WHITEFIELD — Parking isn’t a problem.
Walking? That can be a challenge.
A recent survey conducted by the Whitefield Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) found that over 90 percent of those who visit, work and live in downtown Whitefield can easily find a parking space within walking distance of their destination.
However, one-out-of-three said the walk itself can be difficult. That’s because the majority of parking spaces are located across Route 3 from popular businesses such as The Village Gun Store, Sunny’s Pizza and Jillian’s Pub, requiring people to cross the busy state highway.
In a summary published Friday, the WEDC said, “Whitefield does not appear to have a parking supply problem, but rather a distribution problem as areas with high demand, such as destinations along Route 3 by the Common, do not have enough spaces directly in front of them.”
The 11-question survey was done in cooperation with the North Country Council and looked at parking habits, utilization, inventory and locations in Whitefield Village.
The survey is intended to clarify the downtown parking situation, and guide future discussion of parking issues. The center of town has approximately 576 parking spaces (398 private, 178 public).
Of 113 respondents, 85 percent frequently parked in downtown Whitefield for an hour or less, and 66 percent parked for less than 30 minutes.
To improve parking conditions in the center of town, they offered the strongest support for improved lighting (37 percent) and better signage (34 percent).
Although 25 percent of respondents called for more designated resident spaces, and 22 percent recommended increased parking enforcement, WEDC felt those measures were unnecessary at this time.
In the survey summary the WEDC wrote, “At this time, demand for parking in downtown does not appear significant enough to implement metered parking. Increased parking enforcement would require additional capacity that our police department does not have, thus requiring a shift in priorities or increased funding. Designated residential spaces would require either incentive that exceeds the convenience of the closest spot, or parking enforcement measures to alter behavior.”
In conclusion, the WEDC recommended a package of interventions (improved signage, more lighting, shared-use agreements, traffic calming tactics, and walkability measures) and suggested that a full-scale parking study could be performed to gather more information.
Click here to see the complete survey summary and results.
To see the survey summary and results visit www.whitefieldnh.org.