The committee met through the winter, heard from DPW superintendent Rob Perry and members of the Hudson Fire Department about the rationale for the regulation, and tried to comprehend why nightly alternate side of the street rules apply to some streets but not all. Ultimately, it was concluded that the best they could do was improve the signage regarding overnight parking regulations, and in May, the ad hoc committee ceased meeting.
Last night at the Planning Board meeting, the issue of overnight parking regulations came up again in the discussion of the two buildings proposed by the Galvan Foundation for North Seventh Street. One of the changes to the project plan, as explained by Andy Didio of Taconic Engineering, was to widen that block of North Seventh Street by 36 feet to allow parking on both sides of the street.
Lindsay Zefting, the traffic consultant retained by the Planning Board, reported that, with the additional cars anticipated from the two new buildings, 95 percent of the available onstreet parking spaces would be filled overnight. She said 85 percent utilization was a "widely acceptable number," but 95 percent was "a little bit high." She spoke of the city's alternate side of the street regulation for overnight parking and suggested, "If it ceased to exist, it would free up more parking spaces."
Planning Board member Larry Bowne opined, "The city needs to take a proactive role in addressing the parking issue," adding that he didn't understand "why we have alternate side of the street parking." Speaking of the overnight parking situation, Planning Board member Laura Margolis said, "It makes it hard for me to approve a project, that I think is a good one, if it negatively impacts the people who live there." Planning Board member Clark Wieman asserted, "A city policy is causing a problem." Bowne added, "It is limiting our ability to do affordable housing if we don't change the parking policy," referring to overnight alternate side of the street parking.
In the end, it was decided that the Planning Board would write a letter to the Common Council advocating for abandoning alternate side of the street regulations for overnight parking. Margolis suggested they might also "sit down and talk to Tom," referring to Council president Tom DePietro.
Back in February, DPW superintendent Rob Perry explained to the Common Council ad hoc committee the connections between overnight parking regulations and street cleaning, and street cleaning and adverse impacts on our sewer system and the environment. He said that 99 percent of the material picked up by the street sweeper is dirt, "which will easily settle in city sewer mains and clog pipes." He cited a consent decree from the Environmental Protection Agency and the City of Hudson SPDES (State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit, both of which stipulate a regular program of street cleaning as a critical part of proper operation and maintenance of the city's combined sewer system, and warned of more incidents of CSO (combined sewer overflow) and possible fines from EPA and DEC if the city were be abandon its current street cleaning program. Perry maintained that the overnight parking regulations now in place are crucial for carrying out that program. Gossips' report on that meeting can be found here.
It will be interesting to see how this problem is resolved.
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