GREAT BARRINGTON -- The Select Board has a plan to deal with fewer downtown parking spaces during the Main Street reconstruction project.

The town could lose about 35 downtown parking spots within two blocks of Railroad and Main street for the duration of the project.

The town has 210 prime parking spots around the town center, which extends from Domaney's Discount Liquors to Searles Castle, according to a plan drafted by the town's Parking Task Force Committee. There are about 200 employers, employees and tenants who use these spots, leaving few for visitors or shoppers.

The Parking Task Force's plan, approved by the Select Board, would:

-- Urge municipal employees, business owners, employees and tenants to park away from prime parking spots.

-- Publicize businesses that do comply with relocating their vehicles.

-- Encourage employers to rent a parking spot for themselves and their employees at private lots.

-- Encourage car pooling.

-- Lift time limits on parking so people wouldn't be forced to relocate to different parking spots during a single shopping trip.

Parking Task Force Committee Member Sharon Gregory said that problems can be avoided if Great Barrington's businesses allow customers the prime parking spots.

"We hope that business owners and employees and landlords and tenants will use peer pressure and education to leave spots available for patrons in order to increase the [downtown's] economic vitality," Gregory said.

Details are still being finalized, but the Main Street reconstruction project is expected to start on May 31 and continue until at least November.

The parking plan would cost $1,500 to $2,000 for marketing material and signs to promote the plan.

Gregory said there will be a kick-off Pledge Program that would call on local businesses to spare the parking spots for patrons.

To reach John Sakata:
jsakata@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6240.
On Twitter: @jsakata