BUCKFIELD — The three 15-minute parking spaces between the Municipal Building and the new Fire Rescue Station have been eliminated to facilitate emergency vehicles responding to calls.

The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously Tuesday to not allow parking in the spaces, as recommended by fire Chief Tim Brooks. He told the board he was worried people would still park in the space.

“They’re going to park in those parking spots that are really no longer,” he said, adding that he doesn’t think signs and stripes are going to be enough to stop the practice.

Board Chairwoman Martha Catevenis suggested towing vehicles that continue to park in the space.

Brooks also wanted to change the traffic pattern in the horseshoe-shaped driveway in front of the Municipal Building at 34 Turner St. His idea was to allow emergency vehicles to drive down and exit from the entrance of the one-way horseshoe-shaped driveway to save on response time during emergencies.

Town Manager Cindy Dunn supported Brooks’ recommendation to eliminate the parking spaces but did not agree with changing the traffic pattern, and Catevenis echoed those sentiments.

Brooks said time is of the essence in the fire and rescue business.

“We own the road for when the lights are going,” he said. He didn’t think changing the traffic pattern would be a problem.

Dunn said a traffic pattern change could be as beneficial as it is dangerous with additional traffic trying to enter and exit the site when rescue vehicles are responding to 911 calls.

Catevenis said it’s worth taking a little bit longer to respond to emergencies if it prevents an accident from happening en route.

“Yeah but we don’t have the time,” Brooks said.

Selectmen voted 3-0 to eliminate the parking spaces and left the traffic pattern as is. 

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