Less parking on 7th St., ban on when signs arrive

TURNERS FALLS — The frequent parking glut on Seventh Street should stop shortly, with a partial parking ban beginning on a trial basis.

Town Administrator Frank Abbondanzio said the Board of Selectmen approved the move at their Monday meeting, following a public hearing.

Police Chief Charles “Chip” Dodge III, had proposed a ban of some sort to deal with the hazard for regular drivers and emergency vehicles created by the narrowing of the street during church services.

Once the signs arrive, there will be no parking on the north side of Seventh Street from Avenue A to L Street year-round, Dodge said.

Dodge had suggested a ban extending one block farther up the hill, to Park Street, and enforced only on weekends.

There are four churches in the immediate vicinity and during church functions both sides of the street are heavily lined with cars.

The ban extended from the weekend to all week because church members pointed out during the hearing that there are other functions throughout the week, Dodge said.

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church stood to be the most heavily impacted by the ban, Dodge said, and the L Street to Park Street section will be left open for them.

The ban is in effect on a trial basis until April 1 to get a sense of the impact in summer and in snow, and Dodge said the ban will be enforced with warning fliers for the first week after the signs are installed, tickets thereafter.

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