2014-02-28 / Community

Parking sought near trail access point

By Alex Acquisto
Staff Writer

ARUNDEL — The board of selectmen, on Monday night, decided to move forward with plans to install five gravel parking spaces at the Eastern Trail access point on Limerick Road.

The zoning ordinance that pertains to Limerick Road prohibits parking at the Eastern Trail access point. Residents will have to vote in a special town meeting to change the road ordinance before construction can begin.

“The construction of the parking spaces isn’t really the issue as much as the changing the ordinance that would legally change the right to park there,” said Town Planner Tad Redway.

Public Works Director Roger Taschereau presented to the selectmen at the Feb. 24 meeting the possibility of paved or gravel spaces.

The spaces would be on the northwest side of Limerick Road.

While the money exists in the parks and recreation reserve fund to subsidize the paving option, it is considerably more expensive, said Town Manager Todd Shea.

The approximate cost of paving five parking spots would be $6,000, according to Taschereau.

Last summer Arundel participated in a survey conducted by the University of New England and received compensation for participating in community healthy activities.

The funds are to be used for activities that promote healthy living, Shea said.

The town has been encouraged to spend that money – approximately $1,500 – to fund the installment of parking spaces, Shea said.

Gravel parking spots, factoring in the use of grant money plus the cost of gravel, would cost approximately $500. That money, because it is minimal, would be taken out of the operating budget, Shea said.

“I think it would alleviate the issue to start small like that and reevaluate in the future,” Shea said.

There have been questions in the past regarding the safety of parking spots at this particular section of the road due to the slightly elevated curve and minimal shoulder.

Selectman Jason Nedeau asked Taschereau if installing parking spots would allay this concern.

“Paving delineates a little better, but if they park where they should, they shouldn’t have to open their doors onto the road,” Taschereau said.

Before Selectman Phil Labbe made a motion to use funds for gravel spaces when the weather permits in the spring, Taschereau reminded the selectmen, “Bear in mind this causes more maintenance and will have to be plowed in the winter.”

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