Downtown White River Junction is booming. With more people living, working shopping and eating in town there are concerns about parking. Hartford garnered a municipal planning grant and then hired
Resource Planning Group and Vital Communities to study the parking situation.
As a culmination of the 15-month effort, a steering committee and staff will present their parking recommendations to the Selectboard and the public on Tuesday, September 26 at 6:00 PM in room 1 of the Hartford Town Hall. The 154-page study was made public in advance of the meeting. Click here to read it.
Here are a few takeaways excerpted from the report's executive summary.
While locations within the study area experience conditions nearing full capacity, the overall parking supply in downtown has remained well above the total demand. At most 66% of the total parking supply was being utilized in the winter midday observations from 2017.
The community was divided around the issue of parking enforcement and whether or not the Town should build a garage to accept the expected increase in parking demand.
The project team identified four broad strategies for the Town to pursue:
1.) Make the Most of Existing Capacity which can be achieved through safety and access improvements, signage improvements, continued monitoring of parking conditions and optimizing zoning.
2.) Reduce Demand for Parking which can be achieved through encouraging employers to incentivize non-drive-alone travel, short- and long-term transit improvements, bike and walk infrastructure improvements and supporting shared mobility options.
3.) Manage Parking Turnover which can be achieved through maintaining the enforcement status quo, increasing enforcement without meters (tire chalking) charging for parking via parking kiosks, charging for parking with parking meters (with or without occupancy sensors) and developing clearer practices for enforcing winter parking bans.
4.) Develop New Parking Capacity which can be achieved through converting the “Legion” lot into a parking deck, developing the private lot owned by Home Comfort Warehouse, developing the “Y” lot southeast of the train station, developing the lot behind Elixir and Vermont Salvage and developing several smaller lots to be used as interim parking.