NEW BEDFORD — The City of New Bedford is reminding residents and visitors that beginning on October 1, 2019, new, longer parking time limits will go into effect downtown.

Earlier this month, the City released its downtown and waterfront parking study recommendations, based on a study by the consulting firm Stantec that began last year.

One recommendation, among many, was extending the time limits of metered parking spaces in downtown New Bedford.

The highest demanded area of downtown will be extended to a three-hour limit. Moving farther from the center of downtown, a second zone will be extended to a four-hour limit. The farthest zone from the downtown with metered spaces will be an unlimited time limit.

Parking rates will not change in the three zones; they will remain 75 cents per hour, with longer parking limits.

Currently, the time limit for metered parking spaces is two hours downtown. With the new, longer limits, there will be three zones for parking. The zones and parking time limits will be indicated by signs indicating the time limit in that area. The zones and signs are also color-coded.

Zone 1 (Green) is at the center of downtown. Parking will be extended from its current 2-hour limit to a 3-hour limit.

Zone 2 (Blue) is the next zone outside the center of downtown. Parking will be extended from its current 2-hour limit to a 4-hour limit.

Zone 3 (Yellow) is the farthest zone outside the center of the downtown. Parking will be extended from its current 2-hour limit to unlimited parking.

The downtown and waterfront parking study recommendations included significant input from stakeholders, including residents and small business owners in the downtown and waterfront area, and collection of data on parking use in the area.

The recommendations were developed to document existing demand and improve parking for residents and visitors.

It had been several decades since the City last undertook a comprehensive look at parking in the downtown and on the waterfront, and with many significant changes and developments in both areas, as well as advancements in parking management practices and technology, the City determined a study was long overdue.

The study was funded through a combination of the Downtown Parking Enterprise Fund, New Bedford Port Authority, and MassDevelopment funding.

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