City limits beach area parking to residents

PAUL BILODEAU/Staff file photo. A traffic sign lets people know parking is not allowed along a street near Good Harbor Beach last July 14. The City Council voted to make last summer's temporary "resident only" parking zones permanent.

An additional 45 city streets and roads will be “resident only” parking this summer and tow-away zones for anyone else.

These roads, most in neighborhoods surrounding Gloucester’s beaches, will now be resident only parking from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. from May 1 to Sept. 15, under an emergency order approved by the City Council last week. The council also raised the fine for a violation from $15 to $50.

“I am in support of this for the sanity of all of our residents,” Councilor Barry Pett said.

The streets were temporarily posted “residents only” last summer as the COVID-19 pandemic began to rage. Slews of beachgoers from all over the state arrived to find limited capacity in Gloucester’s beach lots and parked in nearby neighborhoods instead. On one July weekend, Gloucester police issued 478 parking tickets, worth $31,000 in fines, a significant increase from the same time period the year before.

Last week’s council vote makes last summer’s temporary ordinance permanent.

To avoid ticketing, residents will need to display a resident parking sticker. According to the city ordinance, a resident parking sticker is defined as a parking sticker for persons who demonstrate proof of Gloucester residency and ownership of the vehicle on which the sticker is to be displayed. 

Resident parking stickers cost $5 and are available for purchase at City Hall. Councilors made clear that a resident parking sticker is not a resident beach sticker. 

Gloucester residents who have already purchased a $20 Gloucester beach sticker do not need a new, separate sticker to park in resident-only locations. However, a $5 resident parking sticker does not count as a beach sticker and does not allow parking in the city's beach lots.

Kevin Hutchinson has lived on Vulcan Street for 18 years and has “seen a lot of changes and parking last year was worse than I ever seen it,” he told the City Council at last week’s meeting. 

“It has gotten worse every year,” he added, explaining that he is in favor of the order and those that have done the work to make it happen. 

Police Chief Ed Conley noted at the meeting that if a landscaping truck was parked temporarily to provide a service to a home on one of the streets, and they weren’t obstructing safe vehicle passage, his officers understand that they are running a commercial business. 

Council Vice Chairwoman Val Gilman noted a thanks for Traffic Commission Chair Bob Ryan who helped councilors organize the order. 

The city is recommending any questions regarding resident-only parking be directed to ward councilors. 

Staff writer Taylor Ann Bradford may be contacted at 978-675-2705, tbradford@gloucestertimes.com or on Twitter at TayBradford97.

RESIDENTS ONLY

These streets have been added to the list of “Resident Only Parking” byways: 

Marina Drive

Brightside Avenue 

Edgemoor Road

Farrington Avenue (from St. Louis Avenue to Atlantic Road) 

St. Louis Avenue 

Cabo Drive

Loma Drive

Puerto Drive 

Rio Drive 

Hartz Street

Tolman Street 

Williams Court 

Harrison Avenue 

Eastern Avenue (Easterly side in front of numbers 72 through 84, Hartz Street to Abbott Road)

Elizabeth Road

Abbott Road

Traverse Street 

Stage Fort Avenue 

Beachmont Avenue

Tolman Avenue 

Crowell Avenue 

Old Salem Road

Hough Avenue 

Winsor Lane

Western Avenue (from Winsor Lane to Hough)

Bond Sreet

Essex Avenue (from Western Avenue to Bond Street)

Andrews Street

Duley Street

Vulcan Street 

High Street

Cross Street

Mondello Square

Sayward Street 

Decatur Street

Middle Street (from Western Avenue to Washington Street) 

East Main Street (from Eastern Avenue to Route 128 traffic lights)

Eastern Point Road (from Grapevine Road to Niles Beach)

Bass Avenue (from Brightside Avenue for a distance of 500 feet, across from 7-Eleven)

Moorland Road

Haskell Street

Colburn Street

Quarry Street

Dornell Road

Hodgkins Cove Parking Area (next to entrance of UMass Marine Station off Washington Street)

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