November 30, 2021

Overnight parking sought for Hubbard Street

Parking on Hubbard Street in Cortland is tight.

Many homes have multiple cars parked in a single lane. Others share a driveway with neighbors. Getting out of the driveway in the morning can require the coordination of a chess player, neighbors said, explaining why they’ve petitioned the city to allow overnight parking on the East Side street as a pilot program for the rest of the city, which has no overnight street parking.

“It’s something that has been going on for years,” said Adam Megivern, the former 7th Ward alderman who led efforts for the petition. “Everybody wants this. There was no opposition.”

Megivern, a resident of Hubbard Street for more than six years, sent the petition with 35 signatures to Mayor Brian Tobin.

“The first car (at the end of the driveway) is not always the right car,” Megivern said. “That’s a complaint I’ve heard the most from these residents. It has been cumbersome.”

For rental properties, some of the tenants don’t know each other, said Megivern, which makes communication less likely when it comes to how cars are lined up in driveways. And this comes during a coronavirus pandemic that encourages social distancing.

“A question has to be asked, ‘Why would you force people to be in close contact with each other?” he said. “It’s difficult for tenants, and even more difficult for the landlords to attempt to connect the tenants together.”

Anthony Lukosavich, who rents a two-bedroom apartment on the street, feels the effects.

“There is just such a limit on parking (on this street),” he said. “It’s hard to move vehicles around.”

The petition asks the council to institute all-night parking on alternate sides of the street each night, and to consider it a pilot program for the rest of the city.

However, Tobin said he doesn’t think overnight on-street parking would work because it couldn’t be consistently offered.

“Any change will lead to problems and concerns,” he said. “If it happens on one street, you’ll expect it on another street. We can look at other streets one by one, but it could cause a ripple effect.”

But Alderman Troy Beckwith (D-7th Ward) said he supports a resolution. Parking is tight, more than other areas, he said, but as to the petition: “It’s the first I’ve heard of this issue.”

He plans to bring up the issue at Tuesday’s city council meeting, although he expects several meetings and a public hearing or two before resolving it.

“I want to make sure Troy can spread it,” Megivern said. “We want to bring this to the attention of the council. … Overnight parking can and will solve the problem.”

It will also make the properties more attractive, and more valuable.

Lukosavich said overnight parking “would make life a lot easier.”

“This street is pretty packed in, and people on this street have to find alternatives to make sure they don’t get a ticket for parking in the street overnight,” he said. “It’d be nice to have that parking option, if possible.”