October 27, 2021

City resident pushes for parking change plan

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

A truck travels Tuesday down Hubbard Street in Cortland. Adam Megivern, a former alderman and resident of the street, is pushing the city to consider an initiative to allow overnight, alternating-side parking on the street after a similar effort last year was delayed.

A Hubbard Street resident wants to bring back a proposal to Cortland officials in April to allow for overnight street parking to address parking problems.

The change would create a pilot initiative to allow for overnight parking on alternate sides of the street on differing days, said Adam Megivern, a former alderman and Hubbard Street resident who has been leading the proposal.

Megivern sent a petition with 35 signatures requesting the change in street parking to the Cortland Common Council in July.

The proposal was brought up at subsequent Common Council meetings, and voted against by the Cortland Public Works and Public Safety Board of Commissioners.

At the Sept. 15 Common Council meeting, the aldermen agreed to postpone action on the program until April.

With April eight days away, Megivern said he is trying to bring the proposal back to the Common Council’s attention.

“We would definitely like to get moving on it,” he said. “Folks are definitely looking forward to this positive change.”

In a July email to city aldermen and officials, Megivern said street residents want to implement a parking change similar to what is in place in Ithaca and Auburn.

“If successful, a pilot Hubbard Street overnight parking initiative could be used as a model for expansion to other streets and neighborhoods,” he said in the email. “The narrow shared driveways and high density of housing causes significant hardship for property owners and residents that are constantly shuffling cars in and out of driveways. Both single family and multi-unit rentals are negatively impacted.”

Megivern noted Tuesday significant support among street residents for the proposal as people frequently have to shuffle cars around in their driveways to leave.

“I certainly have been supportive of doing it,” said Alderman Troy Beckwith (D-th Ward), whose ward includes Hubbard Street.

Beckwith said for the change to be implemented, detailed plans would need to be discussed with the Common Council and two public hearings would need to be held.

He said he’s hoping the first public hearing will be during the April 20 council meeting and the second public hearing will be during the May 4 meeting.

If approved, the city could look at other streets that have a similar need, Beckwith said.

However, Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin said he was against the proposal as it could cause problems for snow plows traveling through in winter months.

“We need to be very careful changing this,” he said.