Overnight parking sign

The Select Board voted unanimously Dec. 4  to extend Arlington’s overnight-parking pilot program through June 30, 2024. This extended trial will use the same pricing/fee structure of $150 a permit and keep the cap of 125 permits total.

For many years, the town generally has prohibited overnight on-street parking on public streets except in unusual – and pre-approved – situations. To help ease this restriction, the board agreed last June 26 to allow on-street overnight parking from Aug. 1 through Dec. 31 for Arlington residents who have purchased permits.

“We should extend this program to give us enough time to evaluate it. That would give us time to do more rigorous data analysis and see what it’s like throughout the entire season,” Select Board Chair Eric Helmuth said at the meeting.

Board Vice Chair John Hurd concurred. “I’d support letting it continue.” 

How many permits?

The initial trial granted 70 permits out of the 125 total available. 

Select Board Member Len Diggins said, “I’m not sure that we have a good sense of the demand. We need to check back with the town manager and police chief.”

Town Manager Jim Feeney said, “There’s not a significantly meaningful difference between 70 and 125 permits. My chief concern is making it a requirement that people enroll in this program.”

Hurd said 125 is a reasonable number because it allows more people to apply, in order to determine the demand. 

Board member Steve DeCourcey was also comfortable sticking with the upper limit of 125 permits. “It’s not the number, it’s getting through the winter – that’s the win.” 

Police Chief Julie Flaherty has said that all cars must get off the street during a snow emergency. “Everyone knows that when it snows, we have to get the cars off the street during the day, too. There is sufficient notice,” said Hurd.

Only 58 double poles remain

In other news, the number of double poles in town now is down to 58, from 80 reported last May 1, board members heard. A double pole is a damaged utility pole tied to a new pole that is intended to support the damaged one. Considered eyesores by many, double poles are an issue also because they cause potential accessibility issues.

State law requires that, “A distribution company or a telephone company engaging in the removal of an existing pole and the installation of a new pole in place thereof shall complete the transfer of wires, all repairs and the removal of the existing pole from the site within 90 days from the date of installation of the new pole.”

Nevertheless, double poles have remained in place for years. DeCourcey has previously said that although this statute exists, it lacks any form of punishment for noncompliance, which means that double poles end up staying -- so the recent reduction in the total number “is a positive trend.”

Watch ACMi video of Dec. 4, 2023, meeting:

June 28, 2023: 2 parking measures, override election, restaurant all get thumbs-up at Select Board


This news summary by YourArlington freelance writer Susan Gilbert was published Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023.

This reporting demonstrates your donations at work to support democracy here.YourArlington is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.Your contributions are tax-deductible.