As if the hot-button issue of parking in White River Junction couldn’t get any hotter, the recent placement of temporary barriers along one side of South Main Street has people asking questions.
Why are the barriers there? And for how long?
To begin with, you can’t park along the 200 and 300 blocks of South Main Street (roughly from the Big Fatty's/River Roost parking lot heading out of town), and never could. At least, you shouldn’t have. But since January, according to a recent post on their Facebook page, the Hartford Police Department has cited more than two dozen parking violations on that stretch of road.
“It’s pretty narrow,” says Hartford Public Works director Hannah Tyler. “Once you get past Big Fatty’s there’s not much room for parking there, and when people park on both sides it reduces to one lane.”
The town takes some responsibility for the uncertainty around whether parking is allowed there. Until the temporary barriers were placed, drivers saw no signage to prohibit them from leaving their car by the curb. “With help from the Town Public Works and Planning staff,” says the Hartford Police Department post, “we have worked the past several weeks to plan for the purchase and installation of new parking signage throughout the downtown area.”
“We’re looking at this from two perspectives,” says Tyler. “What do we do to increase parking, and what do we do to make parking better. There’s a lot of free-for-all parking because it’s not well signed.”
The permanent “No Parking” signage is expected to be installed this fall.
In the meantime, drivers will have to find other creative parking solutions on First Fridays. And do so knowing that the Hartford PD will continue taking action against violators.