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LDNA Minutes 20240122

President Jack Moynihan began the meeting at 7:00 PM. He introduced the Treasure, Stephen Greene
and noted that the secretary, Robert Casey, was away.
The minutes for the October and November meetings were approved with no changes. The was no
meeting in December.
Stephen Greene gave the treasure’s report. LDNA has $2,212.29 in its account at Enterprise Bank. This
reflected a $30.00 deposit and no disbursements.


Captain Dan Desmarais presented the Police Report. He began with the restructuring of the Department
on January 8 th with one captain over the whole city rather than 3 sectors. This reorganization provides
better coordination and allocation of resources. This includes improvement in day shift outreach and
sharing information among shifts. He also reported on crime statistics for November, December and the
first 3 weeks of January. Car breaks were the major category. Residents are reminded that most car
breaks were to unlocked vehicles. He minded folks to lock their cars and not leave any items of value
visible. There were 6 disorderlies and 7 vandalisms. The Captain will be meeting with Garage Security
with the objective of reducing car breaks in the garages.


Captain Desmarais reported that several “gypsy thefts” occurred in the Lowell area. A car with a driver
and passenger drive up to potential victim on the street and talk them in to trying a piece of jewelry
similar to what the potential victim is wearing. The plan is to switch a good piece of jewelry with a flashy
piece of junk before they speed off. Another item of interest he reported was the Tic Tok Kia/Hyundai car
theft challenge, to break into these cars and steal them.
Captain Desmarais has reached out to the Inn and Conference Center’s security team. There is no longer a
sector office at Eastern Bank. Neighbors have reported kids at the Victorian Park and suspected drug
activity. Security in the Hamilton Garage has been absent. Garage management has been poor overall
and it is hoped that a new garage manager will improve the situation. The Captain received praise for his
past work in Back Central.


Newly Elected Mayor Danny Rourke was introduced by Jack. Mayor Rourke presented a brief update of
work currently going on in the City or which is in process. A few items include the Downtown
Wayfinding – new signs and kiosks for downtown including garages which will be installed this Spring.
Jackson Street Park which Councilor Jenness reported last year. A number of development projects on
Market, Merrimack and Middlesex St. A new Sushi restaurant on Merrimack. Plans for an Economic
Development Coordinator for the Downtown and Neighborhoods by this Spring. During Questions,
Mayor Rourke took questions on downtown snow removal particularly at corners, cross walks and bus
stops which is a challenge for pedestrians. Persistent potholes on major streets was also mentioned.


Elections were held. Jack Moynihan has stepped down after 10 years as co-president and president. His
service is greatly appreciated. Laura Lamarre Anderson has stepped into the breach as the nominee for
president. The slate for elections: Laura Lamarre Anderson, president: Robert Casey, Secretary; Stephen
Greene, Treasurer. The slate was elected/reelected. Thank you, Laura.​


Leticia Marques from City Hall announced that there are about 5 Board or Commission openings in the
City. If you are interested, contact City Hall, boards@lowellma.gov for more information. You can also
check the City Website.


Winter Fest is February 16-17 and in a new downtown location – Middle and Palmer Streets, Enterprise
Bank Parking lot and St Anne’s.


Wayne Jenness thanked his constituents for reelecting him. He also reported that a new Women’s
National Hockey League is playing at the Tsongas. He said they are playing excellent hockey and support
will help keep them playing in Lowell.


Stephen will share the LDNA web site with Market Mills management to encourage wide participation in
the Lowell Downtown Neighborhood Association meetings.


Stephen Greene, Secretary pro tem.

Lowell Downtown Neighborhood Association

November 27, 2023
Minutes of the Meeting

President Jack Moynihan called the meeting to order at 7:03 PM.
Treasurer Greene reported a balance of $2212.29, which reflects no new deposits or
expenditures. Approval of the minutes of the October 23 was postponed.

LPD Sgt. Christy Delaney gave the police report and noted that the data are now being
provided via the LPD servers for the first time since the cyber attack earlier this year. The
statistics indicated a good month overall with no particular spikes in incidents reported. Of
10 car breaks, 8 of the entries were gifted by vehicle owners who left their cars unlocked.
Two of 4 burglaries resulted in arrests and the cases closed. Similarly, 5 of 6 charges of
disorderly conduct resulted in arrests. There were 12 incidents of vandalism though the
events appear to be random. Sgt. Delaney then took questions from some of the members.


