Natick in 1950: Public Works Advises Against Main St. Angular Parking
In 1950, the state commissioner of Public Works advised against metered angular parking spots on Natick's Main Street...parking which has proved to be problematic in downtown Natick to this day.
Parking in Natick Center has been one of the most-discussed issues facing the growth of the downtown business area. There simply aren't enough spots for cars to park in front of the stores and it's tough to maneuver down Main Street. As we see in this Natick Bulletin article published on Thursday, May 25, 1950, parking was an issue even then.
The following is the text from the article, found in the Morse Institute Library collection:
Court Refuses to Restrain Main Street Parking Meters:
Judge Raoule Boudreau denied a petition brought by J. Gordon Stevens, agent of the Board of Welfare, seeking a temporary injunction to prohibit the town from collecting fees from the parking meters on Main St.
Petitioner Stevens stated that the town had installed parking meters on Main St. and had been collecting fees but the town did not have the approval of the State department of Public Works. He further stated in the petiotion that the town has been collecting fees ilegally and he has been forced to pay fees. He asked the court to restrain the town from enforcing the by-laws and its officials be enjoined from collecting fees.
Judge Boudreau said that he wanted a full hearing on the merits of the petition and therefore refused to grant the restraining order.
Town counsel Andrew Goodspeed represented the town and the date for the full hearing was not set.
In the meantime Representatitve Edward Snow, town officials and the Chamber of Commerce will endeavor to complete the legislature which will give a green light to angular parking on Main St.
The recent history of the attempts to legalize the meters for this type of parking in Natick from Jones Drug store to the Trust Co. has been intricate and just as the effort seem to to be crowned with success. Gov. Dever failed to sign the bill that had been passed by both houses of the General Court.
The hearing before committee on Towns was held on Jan. 24, 1950. This committee reported favorably on the bill and sent it into the house on February 9th. THere the readings were completed and the rules suspended clearing the House on February 13th.
In the Senate on February 14th, the rules were suspended and it cleared the Senate on February 15th.
It was sent to Gov. Dever on February 16th. It was recalled by him to the Senate on February 21st. Returned to the Governor February 23rd., it was recalled by him to the Senate on Febrary 27t where it has since rested awating the Governor's call. He has failed to sign the bill since the State commissioner of Public Works has asserted that it not in the best interest of safety, claiming that the Natick Main St. is not wide enough for angular parking with meters.
If the bill were singed it would mean that the Main St. meters could be approved with angular parking and there upon the required number of "approved meters" would be within the required distance of the proposed off-street parking lot.
Note: A follow-up article showed that the angular parking spots with meters would be approved for a "six month trial period," with permanent approval should the parking situation be deemed satisfactory.