December 5, 2021

Board opposes Hubbard Street overnight parking

City public works and safety panel votes against recommending proposal; plan goes to full council

Kevin L. Smith/staff reporter

A car waits at a stop sign on Hubbard Street in Cortland in this August 2020 Cortland Standard file photo. Neighbors have petitioned the city to allow overnight parking on the street, on alternating nights and sides of the street, something that is not now allowed in the city.

Cortland’s Public Works and Public Safety Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 Tuesday against recommending a pilot program to allow overnight parking on Hubbard Street.

The proposal to allow overnight parking — on one side of the street on alternating nights — will now go to city council.

Board members Keith Van Gorder, Michael Doughty and Mary Lou Bordwell voted to oppose the recommendation; Patrick O’Mara and Angela Gellatly voted in favor.

Thirty-five Hubbard Street residents signed a petition in July to ask the city to allow alternating side overnight parking for the East Side neighborhood because the smaller driveways of an older neighborhood don’t accommodate today’s multi-vehicle households.

Van Gorder said if overnight parking was allowed at Hubbard Street, it could lead to a domino effect in the city.

“I don’t see this being a smooth transition if it’s just on one street,” he said. “There are going to be complaints about this if it happens.”

“It’s almost impossible to clean the street in the winter with a bunch of cars parked in the street,” Public Works Superintendent Chris Bistocchi said. “If too many cars are hit while plowing, we’re going to have to pay for the damage done.”

Despite Hubbard Street resident Adam Megivern leading the petition in support to adopt overnight parking, O’Mara said there is little information “to consider recommending approval for this.”

“I would’ve liked to hear from more than one resident on the street about this situation,” O’Mara said.

Landlords should look into different parking options, Doughty said.

“The issue is that the city doesn’t allow overnight parking to begin with, so setting precedence on having one street or multiple streets as a possibility should not be established,” he said.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct errors in how the board voted, and comments by board member Michael Doughty.