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
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.
Lowell Downtown Neighborhood Association
November 28, 2022 7:00 PM.
LTC Meeting room
Minutes of the Meeting December 16, 2022
- LDNA Minutes – October 24, 2022 November 28, 2022
- LDNA Minutes – August 22, 2022 October 24, 2022
- Lowell Downtown Neighborhood Association August 22, 2022
- Lowell Downtown Neighborhood Association May 23, 2022 7:00 PM. Minutes of the Meeting August 22, 2022
- Lowell Downtown Neighborhood Association April 25, 2022 , 7PM LTC Meeting Room Minutes of the Meeting May 23, 2022
- Lowell Downtown Neighborhood Association March 28, 2022 April 22, 2022
- Lowell Downtown Neighborhood Association