Jean Yang, from the CEO of Vinfen, gave a short presentation about the
agency and its mission before introducing Executive Director Daniella Johnson. Daniella
explained that VBH Community Services, currently headquartered at 40 Church Street is in
the process of moving many of its services to a site on Varnum Ave, which will be closer to
Lowell General Hospital and improve articulation of their services. The current Church
Street facility will remain open for the time being.
Daniella outlined that VBHC provides walk-in service for both youth and adults with a
range of services including experiencing mental health or substance abuse emergencies.
The services are rendered in one on one, group or family settings. Along with walk-in or
appointments, VBHC also has a mobile crisis intervention program and maintains
partnerships with both the GLTCHS and Middlesex Community College where they provide
on-site clinicians. Vinfen accepts patients with or without health insurance and derives a
good deal of its funding from state and federal sources.
Before closing, Daniella talked about ways to support Vinfen and also mentioned that, like
many organizations, they struggle to fill positions and are actively engaged in hiring staff at
various levels.


Before adjournment, Jack Moynihan announced that after 10 years as “interim” president
of LDNA, he is planning to step down and continue to participate as member (in pretty
good standing). He spoke hopefully about LDNA’s future and offered to support its next
leader.


With no further business, at 7:48 pm, the motion to adjourn passed unanimously on a
motion and second from Laura L. Anderson and Greg Anderson.​


Respectfully submitted,
Robert Casey,
Secretary

Lowell Downtown Neighborhood Association

October 23, 2023 Minutes of the Meeting

President Jack Moynihan convened the meeting at 7:00PM.
Treasurer Greene reported a balance of $2212.29, which reflects no new deposits or
expenditures.

The minutes of the meetings of August 28 and September 25 were unanimously approved
on motions by Stephen Greene with Laura Lamarre Anderson seconding each.

LPD Captain Marisol Nobrega reported for the months of September and October. There
were 8 aggravated assaults, some involving high school students with LPD and its school
resource officers assisting. There were 4 burglaries, with one perpetrator accounting for 3
of the crimes. As usual, most of the 9 car breaks were due to unlocked cars and the captain
again repeated LPD’s reminder to lock up and keep valuables off the seats and in the trunk.
There were 3 disorderly conduct arrests. Plus, 5 patrons of Trend on Merrimack St were
arrested following a late night incident requiring back up cruisers to the scene. Trend
owners and management have been slated for a disciplinary hearing before the Licensing
Commission. Along with a robbery where the suspected shoplifter was arrested, there were
10 incidents of random vandalism along with 2 tagging (graffiti) incidents. Before taking a
few questions, the Captain announced that the Downtown LPD satellite station housed in
Eastern Bank has been closed.


Next was a Meet-the-candidates for City Council. LDNA invited all the city-wide and district
4 candidates. In attendance were Wayne Jenness (District 4), and at-large candidates Rita
Mercier, Vesna Nuon, Eric Gitchier, Cory Belanger, Bobby Tugbiyele and Virak Uy.
Moderated by Bob Casey, the forum included a 5 minute presentation from each candidate
followed by questions from the audience. Each of the candidates was invited to respond to
questions on issues from homelessness, to housing to reinvigorating the downtown
economy. While there was plenty of back and forth, the candidates were gracious to each
other and responsive to the questions posed from the audience. As the forum concluded
Bob thanked the candidates for participating during a very busy week of stops on the
campaign trail.


At 8:25 pm with no further business, the meeting adjourned on a motion by Sally Coulter
and a second from Stephen Greene.


Respectfully submitted,
Robert Casey,
Secretary

Lowell Downtown Neighborhood Association

Lowell Downtown Neighborhood Association
Minutes of the Meeting of September 28, 2023

Jack Moynihan called the meeting to order at 7:04 PM.


Treasurer Greene reported our balance at $2,212.29 which reflects a $20 deposit against no expenditures.


Approval of the minutes for the August 28 was deferred to the next meeting.


