7 PM, LTC
Stephen Greene (Arrived 7:30)
Meeting called to order at: 7:02
Approval of minutes
Approval of minutes was put off until next month.
$588.29 balance. Everyone is invited to make a voluntary $10 membership contribution. Our donation to the Lowell Movie Night was well received.
Report by Capt. Crowley (TCrowley@lowellma.gov)
Overall crime count down from last month. Two of the assaults were random violence against homeless persons.
Q & A:
Issues with homeless persons on Prescott St. blocking doorway of building. Homeless people cannot be arrested for vagrancy because those laws have been repealed.
Bikes on sidewalk are a concern.
Pan-handlers are a problem, but there’s not much the police can do. City has tried many approaches, but the pan-handlers have rights.
Important to discriminate between innocuous people and the real problem people.
Issue with vehicles using a shortcut between the LNHP visitor’s center and the area by 110 Canal. — Should be posted with “Authorized Vehicles ONY” signage.
Dedicated walk cycle at traffic light at Market & Central works well and should be replicated at other downtown traffic lights.
Presentation by Nick Navin: Lowell Parking Dept. Director
There’s a need to grow the parking infrastructure to accommodate new growth in downtown area and Hamilton canal. Also lots of deferred maintenance (including recently completed projects.) 14 years since last rate increase.
Parking rates can be a tool to help control demand rather than endlessly increasing supply.
Q&A / Discussion:
Downtown residents begged for a gradual increase – the big jump is really unfair.
Downtown residents have no choice but to park here – the fee is like a mandatory tax.
Downtown residents pay for trash & recycling subsidy but don’t get any services — lower parking rates are a bit of an offset to this situation.
Upcoming Lowell City Council subcommittee meeting should be informed about our concerns.
Condo associations need to be informed about the rate increases. Many associations pay for the parking on behalf of their owners. This is a major problem with any plan that offers a menu of options.
Discussion with Chief Taylor of LPD:
Homeless people an ongoing issue. Moving them from one place to another isn’t really working.
Councilor Samaras: We need to work on improving the Lowell Transitional Living Center so they provide better services.
Legally there just isn’t that much that can be done.
Meeting Adjourns at 8:49.