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06/15/2016

Parking restricted to one side of Surf Road

Beginning next month, parking will be allowed only on one side of Surf Road.

approximate area of proposed parking limit on surf roadApproximate area of approved one-side parking restriction on Surf road

The Town Council on June 13, 2016 approved a change in town traffic regulations to prohibit parking on the south side of Surf Road, the side closest to Fort Williams Park.

The change was prompted by a petition from residents citing the narrow width of the road. Parking on both sides, which is now allowed, could hamper access by fire trucks or other emergency vehicles. Speakers at a hearing June 13 said increased use of nearby Casino Beach through the Cape Cottage Beach Association has drawn more vehicles to seek parking on Surf Road.

The formal language prohibits parking "On the southeasterly side of Surf Road beginning at Shore Road and extending to Garden Circle and on either side of Surf Road northerly from 60 feet northerly of Keyes Lane to the terminus of Surf Road at Garden Circle."

The ban on parking north of Keyes Lane - where the road narrows to the width of a footpath, as Town Councilor Sara Lennon described it - is already part of the regulations.

The petition was one of two submitted by Surf Road residents and considered by Police Chief Neil Williams earlier this spring for recommendation. Williams rejected the second petition, which asked for resident-only parking. "Although 'Residents Only Parking' has worked well on the roads further in from Surf Road, I feel part of this is because these roads are out of sight from Shore Road," Williams said in a memo to the Town Council.

At the June 13 meeting, he added that 'no parking' signs visible from Shore Road may discourage non-residents from even entering Surf Road to park.

The vote to approve the parking restriction was unanimous. Councilor Jessica Sullivan said she believed the one-side parking was a reasonable solution to safety concerns, although "I do realize it's going to inconvenience some people."

Councilor Jamie Garvin, who said he is a member of the Cape Cottage Beach Association, also supported the restriction but said it should be considered in a wider view. "I know that later in the year we are sure to be discussing a lot of different ramifications of the increased use of Fort Williams, and potential mitigation of overcrowding there," he said. "I have a real legitimate concern that any alteration to current parking regulations at Fort Williams could have a negative, detrimental impact on a lot of these surrounding neighborhoods," Garvin said.

The restriction goes into effect July 13.