Amherst speeding and parking issues are addressed

AMHERST – Selectmen voted last week to lower the speed limit on part of Broadway near the Baboosic Lake town beach and also considered a number of measures to improve traffic and parking in the area.

Residents had reported that the beach parking lot is sometimes too crowded and drivers go too fast as they approach and leave the beach.

The plan includes having police and fire vehicles drive Broadway regularly to make sure the road is passable, the assignment of a gate guard as a parking lot attendant and notification of the town communications center when the lot is full.

For a long term solution, town officials will also start looking for land that might be available for extra parking, said Town Administrator Jim O’Mara. There are now about 96 spots.

To make sure there is road accesss for emergency vehicles, the town will also install a temporary no-parking sign from the corner of the parking lot driveway exit closest to the pavillion to the town’s right of way on the shore side of Broadway. The highway safety committee recommended that the selectmen pass an ordinance making that no-parking area permanent.

The board also voted unanimously July 24 to lower Broadway’s speed limit from 30 to 25 mph, beginning 300 feet east of its intersection with Hillside Avenue and extending west 300 feet to the intersection with West Street.

The plan was devised by O’Mara, the police and fire chiefs, the recreation director and community development director.

The no-parking ordinance requires two public hearings and the first will be Aug. 14, at the next selectmen’s meeting.

In June, after telling selectmen about a big increase in the sales of non-resident passes, Recreation Director Craig Fraley a cap on admissions, with a preferenceto Amherst residents, was not necessary yet.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or