Parking problems around town
By Chief James Hussey
Friday, July 28, 2006
During the summer months the Cohasset Police Department sees an increase in parking problems in town. We also receive complaints from residents regarding parking in town. The problems include vehicles blocking the road, the sidewalk or a driveway.
With the average traffic lane in Cohasset measuring about 14-feet in width, and the average car measuring 8- feet across, you can quickly do the math and see where problems arise: Cohasset's narrow streets provide little room to maneuver and very little room for error. That being said, traffic and pedestrian safety become a major concern for the police department.
Some areas in town are posted with "no parking" signs, while many others are not. For example, even though Jerusalem Road, from North Main Street to Atlantic Avenue, is not posted "no parking," you cannot park a vehicle on the street without blocking the travel lane. By blocking the travel lane you cause vehicles traveling in that lane to move across the road into an oncoming traffic lane. This obviously causes a hazard for both vehicle and pedestrian traffic. A vehicle blocking a travel lane is subject to a $25 parking ticket. If the hazard is deemed substantial, the vehicle may be towed away.
North Main Street, from Jerusalem Road to Red Gate Lane, also poses a challenge. During baseball season and through the summer, people sometimes park their vehicles on North Main Street, even though it is posted "No Parking Either Side" on this stretch of North Main Street. Others park vehicles, blocking the sidewalk. There is a reason why the "No Parking" signs were put there. With many youth using the ball fields and the swim center, vehicles parked here will make it difficult for children to be seen by motorists. Blocking a sidewalk may cause children to walk in the street. Please take the time to find a legal parking space in the area. It might be a little walk, but it will help keep everyone safe.
In Cohasset Village, we look to assist the businesses by enforcing the time limits for parking on South Main Street. It is important to our business community here that customers have access to convenient parking throughout the day. Hopefully, people working in the village will park their own vehicles in the town parking lot. It's always tempting to block the driveway(s) to "George's Citgo" after George has closed for the evening. Let's hope that it's not on a night when Citgo has scheduled a gas delivery for the station. If it is, we may have no choice but to tag and tow your vehicle, to provide a way in for the large tractor-trailer trucks delivering fuel.
In closing, the best way to avoid a parking ticket or a tow fee is to take a careful look at where you are parking. Just because the person in front of you parked there, doesn't mean it's legal. If it seems like you're encroaching on a sidewalk (a person should be able to get a baby stroller down the sidewalk), partially blocking a driveway or blocking a traffic lane in such a way that a fire engine or other emergency vehicle may have a problem getting by your parked car, pick a better (legal) place to park. Remember, you can be parked illegally even if there is no signage. Please be considerate toward your neighbors, fellow motorists and pedestrians. Let common sense guide you, and share the road responsibly.
Jim Hussey is Cohasset Chief of Police. Sgt. William Quigley helped compile the information for the column.