Restrictions to parking on certain streets south of Farmington Avenue and west of South Main Street in West Hartford Center will take effect the week of Dec. 9.
By Ronni Newton
Drivers will need to be on the lookout for updated signage on certain streets in West Hartford Center because new parking restrictions will take effect the week of Dec. 9.
Portions of Arapahoe, Ellsworth, LaSalle, Pelham, and Woodrow are affected by the new restrictions.
Under a plan unanimously approved by the Town Council on Oct. 7, changes will be made to parking on certain streets in the southwestern part of West Hartford Center – a plan intended to address residents’ concerns about noise and other activities associated with late-night parking in neighborhoods.
Parking will be prohibited at all times on one side of streets designated by Town Manager Matt Hart, who serves as the town’s “legal parking authority,” while two-hour parking will remain in effect on the opposite side of those streets from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
In addition, those designated streets where parking has been restricted to one side of the roadway will now also have parking prohibited after 11 p.m. – essentially expanding the overnight parking ban from the current 2-5 a.m. to between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. – unless an omit has been obtained from the West Hartford Police Department. The omit will only apply to the side of the street where parking is allowed at other times.
The map showing impacted streets is shown above and in PDF form below.
The initiative to restrict parking stemmed from discussions with residents of the area southwest of the Center following the Council’s discussion in the fall of 2016 of a “Resolution Concerning Zoning in the Central Business Zone.”
The resulting plan has been a collaborative process between a working group from the neighborhood and the town’s Community Development and Public Works departments as well as the West Hartford Police Department. Director of Community Development Mark McGovern said residents involved in the working group included those who voiced concerns about late night issues in their neighborhoods, including “noise, crowded streets, reduction of site lines, and sometimes property damage.”
The measures are intended to address late-night parking by employees of local businesses as well as customers.
According to McGovern, the plan has been looked at holistically, so that if parking is restricted on one road it would be available on an adjoining block.
“With these restrictions in place, our hope is to encourage greater use of the parking lots and garages in the Central Business District, reduce late-night noise, and lessen the congestion on neighborhood streets,” Hart said in a news release announcing the implementation.
The signs will be installed over a three-week period beginning Dec. 9. Staff will be monitoring the effectiveness of the restrictions, including any impact on neighboring streets.
“The Town of West Hartford appreciates the public’s patience as we seek to improve the quality of life in your neighborhood while balancing the demands of a very vibrant, commercial center,” said Hart.
There are currently more than 20 businesses that have signed up for employee parking at the Town Center Garage. That program provides businesses with a stamp that allows employees discounted rates to park at the garage, which is accessible from South Main Street. There are also 30-40 individuals who have purchased monthly parking in the Town Center Garage through a program established by the Community Development Department.
Questions regarding the new parking restrictions can be directed to Mark McGovern, director of Community Development, at 860-561-7535.
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