Watertown Parking Report Recommends New Meter Technology, Changes in Fees

A parking consultant recommends replacing Watertown’s current parking meters with “smart” meters that offer a range of payment options. Watertown needs to make some major changes to its parking prices and rules in Watertown Square and Coolidge Square to improve the parking situation in these key business districts, said consultants who studied the Town’s parking situation. The report came after two public input meetings, and observations of how full parking spaces are in and around Watertown Square and Coolidge Square. The presentation was made during a public meeting Tuesday night at the Watertown Free Public Library. Watertown Senior Transportation Planner Laura Wiener said the goal is to make the areas more vibrant and attractive places for people to shop, dine and hang out.

Give Your Opinion on Changes to Parking in Watertown at Upcoming Meeting

The public is invited to give input on Watertown’s Parking Management plan for Watertown Square and Coolidge Square which was presented earlier this year. The Watertown Planning Department provided the following information:

The Town seeks public input on draft parking strategies, presented at a public meeting on May 7. Please join the Town and project team at the Watertown Parking Management Plan Draft Strategies Public Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 7, from 7-8:30 p.m., at the Watertown Public Library (Watertown Savings Bank Room). Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., to review key findings from Watertown and Coolidge Squares’ parking data collection, public engagement survey and January open houses. In January, the public had the opportunity to provide input at two public open houses to review parking supply and utilization data, share parking concerns, and give the Town ideas on how to improve parking management in Watertown Square and Coolidge Square.

What Parking Technologies, Improvements Do You Want in Watertown? Let the Town Know

If you have you been frustrated by not being able to find parking in Watertown Square or Coolidge Square, found a broken meter, or not been able to find the hours when you have to pay to park — well, Town officials want to hear from you. Watertown officials recently hosted a pair of open houses to talk to residents and people who work in Town about the parking situation in Watertown’s two main business districts. There are many parking spaces in these areas, with more than 1,500 in Watertown Square and nearly 1,400 in Coolidge Square. The majority are off-street spaces. Town officials do not just want to replace the aging parking meters, but to come up with a parking plan.

Give Your Opinion About Parking in Watertown’s Business Districts

Town officials seek input about what changes should be made to parking in the Watertown Square and Coolidge Square areas. Residents, workers and others can share their thoughts in an online survey, or attend two upcoming open houses about the two areas. The Town of Watertown sent out the following announcement:

Watertown has begun a Parking Management Plan for Watertown Square and Coolidge Square. The goal is to support Watertown’s retail centers and make them more user friendly and welcoming. The Plan will describe current parking needs, supply, and usage.

Watertown Conducting Survey as Part of Creating Parking Management Plan

Town officials want to know what people living, working and visiting Watertown think about parking in two major commercial areas in town. The Town is creating a Parking Management Plan for Watertown’s two major business districts, Watertown Square and Coolidge Square. To collect information, town officials have created an online survey. The Plan will take a fresh look at the existing parking supply, demand for parking, and look for creative ways to satisfy parking needs, according to the Town’s website. Some of the areas that the Parking Management Plan will cover are:

Improved meter technologyConsistent and easy to understand regulationsOptions for enforcementChanges that could better manage parking and meet ongoing demandOpportunities for shared parkingOther ways to support healthy and successful commercial centers

To take the Watertown Parking Survey go to: www.watertownparkingsurvey.com

Town officials will also be holding two open houses about parking.

LETTER: Councilor Concerned About Impact of Mt. Auburn St. Project on Coolidge Square

(The following is an open letter sent by Town Councilor Angeline Kounelis to the team designing the Mt. Auburn Street Renovation)

Dear Mt. Auburn St. Team, et al,

Many thanks for your response that has been 3.5 months in the making. I echo the sentiments of local residents, who at my suggestion, have written to the Team, only to receive a response focused solely on the scripted design plan. 

Please do not insult me in a condescending manner by stating: “we would encourage you to view this video about implementing Road Diets in New Jersey.”

Changes to Coolidge Square Get Recommendation of Council Subcommittee

A Town Council subcommittee recommended some significant changes to Mt. Auburn Street, including a redesign of one of the main intersections in Coolidge Square. 

Tuesday night, the Public Works Committee discussed the proposed changes to Mt. Auburn Street, east of School Street. The most significant change is the realignment of the intersection of Bigelow Avenue with Mt. Auburn Street, which also turns Kimball Road into a one-way street away from Mt.

Public Sees Visions for Renovation Coolidge Square, Weighs In on Project

Town officials invited the public to come give its ideas for how to redesign and improve Mt. Auburn Street in the area of Coolidge Avenue, while making the area more efficient for motor vehicles, buses, bicycles and pedestrians. Currently, the street has two lanes of traffic in each direction and parking on both sides of the street, but no dedicated bike lanes. Some ideas for changing the street include cutting the number of lanes of traffic to one each way with left turn lanes at intersections, adding bike lanes and making sidewalks wider in some places to allow easier crossings for pedestrians. Planning for all modes of transportation is known as Complete Streets.