Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

April 24, 2013

Parking study vital to downtown


The Andover Townsman

---- — Editor, Townsman:

The Andover Economic Development Council is sponsoring a warrant article at the May 6 Town Meeting for $18,000 in order to conduct a study to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of the current system for managing the parking inventory in downtown Andover.

Core to the mission of the EDC is the continuation of a thriving downtown area for our community. Though there have been parking and traffic studies in the past (the last one was completed in 1991), these studies have focused mainly on supply and demand of the parking stock. This recommended parking study will build upon the data gathered from previous studies as well as additional information to be gathered through a survey of customers parking in downtown conducted by members of the planning staff.

The EDC is working closely with the Andover Police Department so that the final results will meet their objectives and benefit all the citizens of the town. Together we are looking at, among other things:

How are parking spaces utilized today? Are we taking advantage of our current capacity?

How do we develop a pricing strategy such that customers/residents/employees have access to convenient, safe parking options?

Is the parking enforcement effective, fair and consistent?

What are the best long-range parking solutions from an economic development standpoint as planning for our downtown continues?

Clearly, a thorough and thoughtful parking solution will have significant benefits for all of us, including such things as better turnover in prime parking locations, improvements to traffic flow and enhanced connectivity between parking locations and businesses to facilitate pedestrian access. In addition, by carefully analyzing usage, perhaps the parking and enforcement revenue mix might change to our benefit.

Parking is a valuable component of working, living and shopping in town, and this study will enhance our understanding of the key issues. The Board of Selectmen, Finance Committee and Planning Board all support this article, and the EDC respectfully asks for your support, as well, for the parking study, warrant No. 48) at Town Meeting.

Please help us take this step as we continue to make Andover the best place to live and work in America.

TIMOTHY L. VAILL

Chairman

Andover Economic Development Council