Parking restricted in popular hiking area along Long Pond Road in Concord

  • New ‘No Parking – Emergency’ signs have gone up along Long Pond Road in Concord. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 8/11/2020 3:56:26 PM

Parking is now officially prohibited along a section of Long Pond Road in Concord, which serves as a gateway to several popular hiking trails on conservation land.

Acting on a unanimous recommendation by the parking committee, Concord City Council voted Monday night to amend the code of ordinances to prohibit parking at all times along a 580 foot section of Long Pond Road’s east side.

Visitors have traditionally parked on Long Pond Road when a limited supply of on-site parking to Marjory Swope Park reaches capacity.

However, parking in the area has been restricted since March. City administration first implemented an interim no parking zone based on an assessment conducted by City Transportation Engineer Karen Hill, who looked into concerns raised by a homeowner.

Phil Donovan, who lives at 42 Long Pond Road, contacted city officials on March 22 to seek relief, noting that during peak times travel near his home is restricted to one lane when vehicles are parked on both sides. Furthermore, he said, he faces hazards when trying to exit his driveway and has previously been blocked in by visitors.

“This has been a long-standing and ongoing issue of both inconvenience and safety,” Donovan wrote in an email to the city planning office. “I would appreciate a discussion with you about how to resolve it to everyone’s satisfaction so we can all enjoy the trails safely. Perhaps allowing parking on only the west side of the road would help.”

When the parking committee was finally able to take up the issue in late April, its members voted unanimously to recommend that Concord City Council approve an ordinance that prohibits anyone from parking on the road’s east side.

After little discussion Monday night, city councilors unanimously approved the measure. The vote followed a public hearing during which no residents testified.

In other business:

City councilors also voted in favor of prohibiting parking along a 70 foot section of Centre Street due to the safety risks the topography poses to homeowners trying to exit their driveways.

Jordan Meher, a resident of 80 Centre St., contacted the city in late February with concerns about people parking on either side of his driveway. Because Meher’s home is near the crest of a hill on Centre Street, his view of oncoming traffic from the west is severely limited and his view from the east is almost non-existent, he told the council by phone Monday night.

He said he sometimes rolls his windows down and turns off his air conditioner to listen for oncoming vehicles because his sight line is so obstructed. When he eventually backs up, he said he is often taking a risk that he fears could result in a serious, if not deadly, car crash.

In a report to the council, Hill recommended that parking be prohibited along a 70 foot section on the north side of Center Street, which eliminates three parking spaces. Her recommendation was backed by the parking committee, which on May 26 voted unanimously in support of sending an amended ordinance on to the council.

The council made it official Monday night.


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