WOBURN - The city’s TrafficCommission will be taking a hard look at all Handicapped Parking in the Woburn Center area over the long, summer months.

A request at the last Traffic Commission meeting came from a request of Commissioner Timothy Donovan of the Woburn Handicapped and Disabled Citizens Commission to review handicapped parking restrictions and signage on Church Street, Woburn Center, Walnut Street parking lot and the Woburn Public Library parking lot.

Currently there are nine members on the Handicapped Comission and another nine on the Traffic Commission. Donovan is also the city’s Treasurer/Collector working out of a corner office in City Hall with an office overseeing all of Woburn Common and most of the surrounding parking areas with the exception of the municipal lot behind the Busy Bend complex. Donovan is confined to a wheelchair and knows City Hall and the Woburn Center area well.

At the meeting, Donovan also stated a handicapped accessible parking space was approved on Church Street near Main Street but no sign was installed. He also pointed out there are no handicapped accessible parking spaces located on the southerly side of Woburn Center and the closest southerly handicapped accessible parking space is located near 389 Main Street. He also suggested a parking space would be optimal on Main Street just before Church Street because of the width of the sidewalk in the location and the accessibility for van ramps, that the first parking space on Church Street would also be suitable but the sidewalk is not as wide as the Main Street sidewalk but that this parking space would assist with handicapped accessible parking in the southerly area of Woburn Center.

On another front, he noted the handicapped accessible parking spaces in the Walnut Hill Municipal Parking lot should have standing, handicapped parking signs with high visibility paint at each handicapped accessible parking space; that when there are snow conditions it is not clear the parking spaces are handicapped accessible parking spaces.

Also, he pointed out at the north end of Main Street there are two handicapped accessible parking spaces in the Hanson School parking lot that do not have standing signs.

Another area of concern, he said, was in the parking area on Abbott Street at the intersection with Pleasant Street near the Woburn Public Library as there is no unloading zone next to the handicapped accessible parking space. He cited regulations for every 25 parking spaces, there should be one handicapped parking space and some of the spaces are required to have an eight-foot unloading zone and others must have a five-foot unloading zone.

He also added the handicapped accessible parking space at 389 Main Street could be moved back to 371 Main Street near the park to disperse the parking spaces in this area.

Future meeting

Traffic Commissioner Jay Corey stated the City Engineer, Superintendent of Public Works and a member of the Handicapped and Disabled Commission could meet to discuss a Master Plan for handicapped accessible parking spaces, that there are more than enough handicapped accessible parking spaces if not too many handicapped accessible parking space in the Walnut Street parking lot, that some of the handicapped accessible parking spaces in the Walnut Street parking lot could be moved to more strategic locations in the downtown and a plan could be prepared for handicapped accessible parking spaces in the entire downtown area. Commissioner Donovan felt this would be a beneficial process.

In turn, Donovan offered a copy of 521 CMR 23.00 to the Traffic Commission for review.

A motion was made by the Traffic Commission the document be received and made part of the record, 5 in favor, 0 opposed (four absent).

Also a motion was made made and approved 5-0 the City Engineer and Superintendent of Public Works meet with the Handicapped and Disabled Citizens Commission to prepare a comprehensive handicapped accessible parking space plan for Woburn Center with a 5-0 vote.

The Traffic Commission, however, will not be meeting during the summer months (June, July and August) and will have their next regular meeting on Thursday, September 19th.

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