City employees who fill the customer parking spaces near City Hall will soon be banished to a new parking area.
Workers restriped Clinton Street, removing one of the two through-lanes so that they could add diagonal parking behind City Hall. The new design replaces the few parallel parking spaces on that side of the building.
Now that there’s more spaces, those who managed to find a reason to avoid the employees parking lot will have to park in the back, Mayor Gary McCarthy said.
All employees are supposed to park in a lot about a block from City Hall. The walk is not popular, and some employees have argued that they work late at night, or need to go in and out often, and thus should be able to park right outside the building.
McCarthy has for years tried to stop employees from doing so because they fill the retail parking spots on Jay Street. Business owners have complained that their customers have nowhere to park because the spots are filled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.
“That’s the real problem, is employees not parking where they’re supposed to park,” McCarthy said. “We’re going to tighten that up. There will be no more city employees in metered spots.”
All the spots on Jay Street are metered.
The change means that City Hall visitors will be unlikely to find a free empty spot in back. Currently, spots there are free for 15 minutes. But many visitors need to spend much more time in City Hall, filing applications, asking questions or attending meetings.
Eventually there will be meters in the back, McCarthy said, adding that his spot will not be free either.
He is already paying $25 a month for his spot behind City Hall, he said.
“I don’t believe I’m entitled to a free parking spot,” he added.
But it is cheaper than the monthly rate, he noted. At the public lots, monthly users pay $40 for unlimited parking.
McCarthy also sold the mayor’s car and drives his own vehicle.