Jack introduced Captain Marisol Nobrega, the newly appointed commander of Charley District which includes downtown. Captain Nobrega has been working on introducing herself to the district and has met with other neighborhood groups and recently held a meeting with downtown business owners. She also has secured an additional officer (despite the department being short 36 officers) and is working toward greater police visibility and presence downtown. The captain reported that there were 70 arrests throughout the entire district over the past 2 months. Downtown incidents ranged from assaults(2); disorderly conduct (6); car break-ins (7); a burglary at Fuse Bistro; a robbery at an ATM at 148 Central Street; vandalism at 70 Merrimack Street. Captain Nobrega briefly discussed the shooting incident at Canal Place on September 22, stressing it was not a random incident and was still under investigation. (Subsequent to this meeting, LPD did make an arrest). Questions about homeless sleeping in doorways, noisy vehicles, and the status of the ICC came up. Captain Nobrega closed by distributing her contact information and urged DTL residents to contact her anytime.


Jack introduced Councilor Corey Robinson to speak about his idea to develop plans to utilize the upper floors of downtown garages. With the current excess of available parking spaces, the councilor spoke about the innovative approach taken in Lawrence where they converted the top floor of a garage into 4 turf fields for youth and adult sports programs. He asked the members for their ideas and received several suggestions and a good deal of support for the concept. Among the suggestions were a dog park and bocce courts.


Councilor Eric Gitchier was also in attendance, and Jack invited him to speak . He mentioned that he was filing a motion to study the possibility of demolition of the Smith Baker Center. He indicated he believes the facility has fallen into severe disrepair.

Treasurer Greene spoke next and suggested that with more than $2,000 in our account, it may be time to think about either funding a project or planning a social event in the near future. Discussion to be continued

.
With no further business, the meeting was adjourned, following a motion and second by Stephen Greene andLaura Lamarre-Anderson at 8:20 PM.


Respectfully submitted
Robert Casey,
Secretary

Lowell Downtown Neighborhood Association

Minutes of the June 26, 2023 Meeting

Jack Moynihan called the meeting to order at 7:03 PM.

The minutes of the June 26 meeting were approved on a motion by Sally Coulter and Judy Huber.

LPD Captain Dan Desmarais began the police report by reminding residents that the best way to curtail car break-ins is to lock their vehicles. Additional activity in the downtown district included a few juveniles with BB guns apprehended following the Folk Festival; random downtown sweeps for nuisance wheelies, bikes and scooters; stepped up traffic stops for speeding; and increased surveillance in the Appleton Street/South Common area. With schools opening, LPD has assigned an additional officer to the district resulting in increased coverage through 9pm.

Jack introduced our fellow DTL resident, State Representative Vanna Howard who represents 46,000 residents in DTL, Back Central, Belvidere, and a portion of Tewksbury. Rep Vanna highlighted the 2024 budget which included increases for education, transportation, early childhood, mental health, family housing and workforce development. She also reported Lowell will receive 1.9 million in CH 90 funds, and 21.4 million in federal funds for bridge repair/replacement on Broadway St, Market St, Lawrence St and Swamp Lock at the Hamilton Canal District. Her office continues to work closely with MADOT on brush removal, clean ups and infrastructure projects. With respect to Public Health measures, Rep Howard indicated the state is tracking increases in tick bites and COVID. She strongly supported the implementation of 988, the state’s new suicide prevention hotline.

Treasurer Stephen Greene reported reported a balance of $2,192.29 with no deposits or expenditures.

Prior to adjourning, Jack mentioned some of the upcoming events that make for a lively period in DTL, including: International Overdose Prevention Day (8/31); the annual Kinetic Race (9/16); the opening of One Lowell, the NPS interactive exhibit (9/23); and the Bay State Marathon (10/15).

The motion and second to adjourn by Sally Coulter and Stephen Greene passed unanimously at 8:16 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Robert Casey,
Secretary

Lowell Downtown Neighborhood Association June 26, 2023 Minutes of the Meeting

President Jack Moynihan called the meeting to order at 7:02 PM.

The minutes for the May 22 meeting were unanimously approved on a motion and second by Sally Coulter and Judy Huber.

