GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The city of Glens Falls is taking a close look this year at its parking accommodations. The city’s Special Projects Committee is putting the focus on overnight parking – and how to do better for residents of the city’s smallest properties.
Last week, the committee visited the city Public Safety Board, to have a conversation about where parking is easy and safe in the city – and where a permit should be enforced. Currently, parking is free during the day throughout Glens Falls, with a time limit downtown. Overnight street parking is prohibited from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. – and the current city government doesn’t fully know why.
“The general principle behind overnight parking – and actually day parking in our neighborhoods – is in our laws that we have introduced so far, which have been to discourage. We want people parking in their driveways, not in the streets,” said Mayor Bill Collins. “It’s not written anywhere, but it’s clearly the underlying intention of the current laws that exist. No parking overnight? Nobody can really remember why we passed that law.”
Collins presented a list of streets that the city thinks could safely handle overnight parking. The “stick to your driveway” principle still applies, but the city has amassed a list of exceptions. Roughly two dozen homes lack any parking, or enough for their current number of residents. Collins calls these “postage stamp properties.”
In recent months, the owners of several postage stamp properties – many of which are rentals – said they would be willing to pay for their tenants to park on the streets. Collins’ suggestion is to enact permit-only parking around the city – at $1,000 per year. The steep cost would be a way to make sure the privilege isn’t abused, and guarantee spots for the postage stamp tenants who have been doing without.
“Because we don’t want people parking who have the need, and others who have driveways – we want them to park in their driveways. But those who need this – we have had indications that they would be willing to pay this. Therefore, what I think we’d get is about a dozen to two dozen permits requested,” Collins said.
The Glens Falls Department of Public Works has weighed in, pointing out that it cleans up after storms quickly, with no need for “left-side” and “right-side” parking days. The DPW has a history of working overtime to clean up streets in a matter of hours, getting streets safe faster than larger cities like Albany can manage. The city of Glens Falls is already investing in new parking technology that could alert permit holders by phone call or app alert, telling them when their car needs to move.
Parking has been on the city’s mind for some time. In April, Glens Falls released a parking survey, seeking community input on downtown parking – and, indeed, opinions on overnight permits. A proposed construction project could eliminate parking on South Street upon the completion of a new farmer’s market space.
The conversation doesn’t stop here. The Glens Falls Special Projects Committee next meets on Tuesday, May 16, at City Hall to discuss overnight parking further.