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.