• Barre to face some growing pains
    January 04,2014

    This is an exciting time in Barre — the rebirth of the Blanchard Block, construction of City Place, plans for the Summer Street center, and other interesting projects are in the works. During these times of transition, public parking throughout the city is in flux as meters are being installed, permit parking areas are being adjusted, and dedicated parking areas are coming online.

    The coming year is going to be challenging as we work out the kinks in providing downtown parking for current and future businesses, employees, shoppers and residents. We ask your patience as we work through the transitions.

    Here are some things you should note:

    n The intention is to put parking meters or dedicated parking signs at each public parking space in the city. There are four different colored meters with different time limits:

    Black-topped meters are in the North Main Street area and have a two-hour limit.

    Yellow-topped meters are predominantly in Merchants Row and have a four-hour limit.

    Green-topped meters are in various locations throughout the city and have a 10-hour limit. Those with regular daytime parking permits can park at green-topped meters without feeding the meter.

    Red-topped meters are in very few locations and have a 30-minute limit.

    n Not all the meters are installed yet, so in some places, regular daytime permit parking is still controlled by signs.

    n Overnight 24-hour permit parking has not been affected by the parking changes. Those areas are still designated by specific signs and require a special 24-hour permit.

    As City Place and Blanchard Block come online, they will be assigned dedicated parking areas behind Merchants Row, around the Depot and in the Pearl Street parking lot, along with a few private parking lots. Public parking spaces in these areas are apt to change from general daytime permit parking to dedicated parking with little or no advance warning, so please be aware of changing signs.

    After the voter-approved TIF bond vote in November, the parking situation will be eased greatly this summer as the city purchases the former Trono Fuels building on Campbell Place and the Ormsby’s Computer Store building and parking lot on Keith Avenue. The buildings will be torn down and these areas will be converted to parking lots, netting 80 to 100 additional spaces.

    The influx of new businesses and commercial buildings in downtown Barre is a great development for the community. However, we will be experiencing growing pains for the next year or so. The next several months will be a challenge, but it will be well worth it in the end.

    Daytime and 24-hour parking permits are available through the clerk’s office. If you notice any problems with parking, please bring them to my attention, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 476-0242.

    Thank you for your patience.

    Carol Dawes is the city clerk for Barre.

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