HUDSON – More handicapped parking may be coming to downtown Hudson in front of the Hudson Public Library.
The request, which went before the Internal Traffic Committee (ITC) on Feb. 23, came from the town’s Commission on Disabilities.
“One of our main topics of concern is that it is nearly impossible for disabled people to use our public library,” said Assistant Director of Planning and Community Development Pam Helinek, who has been staffing the commission.
She continued, “We have only have one public library. Everybody should be able to access it.”
According to a letter from the commission to the ITC, there are two handicapped parking spots in the parking lot behind the library. Helinek said visitors can’t get from these parking spots to the entrance of the library.
“It’s really steep,” she said.
The only way to get from the accessible entrance is from Main Street, according to Helinek.
There is one handicapped parking spot on Main Street, but Commission on Disabilities member Sheryl Marrazzo said her family couldn’t use the spot in their van because there was a sign in the way of deploying their ramp.
Marrazzo said that her son, who uses a power chair, is able to get up the hill.
“But there are a lot of vets that go there, people with walkers and manual chairs – it’s impossible to get in the library,” said Marrazzo.
According to Helinek, the commission worked with library staff, and what seemed to be the only way to get access without “doing a huge construction project” is to offer more handicapped parking spots on Main Street.
The commission proposed trading the two spots in the parking lot for two spots. One of those spots could be in the current location of a 15-minute spot, and the second could be across the street near the crossing signal.
“We know it’s hard to give up parking spots on Main Street, but there are two useless ones behind the library,” Helinek said.
Ultimately, the ITC voted to recommend to the Select Board to make the spot next to the library and across the street near the signal handicapped parking.
Department of Public Works Director Eric Ryder suggested that one of the former handicapped parking spots in the lot could become a 15-minute spot. The other spot would be standard.
Building Commissioner Jeffrey Wood said the spots wouldn’t only be for library patrons, but would benefit all of the businesses.
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