Parking ban on Oval?
MILFORD – Finding a space to park downtown has been a problem for decades, and selectmen last week said they would take another stab at a solution.
Owners of shops and restaurants complain periodically about the lack of parking, and a Milford Oval shop owner recently emailed a concern to town officials. At the board’s Sept. 14 meeting Chairman Mark Fougere noted that there used to be meters and meter maids and police would mark tires, all in effort to discourage long-term parking.
"I’ve seen merchants parked in front of their own businesses," he said. "It’s an issue that’s with us constantly. Unless we build a multi-million garage, it will always be a problem."
The town got rid of the two-hour parking ban because fines weren’t covering the cost of enforcement, selectmen said, and merchants didn’t like parking enforcement officers giving tickets to their customers.
Selectmen Mike Putnam and Kathy Bauer said it’s unlikely anything is going to change, because people tend to park near their homes or their workplaces.
Putnam said that during his eight years on the board the subject has been "beaten to death … When I was a kid it was a problem" and it doesn’t make sense to continue talking about it.
Nevertheless, the board decided to consider a parking ban for the morning hours when the problem seems to be greatest. Tenants parking overnight in front of the several Oval restaurants that serve breakfast seems to be the chief problem.
Selectman Gary Daniels will draft an ordinance. Board members also talked about sending letters to tenants in the downtown apartments letting them know there are other options, including free parking in the municipal lot next to the police station.