Downtown Pittsfield Parking Study Inspires Ideas for New Signage, Variable Parking Rates, and Elimination of Time Limits

Last fall, after public input, Mayor Bianchi launched a study to find ways to improve parking in thriving, downtown Pittsfield.

The Mayor commented, “Serving the best interest of the downtown area, and residents who visit downtown, required updating our parking system.  After careful analysis of downtown parking, and outreach to the local community (including business owners, downtown residents, employees, artists and visitors of North Street) we are ready to bring the findings of the study back to the public.”

The 18-member Downtown Parking Management Committee, comprised of city officials and leaders from downtown businesses and organizations, worked closely with the consultant team of Nelson/NYgaard to come up with a proposed parking management strategy.

“Earlier this fall, we asked for public feedback at the start of this process through a successful online survey and open house meeting.  The purpose being to best serve the publics’ parking concerns.  The opinions and insights of the citizens’ of Pittsfield was of the upmost importance as we took steps to address the parking problems.” said Mayor Bianchi.

Following extensive outreach and analysis, the first proposed parking management strategies and recommendations will be presented at a public meeting, 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21st, in the Berkshire Athenaeum’s basement level auditorium. The public is invited to provide input and feedback on the proposed changes and considerations.

Although downtown Pittsfield has over 6,300 parking spaces, the current parking system, as it is managed today, falls short in meeting the needs of customers, visitors, residents, and employees. The study team seeks to use those parking spaces more efficiently, and is reviewing the current zoning and creating shared parking opportunities that increase the use of private spaces. Ideas include pricing spots based on demand, new payment technology, a revised employee parking permit program, and better signage. Initial strategies include establishing a downtown Parking Benefit District and improving the administrative structure of governing entities, finances, and enforcement strategies.

“We are excited by the proposals and look forward to hearing from the community,” says Community Development Director, Douglas Clark.

Join us!

When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 21

Where: The Berkshire Athenaeum Auditorium, basement level

              One Wendell Avenue, Pittsfield

More information: http://www.cityofpittsfield.org/