NORWAY — Selectmen will determine this month whether to remove the two-hour parking limit on Main Street.
The town’s eight-page parking ordinance, in part, calls for a $25 fine for those who violate the 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. two-hour limit. The ordinance, which covers parking issues townwide, was enacted in 1978 by voters and amended over the years.
A public hearing on parking issues is set for Thursday, Dec. 18, at the Town Office. It will follow a 7 p.m. public hearing on the structural condition of the L.F. Pike & Son store on Main Street.
Although parking issues come up occasionally, there have been no recent complaints, Town Manager David Holt said. The issue was raised, he said, after a recent editorial in the Advertiser Democrat, a Sun Media publication, in part, called for clearer signage for nighttime winter parking bans and downtown daytime parking rules.
Holt said sometimes a downtown merchant complains that their clients can not have their hair done within two hours, or someone wants to have something to eat and go shopping for more than two hours — but usually it is not a problem, largely because the daytime parking restriction is not often enforced.
The parking signs that replaced parking meters years ago “didn’t work well,” he said.
Police Chief Rob Federico said the dozen or so signs are faded and hard to read, so the daytime restriction is not obvious to the public.
Of the 32 parking complaints received this year, nine were from Main Street, he said. Of those, only four or five involved the two-hour parking limit. Three involved private property incidents.
Several selectmen said they don’t see the need for the daytime downtown parking limit and would welcome people to park on Main Street for more than two hours.
Federico and Holt said there are other parts of the parking ordinance that are strictly enforced, including handicap parking and overnight parking bans for snow removal. These are safety issues and police are aggressive in enforcing them, the chief said.
Parking is prohibited on any street or road in Norway from Nov. 15 through April 15, between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. It is enforced particularly when snow plows need access to clear the streets. Unless there is snow, Federico said, it is rarely enforced.