Complaints Prompt Parking Changes on Busy Berlin Street
Parking on Jefferson Street will now be limited to the roadway's eastern side. The town council made the decision at a meeting Monday, Aug. 14 to install no-parking signs on the west side of the narrow street.
"It's about time because I think it was an accident waiting to happen," said David DiFranks, who has lived in a home on Jefferson Street for about seven years.
Neighbors said ever since Berlin earned the national distinction of "America's Coolest Small Town," an uptick in tourism and events has increased traffic in the area where people typically park just about anywhere they find a spot.
"They just create parking," said DiFranks. "They're here for a special event, they're going to park their car. They don't care where it is."
Businesses are affected too. Cookie Auxer of the Jeffrey Auxer Art Studio said it's tough getting out of the driveway.
"It can be a little challenging with the cars if they're on both sides of the street, or even on the other side. But you're just cautious like you are in other places too," said Auxer, adding that the congestion makes for a tight squeeze for trucks as well.
"People park on both sides which makes it difficult for delivery trucks, or even regular cars, to get through," Auxer said.
The no-parking signs are a start but some want to see more done.
"[I] would love to see a parking garage. I don't know if that's in our concept but we welcome everybody. It's a wonderful town to visit but when you can't park it gets a little frustrating for visitors," said Auxer.
Even though a parking garage may alleviate some of the town's congestion, some say doing so may diminish Berlin's small town character.
Town officials said during the first month of the new sign installations, violators will be given warnings - not tickets-- to ease into the new parking rules.