By Grace Mayer
FRAMINGHAM – Garden in the Woods visitors will be allowed to park on the west side of Hemenway Road that borders the garden’s Framingham property, an exception to a city-wide parking rule, after the Framingham Traffic Commission voted for the exception Tuesday night during a virtual meeting.
Throughout Framingham, the “odd/even” parking rule has forced cars to park on the west side of the road during even numbered years, and the east side of the road during odd numbered years.
With 2021 being an odd year, cars that couldn’t find a spot at the Garden in the Woods lot were forced to park across the street from the facility, where a neighborhood is located.
But, not soon after, Garden in the Woods was receiving complaints from residents about parking in their neighborhoods.
Despite the rule, Executive Director of Native Plant Trust Debbi Edelstein said overflow parking has always spilled over from the garden’s parking lot to the west side of Hemenway Road.
“Along where we’d like to park is really our own property, and we have noticed this year when we’ve had to park in the neighborhood that it is an inconvenience for the neighbors,” Edelstein said.
Not only has the parking impacted residents, Sedewitz said there are also safety concerns for pedestrians who have parked across the street, as Hemenway doesn’t include a crosswalk.
“Even citywide parking provisions forced people [to park] on the other side of the road so then they needed to not only cross the road but sounds like it might have inconvenienced some of the residents on that street” Sedewitz said.
The Traffic Commission, including Sedewitz, vice chair Mario Alvarez, Steve Croci, Brinsley Fuller, and Framingham Police Lt. Harry Wareham, voted unanimously to make an exception to the “odd/even” parking rule, allowing overflow parking on the west side of Hemenway.
Regardless of it being an odd or even numbered year, parking on the east side of Hemenway will be prohibited.
Parking signs bordering the edge of the Garden in the Woods’ property, a 45-acres botanical garden located on Hemenway Road in Framingham, will also be put up.
Before the Traffic Commission came to a conclusion about overriding the odd-even rule, Sedewitz said the Commission sent letters out to residents within the area who they thought would be impacted by the changes.
In the letter, the Commission said they had plans to override the “odd/even” rule, “The thought being that the city-wide odd/even parking restrictions are problematic on this section of Hemenway Road in odd numbered years because Garden in the Woods patrons can’t park adjacent to this facility and must cross Hemenway Road where there is no existing crosswalk.”
Grace Mayer is a senior at Boston College studying marketing and journalism. She is also the head arts editor for Boston College’s newspaper, The Heights, where she’s covered the arts beat for three years. She is excited to report on a variety of beats for Framingham SOURCE this summer. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.