hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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March 7, 2013

More parking changes - again

More paid spaces on the way

The tinkering with Haverhill’s downtown parking continues.

And the latest changes will force some drivers to change their habits once again.

Five unmarked parking spaces next to Krueger Flatbread and Olivia’s restaurants on Batchelder Court are being added to the downtown’s paid parking program, to chase away day-long parkers who have been using the spaces for free train station parking, city officials said.

The five spaces, where parking has been free without time limits, will be numbered and linked with a nearby paid-parking kiosk, said the mayor’s aid David Van Dam. As with most street spaces near the new parking garage, drivers will pay 50 cents per hour from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. to park there during the work week.

Under the paid program, street parking is free from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., but is limited to two hours. Drivers pay 50 cents per hour to park in city lots, the same as on-street parking. In September, a month after the paid program began, officials said they had sold more than 800 parking permits for $15 per month to people who live or work downtown. The permits are for permit-only and mixed-use spaces in various lots surrounding the downtown train station.

In addition to the new spaces added on Batchelder Court, five other spaces in the nearby Wingate Street parking lot are being converted from mixed-use spaces to permit-only spaces, Van Dam said. Those spaces have been available for metered parking and for people with permits. Van Dam said the change is designed to make more spaces available for people with permits in the downtown’s busiest lot.

City Council, which has final say over the paid parking program, approved those and two other changes proposed by Mayor James Fiorentini last week.

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