Bath council to finalize High Street parking resolution

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BATH — The City Council is scheduled to vote a second and final time Wednesday, Jan. 7, on the conversion of a section of High Street in front of the Winnegance General Store to one-way traffic.

Councilors unanimously granted first approval to the proposal Dec. 17. City staff have worked with the Parking and Transportation Committee, store owners and neighbors about parking demands created by the store’s opening last year, according to a Dec. 10, 2014, city memo.

The change is the result of greater parking demand than anticipated, which has caused conflicts with neighbors and an adjacent day-care provider.

The preliminary solution is to change one segment of the street, a loop near the Phippsburg border. Traffic will flow southbound and parking will only be permitted on the east side of the street.

The proposed permanent solution would widen the segment of High Street by four to six feet, allowing two parking lanes and one through-travel lane.

“These tiers of improvement have been recommended by the Parking and Transportation Committee and generally agreed to by the adjacent property owners and concerned citizens as an acceptable solution,” according to the memo to council Chairwoman Mari Eosco from City Planner Andrew Deci, Police Chief Mike Field and Public Works Director Peter Owen.

“The permanent solution is predicated on developing an acceptable cost-sharing scenario involving the City and adjacent property owners,” the memo said. “Further action from the City Council may be required to implement the final solution – including amendments to the parking ordinance.”

The Winnegance store operated from 1902 to 2009, then fell into enough disrepair to be named one of the state’s most endangered historic resources in 2013.

Jennifer Greene – who splits her time between California, where she practices law, and Phippsburg, where she has summered all her life – renovated and reopened the longtime community hub last summer.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.