LPD Captain Matthew Penrose reported on police activity in the DTL area. On account of the cyber attack earlier this year, the statistical analysis was not available. The Captain commented that there was typical activity for the first part of summer with a slight uptick in nuisance related disturbances and cars break-ins. LPD continues to plead with the public to lock their cars. There were a few calls to the local bars with a limited number of arrests. LPD accordingly has stepped up weekend patrols. There were 2 burglaries, one at the Life Alive restaurant on Middle St with the cash register stolen. LPD continues to monitor nuisance bike and motor scooter activity in the downtown areas through video surveillance and coordination with school resource officers.

Captain Penrose also mentioned that LPD, in coordination with other agencies, had removed homeless encampments near downtown and described efforts to assist the displaced with transportation vouchers and shelter suggestions.

Treasurer Greene reported a balance of $2,122, which reflects $40 in deposits and no funds expended.

Joann Marcos from the National Park Service spoke next regarding the upcoming 2023 Lowell Folk Festival and other Park Service programs this summer:

Folk Festival : Four stages again: Boarding House Park, Arcand Drive, St. Anne’s and Market Street. The Marketplace, “Experience Lowell” will be moved to the Enterprise Bank parking lot on Middle St.; Volunteers still needed including an assistant transportation coordinator.

NPS news : A new interactive exhibit “Once City, Many Cultures” opens September 23; canal boat tours, trolley service and walking tours are operating two days/week with schedules available on NPS website.

Jack welcomed Allison Carter, Economic Development Director, and Elizabeth Oltman , City Transportation Director, to discuss Lowell’s forthcoming Open Streets pilot program for Fall, 2023. The program would involve creating a car free pedestrian zone on parts of Palmer, Shattuck and Middle Streets. Ali and Liz took several questions and suggestions from the membership to incorporate in their planning.​

After a few announcements including news of a forthcoming grant for bridge replacements and repairs, the meeting adjourned following a vote on a motion to adjourn by Stephen Greene and Sally Coulter at 8:17PM

Respectfully submitted,
Robert Casey,
Secretary

Lowell Downtown Neighborhood Association April 24, 2023 7:00 PM. LTC Meeting room Minutes of the Meeting

Jack Moynihan called the meeting to order at 7:01 pm. Featured guests: Assistant City Manager Yovani
Baez-Rose and District City Councilor Wayne Jenness.


The minutes of the February meeting were approved on a unanimous vote, following a motion & second
from Stephen Greene and Judy Huber.


Treasurer Greene reported our current balance is $2,242.29 , which reflects $190 in recent deposits
against zero expenditures.


With the city’s computer systems down due to a cyber “event,” LPD Captain Matt Penrose adapted his
monthly report to an overview of police activity in the downtown district. He touched upon the ongoing
investigation into the grafitti/tagging situation in downtown and other parts of the city. He also reported
that with the warmer weather, the traffic disrupting bicyclists are being seen; he reiterated LPD policy of
restraint on pursuit for safety concerns. The Department does utilize surveillance to identify youthful
riders and engages with schools and parents to address concerns.


Captain Pemrose also reported that downtown bars are busier but that disruption and conflict have thus
far been minimal. He cited the Department’s proactive approach working with the business owners and
guests. Captain Pemrose also talked about the city’s effort and frustrations in dealing with loitering
issues. He finally reiterated that the overwhelming number of automobile break-ins are due to owners
leaving their vehicles unlocked. He provided an interesting description of how would be perpetrators
sweep through a street to find unlocked cars.


We received word that Ms Baez-Rose would be unable to join the meeting as scheduled for a discussion
about the status of the Hamilton Canal Innovation District.
Councilor Jenness updated the meeting on two items on the 4/25 City Council agenda: one to establish
sister city agreements with two cites in Cambodia; another, a proposed loitering ordinance. Mr. Jenness
reported that the city is ready to start installing new parking kiosks. He is actively supporting
amendments to the Chapter 90 funding formula along with an updated road maintenance plan. Another
initiative he is supporting is a petition to the Mass School Building Authority (MSBA) requesting formula
changes to support greener energy practices. Finally, he announced that the City has received funding
for the Complete Streets program. On a question about projected parking garage rate increases,
Councilor Jenness is hopeful that increases will be within the normal range.


