Downtown deliveries need more parking
The Town of Winthrop won’t be extending the freight loading zone hours on the west side of Bridge Street, pending more study of freight delivery challenges in the downtown corridor.
At a meeting earlier this month, the Town Council agreed to consider extending the hours for an existing loading zone adjacent to the Tenderfoot store. Currently, loading is allowed from 6 a.m. to noon. After that, other parking is allowed.
Rachel Layne, owner of the Courtyard Quail on Riverside Avenue, had asked for the extended hours because of issues with freight deliveries for her business. She said deliveries often arrive late in the day when the Bridge Street loading zone is not available, and trucks may instead drop their load at the Winthrop Barn where she then has to retrieve them.
There are two other loading zones downtown, in front of the Duck Brand restaurant and in front of Copper Glance, which have the same delivery hours as the Bridge Street loading zone.
At its meeting last week, the council heard from Tenderfoot owner Paul Burgess, who said in a letter that he is opposed to the change in loading hours.
“I understand the need for a loading zone in town, but I also feel that it is detrimental to my business to have it located next to my building taking up four parking spaces that could be better utilized as customer parking,” Burgess said in the letter. “If there needs to be an increase in loading zone hours maybe the loading zone should be moved to Town Hall or somewhere else on Riverside Avenue where it will have less of an impact on downtown businesses.”
Council member Bill McAdow said that extending the loading zone hours would be “unfair” to the Tenderfoot, and said he opposed any changes. Council member Joseph O’Driscoll agreed with McAdow and said the town needs to provide “better access and less hassle” for the many freight delivery trucks that are in town each day to serve local businesses. “We don’t need longer hours. We need more parking [for deliveries],” he said.
O’Driscoll said it’s best for freight deliveries to be made in the morning before most businesses are full underway. Even then, he said, it’s typical for several drivers to be looking for a place to park.
Action on the extended hours request was postponed so town staff can explore other options, including additional or alternate loading zones.