By Joseph Domelowicz Jr.
The Winthrop Town Council last week approved a re-written set of parking regulations for the town, including the residential parking restrictions for overnight parking, which essentially legitimizes the parking regulations the town has been operating under for the past three years.
Additionally, the council voted to allow the outsourcing of parking enforcement to Municipal Management Associates, Inc. of Marlborough, which provides similar parking enforcement services in the city of Chelsea.
“Our goal was to address people’s perception of inequity and a lack of consistency in the parking enforcement system,” said Town Manager Rick White. “At the same time, we were mindful of the fact that we were competing for really important police man hours.”
White explained that by hiring an outside parking enforcement service, the town expects to be able to enforce the existing parking regulations, without adding any cost for the town, as the contractor will be paid out of parking receipts.
Additionally, he said that more consistent enforcement of the parking regulations would also provide more predictability for residents and likely greater compliance with the laws.
As an added benefit, the police department would be largely relieved of the responsibility of writing parking tickets, thus giving patrol officers more time to focus on other police duties.
The new parking regulations were drafted by the town’s Traffic Safety Advisory Committee and submitted to the Council’s Subcommittee on Rules and Ordinances, before being put to the council for a vote.