Announcements: The Points of Light Celebration at Ecumenical Place is April 29, 6-10 PM. Volunteers
needed!
The Town and Country Music Festival, April 28-29


With no further business, the motion and second to adjourn by S. Greene and W. Jenness, was
unanimously approved at 8:27 pm.​


Respectfully submitted,
Robert Casey,
Secretary

Lowell Downtown Neighborhood Association March 27, 2023 7:00 PM – LTC Meeting room

Minutes of the Meeting

Jack Moynihan called the meeting to order at 7:01 pm. Featured guest: Jessica Wilson (DPD) and City
Councilor Wayne Jenness.
The minutes of the February 27 meeting were approved on a unanimous vote, following a motion & second
from Laura Lamarre Anderson and Wayne Jenness.
Treasurer Greene reported our current balance is $1,862.29, which reflects $289 in recent deposits
against zero expenditures.
LPD Captain Matt Penrose, newly assigned to the Downtown Area District, introduced himself and
presented an overview of 2 months of data for the Downtown district. There were 3,377 calls for
service logged in as follows:
524 Medical, EMT etc.
925 Proactive (calls for information, walk ins and reach outs)
369 Motor vehicle related (accidents, tickets, assistance)
206 Disturbances (loud music, fights, trespass)
30 Reportable crimes (burglaries, car breaks, vandalism, graffiti)
6 car breaks (all unlocked vehicles!)
6+ arrests including 1 for graffiti!!!
Overall, Captain Penrose reported the aggregate data presented are consistent with traditional monthly
report levels and indicative of low crime and consistent law enforcement presence in the Downtown
District.
Jessica Wilson from the Department of Planning and Development representing Lowell Forward (the
agency coordinating the Master Plan update) addressed the group and conducted an information and
data gathering session for the Master Plan update. Jessica suggested that future planning relies on
collecting citizen input from Lowell’s various neighborhoods to identify Strengths, Weaknesses,
Opportunities and Threats. Jessica then turned the session over to the attendees to provide input and
prioritize their ideas and concerns. The collected input will be shared to Lowell Forward; the projected
date for completion of the Master Plan is late 2024.
In other business Stephen Greene discussed the challenges and confusion pertaining to new textile
disposal rules and procedures. He stated there is a textile bin at the DPW facility on Middlesex Street;
and others at some of the elementary schools. The closest to downtown is the Rogers School on
Highland Street. More information is available at the Solid Waste and Recycling website –
https://www.lowellma.gov/195/Solid-Waste-Recycling .
Councilor Jenness announced the upcoming City Council Subcommittee on Neighborhoods was meeting
on April 3, at 7PM. He also reported the city has stepped up graffiti clean-ups, and he is working with
Canal St neighbors and the Traffic Department on issues involving speeding and cut through traffic.​
Prior to the call for adjournment, Jack Moynihan congratulated outgoing co-chair Carolyn Alphen and
her husband Paul on the recent birth of baby Charlotte.
Finally, on a motion and second from Sally Coulter and Wayne Jenness, the meeting adjourned on a
unanimous vote at 8:27 pm.


Respectfully submitted,
Robert Casey,
Secretary

LDNA Minutes – February 27, 2023 LTC Gallery Meeting Area

The meeting was called to order at 7:01 PM by Jack Moynihan

Jack Moynihan introduced himself as chair and noted that our past co chair Carolyn Alphen delivered baby Charlotte a few weeks early. Both are doing well. Secretary Bob Casey is away and treasurer Stephen Greene will take notes. Also present were Representative Vanna Howard, Councilor Wayne Jenness, Lowell Public School Superintendent Joel Boyd, Phil Sisson, President of Middelsex Community College (MCC)

