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Parking spot by post office crosswalk to become motorcycle stalls

August 08, 2018
MEREDITH — A parking space across from the post office will be turned into motorcycle parking with the hope that it will improve pedestrian safety in that part of Main Street.

On Monday, the selectmen agreed by consensus to allow the space by the crosswalk to be turned into motorcycle stalls amid concerns about pedestrian safety at the crosswalk.

At a previous meeting, the selectmen discussed the need to examine safety by the post office with multiple comments on how cars will go fast in that area and how large vehicles parked by the crosswalk block the line of site for pedestrians.

Selectman Ray Moritz brought up the subject again at Monday's meeting, asking about the possibility of having a temporary speed bump across Main Street in that area. Town Manager Phil Warren said research around temporary speed bumps indicate they can be a hazard for emergency apparatus and can turn into a potential missile due to the way they are fastened to the ground.

Selectman Nate Torr asked about possibly making that last parking spot by the crosswalk reserved for subcompact vehicles. Warren said this is something that could be done, though designating it specifically for compact cars isn't enforceable under state law. While state law has provisions for handicapped parking, there is no laws that can enforce the type of vehicle in an average space.

Another concern is the reaction of businesses on Main Street.

"We can do it, but I can tell you there would be a concern among the Main Street merchants that we would be taking parking spaces away," Warren said.

He said the board could make the decision to alter that space, but it should be ready to hear from merchants on Main Street.

"I'd hate to take a life though," said board Chair Jonathan James. "That is a great spot. The only one that seems to park there is a big truck."

Torr asked if something could be done on a temporary trial basis, even if it can't be enforced.

Warren said the definition of compact vehicles is also fluid and there are people with larger vehicles like Hummers who would say their vehicle is compact.

Warren did mention "from a selfish standpoint" as a motorcyclist that there are no designated spots for motorcycles in downtown. He said Conway has stalls dedicated to motorcycles, something the board could consider for that one spot. Warren said they could turn that space into three stalls for motorcycles, saying he knows Frog Rock Tavern gets many patrons who ride motorcycles.

The selectmen agreed by consensus to try turning that spot into motorcycle parking.

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