Sep 25, 2014 5:54 PM

Portsmouth officials consider free parking on Sundays

PORTSMOUTH - It can be tough to find parking in Portsmouth, and when you do, you have to worry about putting enough money in the meter. Now the city is considering the idea of free parking on Sundays.

"I've driven a couple of times around, two, three times around the block cause in the winter it was cold and I didn't want to park in the garage," said Hampton Falls resident, Cheryl Tuttle.

But spots aren't always easy to find downtown and the times vary. Some meters will let you park for four hours, others just 15 minutes.

"I've seen tourists come back with shopping bags full of stuff to their car and find a ticket on it and I've actually heard people say I'm not coming back here," said Portsmouth resident Terry Weddleton.
But what if there was one day a week when you could park at any meter in the city free of charge for as long as you wanted?

"City Councilor Esther Kennedy she suggested that we find a way to have free parking in Portsmouth, downtown included, for several months during the winter," said Assistant Mayor, J Splaine.

Right now the meters are free until noon on Sundays and the Hanover Street Parking Garage is free to Portsmouth residents with a proper form of identification. But this new ordinance could bring a lot more traffic to the city during the weekend if visitors knew parking was free for everyone at meters on Sundays.

"I think it's a really good idea, especially for tourists. I would like to see it expanded for the whole year," said Weddleton.

"I think it would be good for the business community, getting people to come to Portsmouth and enjoy Portsmouth without having to put money in the meters and worry about that," Splaine added.
The idea for free parking on Sundays was brought before the City Council this past Monday. City Manager John Bohenko said he would need to determine the potential cost to the city and present that information to the council at its next meeting before moving forward.


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