Peterborough

Town looks to add spaces

Select board weighs three options for future of downtown parking

  • Drivers took advantage of parking spaces at the municipal lot on Summer Street Wednesday, as well as the Depot Street lot, where piles of snow remained after the previous day's weather.

    Drivers took advantage of parking spaces at the municipal lot on Summer Street Wednesday, as well as the Depot Street lot, where piles of snow remained after the previous day's weather. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Drivers took advantage of parking spaces at the municipal lot on Summer Street Wednesday, as well as the Depot Street lot, where piles of snow remained after the previous day's weather.

    Drivers took advantage of parking spaces at the municipal lot on Summer Street Wednesday, as well as the Depot Street lot, where piles of snow remained after the previous day's weather. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Drivers took advantage of parking spaces at the municipal lot on Summer Street Wednesday, as well as the Depot Street lot, where piles of snow remained after the previous day's weather.

    Drivers took advantage of parking spaces at the municipal lot on Summer Street Wednesday, as well as the Depot Street lot, where piles of snow remained after the previous day's weather. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Drivers took advantage of parking spaces at the municipal lot on Summer Street Wednesday, as well as the Depot Street lot, where piles of snow remained after the previous day's weather.

    Drivers took advantage of parking spaces at the municipal lot on Summer Street Wednesday, as well as the Depot Street lot, where piles of snow remained after the previous day's weather. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Drivers took advantage of parking spaces at the municipal lot on Summer Street Wednesday, as well as the Depot Street lot, where piles of snow remained after the previous day's weather.

    Drivers took advantage of parking spaces at the municipal lot on Summer Street Wednesday, as well as the Depot Street lot, where piles of snow remained after the previous day's weather. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Drivers took advantage of parking spaces at the municipal lot on Summer Street Wednesday, as well as the Depot Street lot, where piles of snow remained after the previous day's weather.
  • Drivers took advantage of parking spaces at the municipal lot on Summer Street Wednesday, as well as the Depot Street lot, where piles of snow remained after the previous day's weather.
  • Drivers took advantage of parking spaces at the municipal lot on Summer Street Wednesday, as well as the Depot Street lot, where piles of snow remained after the previous day's weather.
  • Drivers took advantage of parking spaces at the municipal lot on Summer Street Wednesday, as well as the Depot Street lot, where piles of snow remained after the previous day's weather.
  • Drivers took advantage of parking spaces at the municipal lot on Summer Street Wednesday, as well as the Depot Street lot, where piles of snow remained after the previous day's weather.

PETERBOROUGH — Is Peterborough a good town to park in?

That’s a question town officials will be asking at a public hearing on downtown parking on Monday at the Town Hall, where they’ll discuss ways to provide additional parking spaces, both long-term and short-term, and get input from residents.

Town Administrator Pam Brenner said Wednesday that the effort was spurred by feedback from meetings held last fall, when the Select Board discussed changing the time limits for various downtown parking spaces. Although no changes were made, Brenner said residents clearly sent a message that the town should look into ways to provide additional parking. So on Monday, residents will be presented with three alternatives that officials have been researching.

“We were hearing that we needed to broaden our options,” Brenner said. “We’re not making recommendations. We tried to work on several possible scenarios.”

The first option, known as NowPark, will be about using current parking spaces — the municipal lots on Depot Street and on Summer Street and the long-term parking spaces along the Contoocook River near the Toadstool Bookshop — in different ways. Brenner said that could involve changes in time limits, a different configuration of the lots, partnerships with owners of private parking spaces, possible shuttle services for long-term parkers from outlying parking areas, or even leaving things as they are.

A second choice, called NewBuild, will focus on the potential for building a parking garage somewhere in the downtown area. Several possible sites have been identified, including the Depot Street municipal lot and the land on Vine Street that is now used for parking by Divine Mercy Parish and could go on the market when the church moves to its new building off Route 101. Other possibilities could be the Guernsey Green land behind the Town Hall or space behind 45 Main Street across from the Town Hall, both on land that’s now privately owned.

The third alternative, known as NewPark, will describe two possible locations for additional parking lots. One site is the land behind the GAR Hall on Grove Street, which the Select Board has agreed to sell to businessmen Cy Gregg and Stan Fry, with the sale contingent on the town building a parking lot behind the building. Another possible site would be the Summer Street fire station, if the Fire Department were to move to a different location.

Those attending Monday’s meeting, which will be from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Town Hall, will break into three groups, to hear 15-minute presentations on each of the three options, including information on how much they would cost. They’ll have a chance to offer feedback at the end of each session and also at a combined question-and-answer session at the end of the meeting.

Additional information about the three alternatives will be going up on the town’s website today. Brenner said feedback from the meeting may be used to plan a proposal that could go to voters at Town Meeting in May.

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