  1. Approval of minutes
    The January minutes were approved.
  2. Treasurer’s Report
    LDNA has $1,573.29 in its bank account. The treasurer as per usual reminded the meeting that he would be glad to collect voluntary membership donations after the meeting.
  3. Police Report 
    Police Report Sargent Tracey Kelly of the Lowell Police Department introduced herself. She is a Lowell resident and has been on the LPD for 24 years. Since she is a last minute stand in, she was not prepared to report on downtown crime. She did take questions and comments regarding on ongoing issues. These included: Bar closing issues, including Uber pick up areas; pan handlers; late night drinking in the Roy Garage; numerous overdose responses; graffiti. There is a new tagger. There was a suggestion for a Spring Graffiti clean up and a reminder to call in graffiti to get it on the list for response. The River Walk and Lelacheur Stadium were noted for graffiti; kids on bikes and dirt bikes in the streets were discussed again.
    Resident were reminded of the Snow Parking Ban for that night.
  4. Annual Election
    Having no nominations form the floor, the existing officers:
    • Jack Moynihan, Chair
    • Robert Casey, Secretary
    • Stephen Greene, Treasurer
    • were nominated, moved and voted to serve a new term for 2023.
  5. Guest Speakers
    Representatives from the Downtown Lowell Partnership spoke, Superintendent Joel Boyd led the introduction of the Downtown Lowell Partnership which also includes Representative Vana Howard, Phil Sisson, MCC and the Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce (not present). Lowell High is the 2 nd largest high school in Massachusetts and located in the downtown. With 4,000 high school students and ~3,500 Middlesex Community College students, there this a lot of activity, both positive (business activity and $$ spent) and potentially negative (anxiety over crowds and rowdy kids) for downtown. The high school is not an open campus so students should be in school from 7:40 to about 2:40 The objective of the Downtown Lowell Partnership is to foster a safe environment, enhance education and help the downtown to thrive. The Partnership is looking for a few downtown residents to represent the neighborhood at the table for a few hours each month. The objective is improved communications and mutual respect for students, downtown businesses and residents for the benefit of all. Sort of like the “neighborhood of the past” where everyone knew each other and ​ looked out for each other and the neighborhood. The Partnership is just starting and looking for a few interested folks.
  6. General Information
    • Councilor Jenness began with information about a plan for a small open space park on Jackson Street on what is currently a small vacant City lot.
    • Notify Me, https://www.lowellma.gov/list.aspx , on the City web site is available for get notification from City Hall on many departments, the City Council, etc.
    • There has been no further activity on the proposed increase in Parking Fees – fee increases are part of the overall city fees structure which needs review.
    • Nothing to report on the Municipal Election vote for an elected mayor.
    • Hamilton Canal Development should consider mixed use. Commercial development has been languishing since Covid. The dirt pile on Parcel 15 (side of NPS parking lot) will be moved Textile donation and disposal will be reported at our next meeting. Textiles are banned from trash. Looking for guidance on how to best manage.
    • Downtown trash barrels have been overflowing. Should be picked up twice a week, but some staff and weather problems. Comment that there has been business and residential misuse of these thrash barrels.
    • Stephen Greene asked attendees to encourage support of the MA Labeling of Flushable Wipes bills – SD 1211 and HD 2639. Wipes have created serious sewer clogs for municipalities as well as buildings, leading to environmental release of sewage and building damage/expense. The snow parking ban announcement this evening included a message of no parking within 20 feet of an intersection. Vehicles parking too close to an intersection can block plows, fire trucks and rubbish trucks.
    • Some of the snowbanks at downtown intersections blocked access to the pedestrian walk buttons.
    • Traffic flow from Middlesex on to Thorndike going south at the Lord Overpass is a dangerous and needs attention during this phase of the construction.
  7. Adjourn Meeting
    adjourned at ~ 8:35
    Next Meeting will be in person at Lowell Telecommunications, Monday, March 27 at 7 PM
    Submitted by Stephen Greene, secretary pro tem

Lowell Downtown Neighborhood Association
November 28, 2022 7:00 PM.
LTC Meeting room
Minutes of the Meeting

