NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

October 25, 2012

Study: Ample parking exists

Draft NRA report finds waterfront can support development

(Continued)

21,850 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, split evenly between retail and restaurant use

About 191 total surface parking lot spaces to serve the commercial development and general public

The report states, “The proposed development plan meets the parking requirements of the city of Newburyport’s zoning regulations by providing 191 total surface parking spaces, which far exceeds the development project peak parking demand of 101 spaces.”

While it appears that parking places would be “lost,” Burke said they are not currently being filled to capacity except on warm holiday weekends.

As part of its parking utilization study, the survey tallied 1,616 public parking spaces downtown, with 923 on-street and 693 off-street.

The following sites were used in the study: State Street lot (31 spaces, three-hour limit), Prince Place lot (44 spaces, all day), Green Street lot (229 spaces, three-hour limit), Waterfront Trust lot, (53 spaces, all day), NRA West lot (115 spaces, all day) and the NRA East lot (221 spaces, all day).

One of the variables of any parking study is that some parking spots are used more than once during a given 24-hour period, Burke said.

The report stated that “the total on-and-off street public parking system operates under effective capacity with a surplus,” except during the peak weekend events.

On peak weekend evenings, the study said private off-street parking was less than 50 percent utilized, “with some private lots, school, bank and commercial lots, nearly empty.”

In its analysis, the study stated that with the development, there would be a “145-space reduction in off-street public parking supply.”

Also, “long-term, off-street public parking (over three hours allowed) is reduced from 433 to 288 spaces.”

The report offered recommendations for the city as it focuses on parking in the future, not necessarily including the NRA project.

In the short term, the report recommends the city “lease or purchase or construct 60- to 80-space surface parking lot to increase supply of long-term, off-street parking and support city’s growing permit-parking program.”

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