hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

News

October 3, 2013

Lack of parking angers locals, sellers residents, merchants

Elderly, disabled can't park near Central Square area businesses

The state created problems for elderly and disabled people by eliminating on-street parking in front of businesses in Central Square, according to a resident and employees of one of the businesses.

The changes came as part of the state’s massive Route 125/South Main Street reconstruction project.

Bradford resident Claudette Ennis said that since the spaces were eliminated as part of a redesign of the square to improve traffic flow and safety, elderly people and those with disabilities are having a hard time finding places to park that are close to businesses along the west side of the square. Those businesses including Greg Foucault Appliances, the Village Square Restaurant, Recycling I.T. and Liberty Tax.

“They put in the lights and it’s horrible, and they also eliminated parking along South Main Street,” Ennis said about changes made by the state, which include traffic lights that slow down traffic in the square. “Seniors and people with disabilities have nowhere to park. They took the spaces away.

“I’ve been going to the Village Square Restaurant for breakfast years,” Ennis said. “Every since they started construction, it’s been difficult finding a place to park. There is a parking lot out back, but there usually aren’t enough spaces available. And some days they are doing road work so we can’t park there at all.”

She said the reconstruction project also took away parking spaces along South Main Street in front of the nearby Rite Aid store.

“You can’t park anywhere near the traffic lights in the square,” she said. “Many people I know have had issues with parking in this area.”

Central Square received a major facelift during the $13.1 million Route 125 reconstruction project, with the addition of traffic lights, islands to channel cars in new directions and wider sidewalks in some areas. The new lights replaced old ones, which had not been working for years. Eliminating about a half dozen or so spaces along South Main Street where several business are located was part of the project.

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