Brendan Fitzpatrick

January 10, 2024

City Officials Solicit Public Feedback on Proposed Parking, Traffic Regulations

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FRAMINGHAM - The Framingham Traffic Commission held a public meeting on Tuesday, January 9, related to proposed changes to parking and traffic regulations across the city.

Regulations related to parking and traffic in Framingham have not been changed since 1988. In turn, members of the Traffic Commission have been tasked with drafting potential alterations for the public right of way citywide.

“We’ll take all the comments that we have—some that have come in writing, some tonight—and we’ll discuss them and try to incorporate them into the next version of the draft,” Downtown Community Representative for the Traffic Commission Steven Croci explained during the meeting.

“Hopefully the next version will be a final version, but (it depends) upon the amount of comments we get and what needs to be discussed and reviewed.”

The proposed changes notably include prohibiting any commercial vehicles from parking overnight within the city. Any commercial vehicle, trailer, or semi-trailer with a commercial license place would not be allowed to park between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. from Monday through Saturday. That rule would also last 24 hours on Sundays. The ban would not apply to vehicles actively performing services like plumbing or utility work, as well as public works vehicles in the line of duty such as fire trucks, police vehicles, and ambulances.

“Thirty-five years ago, the number of stop signs, the number of traffic signals—a lot of things were very different,” Vice Chair of the commission Bill Sedewitz said.

“What we’re trying to do is bring that document up to current times and make it as complete as possible, with the intent of one-stop shopping.”

Some residents at the meeting suggested expanding those hours on the ban even further, citing trouble navigating the downtown area. Others suggested establishing neighborhood passes to ensure that people living in that area with commercial vehicles can still park overnight.

A common refrain during the meeting was the call for additional enforcement of parking and traffic laws already in place. Multiple members of the public spoke of their desire to see more enforcement of rules related to noise, parking, and other traffic matters. Members of the commission added that enforcement has been one of their points of focus during the process.

“I think it’s about enforcement, and I think—as a neighborhood—I came here to say: we can help you,” Benson Avenue resident Andrea Dunne told the commission.

“If it’s something you need to go to our City Councilors and say ‘We need more money for enforcement'...If that’s something we need to do…we’re always happy to write letters from our little small-but-mighty neighborhood group.”

The draft also proposed raising the annual residential parking sticker price from $20 to $25, along with mandating that proof of Framingham residency must be provided when acquiring a sticker. Citizen petitions for changes to intersectional rules and practices are also permitted through the draft, as adding or altering things like crosswalks and stop signs would be initiated through petitions with at least 10 residential signatures.

When the final draft is adopted by the Traffic Commission, proposed regulation changes will then be passed along to the City Council. If they’re accepted by councilors, Mayor Charlie Sisitsky could then move to approve them.

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