By Ashlyn Kelly
FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham Traffic Commission last week voted unanimously to send the request of implementing a handicap spot on Pine Street to the regulation subcommittee for more discussion.
Stacy Velasquez, a resident on Pine Street, requested the addition of a handicap spot between 38-40 Pine Street.
Velasquez said she is disabled, as is her neighbor ,who uses a wheelchair.
The designated parking spot for her is on the other side of the building and is “unsafe” for her to walk from, said Velasquez.
She said the regular street parking is “jam-packed, especially in the evening. After coming home from appointments and stuff, it can be sometimes impossible to find a space close enough to my home that makes it safe for me.”
Velasquez added there used to be a handicap spot on the street, but it was removed when the “odd-even parking” went into effect.
Pine Street is now a one-way with parking allowed on only one side of the street. Pine Street is located in District 8 in the Coburnville neighborhood, off of Hollis Street (see map below).
According to William Sedewitz, chair of the Framingham Traffic Commission, there is no policy or protocol on how to consider a request of this type.
“The only thing is we just need to think about consistency and precedent,” said Sedewitz. “What criteria might we want to use to make this decision and be consistent for future requests.”
Sedewitz, who is interim Framingham DPW Director, added, “We did try to do some research into what some other communities do.”
One concern members of the Commission had was the parking space becoming available for anyone with a handicap placard to use once the spot is designated as a handicap spot.
Currently, the neighborhood requires a resident sticker to park, according to Sedewitz.
Sedewitz asked for a motion to be made to refer the issue to the regulation subcommittee “to try to come back in somewhat short order on some kind of criteria, if not a full-blown policy, to not have this linger for too long.”
Velasquez said, “I would appreciate, like you said, short order because it is something that we care about on the street and would like to see done.”
Ashlyn Kelly is a Spring 2022 SOURCE intern. She is a is a senior communication arts major with minors in political science and journalism at Framingham State University. When she is not writing an article, you can usually find her in a theatre.