Milton Chief of Police Richard Wells addresses concerns over loading zone and valet area in East Milton Square
For several months the Milton Police Department, through the Traffic Commission, Department of Public Works, and the Town Engineer have been looking at ways to make changes to improve East Milton Square. This also involved listening to residents, Chamber of Commerce and other interested parties. We did not do this quickly and if you have followed stories and opinion on the Milton Scene, in Milton Times and Patriot Ledger, or watched weekly BOS meetings on Milton Access TV, you would have heard us discuss the problem at length. We spent a great deal of time on the issue.
One major issue that has been effecting East Milton Square are trucks making daily deliveries to local businesses on both Franklin Street and Church Street. Many of them would park illegally to accomplish their delivery, causing congestion and blind spots for pedestrians.
With the opening of Novara in East Milton, we wanted to address the issue of trucks on side streets as well as look at an efficient way to institute evening parking for both Abby Park and Novara.
In conducting our research, it appeared that if we took three one-hour spaces on Adams Street in front of Starbucks, we could designate them exclusively as a loading zone thus removing the trucks from Franklin and Church streets. We chose this location for several reasons.
- First, Starbucks has its own private lot on Franklin Street, with easy access for customers to and from the facility, with an entrance from the lot. When we observed daily parking in the these spaces, many who used them were visiting other businesses in the Square.
- Second, in making this change, we were getting maximum use of three spaces which we feel will benefit the residents and the businesses. East Milton now has a legally marked central location on Adams Street for daily delivery to any business on Adams Street. We did not, as one person posted, “sell any spaces.” To accommodate for the three spaces that were changed, we were able to designate three new two-hour spaces on Church Street between the new Novara lot and Duggan Lane.
- Third, this change now allows the two busy evening businesses to use a collaborative valet system. They have presented their plan utilizing various private lots to the Town, which was approved. Once again, our goal in looking at this was to reduce impact on side streets while creating a safe and efficient valet system for evening operations.
- Fourth, when we selected the final location for this valet area, we realized that customers for both restaurants can come from all areas of Milton. We did consider the opposite side of Adams Street in front of the bank, but any valet on that side would increase the number of pedestrians crossing Adams St. each night in the dark. These additional public safety reasons and the safety of residents, helped us to conclude the location should be Adams Street from the corner of Franklin Street, south to the entrance of the Milton Barber Shop.
The final comment here is drawn from the photo posted yesterday on the Milton Neighbors Facebook group: Why the cones?
Change can be difficult and getting motorists to read the new loading zone signs to comply has been tough. We understand this. The final draft will be better signage, with yellow marked curbing and striping. These are the universals loading zone indicators.
We do appreciate the Milton Police Department’s partnership with Milton Neighbors and the Milton Scene and hope this post gives everyone in social media a clearer understanding of how the this change came about. At the request of the businesses, we placed cones in this zone. We found that it only takes one car violating this area to prevent a truck from making their delivery and forcing them to look for an illegal solution to parking. The businesses themselves have volunteered to have their delivery drivers move and replace the cones from the loading zone. We do not expect this the have to remain permanently, but until everyone understands the official designation of this new zone, it is working. Please do not park in this loading zone/valet area.
East Milton square is a changing place, which we want to be a positive for all Milton Neighbors. Hopefully, this deck project continues to move forward and the addition of new public spaces will alleviate this parking problem beyond our expectations.
We understand that this will take some time and thank you for your patience.
Milton Chief of Police
Milton Traffic Commission