LETTER: Planters still block parking spaces, but why?

Photo by Wendy FordPlanters still block parking spaces on a public way to the water next to the Custom House in Newburyport.

To the editor:

Re: the attached photo of the former parking spaces at the Custom House Maritime Museum. It was taken on Friday, June 7, the start of one of the busiest weekends of the season. Let’s see … a tall ship is docked at the wharf behind the Custom House, with myriad events scheduled around it, all taking place at the museum; it’s also the weekend of the Historical Society’s annual garden tour; the Newburyport Art Association’s annual auction; and there are tours of the Unitarian Church steeple to raise funds for a service trip of the youth of the First Religious Society, to name just a few of the draws, downtown.

Yet, there are those planters still, so unceremoniously placed by New England Development (NED), for no legitimate reason, serving only to block much needed parking for residents and visitors.

On May 10th, The Daily News placed coverage of these usurped parking spaces prominently, at the top of page one; on May 30th, it also ran an earlier letter that I submitted with yet another photo documenting the same view at the start of Memorial Day weekend, another busy time for Newburyport, and for which I received much support from friends in Newburyport. Yet, today, on another incredibly busy weekend, here we are. The barriers persist, despite the great need for parking. Regardless of supposedly ongoing negotiations with the city, why is NED allowed to persist in blocking these spaces at the museum – on a declared public right of way? Is NED being a good neighbor? As I wrote earlier, regardless of negotiations, it would take NED about a half-hour to liberate the much-needed parking.

If this were a Jeopardy question, it might go something like this: How not to be a good corporate citizen in Newburyport?

Wendy Ford