect exhibited by restaurant patrons and other visitors to the area, particularly those who use his driveway as a turnaround point. Cassidy believes the onus is on the owner of the Plum Island Grille to be more proactive in reducing the public nuisance his patrons are creating and in seeking parking solutions for his business that are less intrusive on the neighborhood.

He contends that in all the years he has lived on the island there was never any legal parking along Sunset Drive. But Reilly says for at least as long as he has been police chief — since 2006 — cars have parked on the roadway.

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