Yarmouth to study downtown parking, traffic concerns

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YARMOUTH — The town is asking for residents’ help resolving parking problems and traffic flow along downtown Main Street.

Information gleaned from the results of an online survey, yarmouthparking.com, will help the town’s economic development department guide its improvement plans.

Town officials did not say when the survey will close, but meetings to keep the public informed about the study and its results will also be posted at yarmouthparking.com.

Having a place to park, whether short- or long-term, is crucial for a company’s success, Economic Development Director Denise Clavette said.

A Portland company, Milone & MacBroom, has been hired by the town to conduct the traffic study. Town officials in February inked the contract with the firm after reviewing proposals from consultants who submitted requests for proposals for the traffic study.

Regina Leonard, a senior landscape architect for Milone & MacBroom, could not be reached on Wednesday for further details on the traffic study.

The Milone & MacBroom study dovetails with a 2016 market analysis that suggested parking on Main Street topped the list of issues affecting business growth and quality of life.

Clavette said the town developed as a village with walkable distances to consumer services. Now, fewer people walk to destinations, preferring to park as close as possible to a store or building.

“With its traditional New England pattern of growth as a clustered settlement, downtown Main Street has evolved over the last century in response to cars and most significantly, the need to accommodate parking,” she said in a study summary.

“The development of private parking lots, for example, accompanied the conversion of large homes to professional offices,” Clavette continued, “as well as the infill of small suburban-style shopping centers and the introduction of new commercial uses such as restaurants and cafes.”

Lisa D. Connell can be reached at 781-3661, ext. 183 or lconnell@theforecaster.net. Follow Lisa on Twitter: @connell_ld.