by Terry Rogers
On Monday, June 11, Milford City Council approved a $43 million budget which included funding for parking lot upgrades throughout downtown. The upgrades were discussed at a November 2017 Public Works Committee meeting and include changes to the City Hall parking lot as well as the parking lot in front of Arena’s.
“We could maintain angle parking in the Arena’s lot, but widen the drive aisles,” Mark Whitfield, Director of Public Works, said. “Currently, that parking lot is not ADA compliant, so with better lining, we can get 109 spaces with four handicap spaces. If we change from angle parking, we can get 116 spaces with five handicap spaces. This will make that lot more functional. We will work with the building owner for the spaces in front of Arena’s and Fur Baby since the City does not own those spaces.”
In addition to the parking lot at Arena’s, the City is planning to make minor modifications to the lot at City Hall. Currently, the lot has 43 spaces, but by relocating the existing entrance to the north and installing a second entrance where a utility pole currently sits would allow for more parking at City Hall.
“The utility pole is no longer necessary,” Whitfield explained. “The guy wire is no longer needed so the utility pole is obsolete. The reconfiguration would allow another fifteen or so spaces with some minor work. We are also looking at the parking lot across from Davis, Bowen & Friedel, across from Penney Lane, behind Georgia House and next to the City’s Customer Service Department in order to maximize parking in the downtown area but want to start with these two projects first.”
Councilwoman Lisa Peel feels that the Arena’s parking lot is a priority, indicating she chooses to park on the street when she visits the restaurant due to the layout of the parking lot. Whitfield explained that changes to that parking lot would require some of the lights in the parking lot to be relocated. In addition, the entrances and exits on Denny’s Row would need to be adjusted to accommodate the new flow of traffic.
Both the City Hall and parking lots in front of Arena’s would also be resealed or resurfaced. The cost for the upgrades is estimated at $45,000 and the FY2019 budget indicates the cost will be absorbed by the Economic Development Fund.
“We have also received funding from the USDA to improve downtown parking signage,” Whitfield said. “We have been installing signs that indicate where public parking lots are in the downtown area and want to add signs in those that are not directly located in downtown to show how far away they are to encourage more people to use them.”
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