How Many Spaces Should The Public Have at the Memorial Building?

FRAMINGHAM – Two years after a panel recommended more parking at the Memorial Building for the public, little action has been taken.

In May, 2016, a Blue Ribbon Committee convened by then-Framingham Town Manager Bob Halpin recommended that “parking for police station and Town Hall
personnel be provided in close proximity to Town Hall but not in the parking lot immediately adjacent to the Memorial Building as that lot should be dedicated for
public use.”

Last night, was the first night of summer hours for the City of Framingham.

On Tuesday nights, the Memorial Building is open until 7 p.m. so members of the public can pay bills, get a birth certificate, or visit the assessor’s office. In exchange for late hours on Tuesday nights, City Hall closes early on Fridays in the summer at 1:30 p.m.

Unfortunately, several members of the public who tried to visit City Hall found no parking spaces available in the lot between the police station and the Memorial Building.

Besides labeled parking spaces for the Mayor, and almost every other department in the building, there were 11 new horses blocking off spots for the City Councilors, who had an executive session and then a 7 p.m. meeting.

One woman texted Source with a couple of the photos below and said I left work to stop and get a dog license, and I couldn’t find a spot. “The only open spots were reserved for politicians and city employees. There should be spots for the public.”

A Framingham man messaged Source on Facebook with a photo and said I had to circle the Memorial Building twice to find a spot on the street, as there were no spots in the lot.

Those two individuals were not alone in their complaints. Source received more than a half dozens complaints from residents, between 5 and 7 p.m. last night.

“Why have City Hall open late if you don’t have any parking spaces for those who need to do business at City Hall?” said a woman, who said she just went home and decided to pay her bill online, with the additional fee.

There are about 110 spots in the lot between William Welch Way and the Memorial Building. The first row, is typically reserved for police and police cruisers, but is currently under construction.

There are 8 spots reserved for City Hall employees next to the Memorial Building. City recommends tandem parking, so those 8 spots hold 16 cars.

In the middle of the lot, according to the City, there are another 36 assigned parking spaces.

City Council Chair Dennis Giombetti said last night was the first time that spaces were reserved for the City Councilors, since they were sworn in on January 1.

He said early this morning, the 11 spaces will not be reserved for the next City Council meeting.

Back in 2016, the Blue Ribbon Committee proposed “development of a surface parking lot for Framingham Police and Memorial Building staff thereby making the Town Hall lot available to constituents undertaking municipal business and to the public.”

When the Danforth Building closed, new permit only parking spaces were erected in that lot, within walking distance to the Memorial Building.

The City recommends that library staffers at 49 Lexington Street, and Memorial Hall employees park in that lot.

The lot is typically 3/4 full.

Editor’s Note: After 7 p.m. when City Hall is closed on Tuesdays during the summer, and any day when the Memorial Building is closed for regular business, the public can park in designated spots in the lot, like spots for the purchasing department.

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Some of the photos are courtesy of Source readers (two taken by Source).

 

 

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

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