Approximately 10 on-street parking spots in downtown Bangor are being eliminated this summer as part of the city’s ongoing renovation of Pickering Square.
The spots allowed parallel parking on the east side of Merchants Plaza, the short road that passes the front entrance of the Bangor Daily News building and connects West Market Square and Pickering Square.
The changes are meant to create more room for fire engines and other public safety vehicles to access Merchants Plaza and also to make it easier for pedestrians to walk in the area around Pickering Square, according to City Engineer John Theriault.
On-street parking will remain on the west side of Merchants Plaza, which is closer to the row of apartments and businesses that have front entrances on Main Street.
The city’s downtown will have a net gain of almost 10 parking spots by the time renovation is complete; the project will add about 19 new spots in the Pickering Square parking garage.
The City Council voted 5-1 Monday night to change the city’s parking map to reflect the changes.
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Councilor Gibran Graham opposed the changes. While the city has met the legal requirements for notifying the public about them, Graham said, he thinks it could have done a better job of collecting input and making sure the information reached the people who need it.
Because the parking garage closes overnight, Graham said some bars and restaurants could lose customers who can’t find on-street parking late in the evening.
The ongoing construction project, which started last spring, will relocate the front entrance of the Pickering Square parking garage and re-landscape the triangle of land between the Kenduskeag Stream footbridge and the building at 1 Merchants Plaza.
It was originally expected to wrap up around August 30, but will probably take longer because the city has found that it must do additional maintenance on the parking garage, Theriault said.
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