Jack Moynihan called the meeting to order at 7:01 pm. Featured guests: City Manager Tom Golden;
Economic Development Director, Allison Carter; Transportation/Traffic Engineer, Elizabeth Oltman; and
City Councilor Wayne Jenness.
The minutes of the September 24 meeting were approved on a unanimous vote.
Treasurer Greene reported our current balance is $1,553.29.
LPD Lieutenant Jack Cullen’s monthly police report for the downtown sector indicated typical activity,
and most of the criminal activity resulted with arrests and/or resolution. Two break-ins on Appleton
Street resulted in arrests. There were also 6 auto break-ins, 4 of which involved unlocked cars. LPD
continues to caution residents to lock up their vehicles and keep valuables out of sight. There were five
assaults in the sector including: a fight on Market St; 2 stabbings in the South Street area, and a fight at
Market Mills with a firearm recovered. Finally, there was a smattering of vandalism including 2 broken
windows, graffiti, and shoplifting at 200 Central with a suspect charged. Lt. Cullen attributed some of
the activity to a recent influx of homeless persons in Lowell.
City Manager Golden had requested time on the agenda to discuss and receive input on the idea of
instituting an overnight (2-6 AM) parking ban throughout the downtown neighborhood. (To his credit,
he kept his appointment while grappling with a massive water main break on western side of
Downtown in the Father Morrisette Bvd. Area.)
Manager Golden stressed that his proposal was just that: an idea to generate discussion and input from
stakeholders. There were no immediate plans to implement the program. He suggested that a parking
ban would improve safety and cleanliness of downtown streets, making the city’s “economic engine”
more welcoming to businesses. He reported that prospective new businesses are hesitant to commit to
downtown due to lack of adequate street parking. After his short presentation, he stressed he wanted
to listen to reactions and ideas from the assembled meeting.
Several members spoke offering opinions and suggestions for improving downtown conditions. While
no one embraced the proposal, several residents offered a variety of ideas. Resident Michael Gallagher
spoke as both a downtown resident and business owner. He cited the hardship the parking ban would
pose especially for residents’ quality of life; the convenience of overnight parking is vital for residents
arriving home in the late night, or getting on the road in the early morning. He further stated that he
sees ample parking spaces available for residents, visitors and clients. Jamie Klufts also expressed
concern that many resident do not feel comfortable walking from the garages in the late night and again
stressed that the ban would make downtown living less attractive even as we want to continue to grow
the downtown residency. Jamie also suggested some changes to daytime parking policy to increase the
turnover rate of parking spaces. (eg. Parking should be limited to hours with no renewal allowed). ​
Various members mentioned problems with the current parking conditions including many broken
meters and poorly functioning kiosks. Councilor Jenness acknowledged that he heard many concerns
from residents and stated that new meters and kiosks for DTL are slated for installation in 2023.
Bobby Tugbyiele prefaced his comments by informing the meeting that he was recording the meeting
since the topic was of great interest to a wider population than typically attends LDNA . He then
mentioned that excluding overnight parking creates hardship for those with disabilities. Others present
reinforced the safety issue for those not comfortable with late night trips from the city garages along
with ideas for improving the business climate. Finally, letter from the 30 Market Street Condo
Association was read, indicating opposition to a parking ban.
Manager Golden thanked LDNA members for a productive discussion and invited the membership to
designate a small group to meet with him to continue the discussion and search for ways to make DTL a
more vibrant neighborhood for residents and businesses. Co-chair Jack Moynihan thanked the manager
and members for the positive exchange of ideas.
The meeting returned to its original agenda with an informal presentation from Lowell’s new economic
director and traffic engineer, both of whom joined the city administration during summer 2022. EC
Director Allison Carter introduced herself as someone who most recently held a similar a position in the
town of Arlington. Before that her experience included work in urban planning and historic preservation
as well as non-profits. She finds Lowell an excellent fit for both her skills and interests. She is continuing
to listen and learn and recognizes that Lowell is a city with diverse mom and pop enterprises along with
larger businesses and corporations all located in an array of neighborhoods with distinct characteristics
and needs.
Elizabeth Oltman indicated that she comes to the Traffic/Transportation Engineer from the private
sector where she applied her skills to problem solving and designing plans for individual traffic plans and
projects. With 15 years experience in both NJ and MA, her interest in coming to Lowell is the
opportunity to design and problem solve for the larger, dynamic system that is our city. She indicated
that while she is assessing overall needs, she has worked on traffic calming proposals and the city’s plan
to implement a reduced speed limit on most city roadways.
With the hour late, there were a few questions about the Central Street Bridge and the recently vacated
Goodyear Tire store on Merrimack St. Both Allison and Elizabeth thanked LDNA members and indicated
a desire to maintain communication with residents.
Prior to adjournment, Carolyn Alphen stated she would be stepping down as Co-chair in 2023 in
anticipation of new family obligations, to which she received both congratulations and the gratitude of
LDNA for her service.
With no further business, on a unanimous vote, the meeting adjourned at 8:45pm.
Respectfully submitted,
Robert Casey,
Secretary​