Thursday, September 20, 2018
Keep it conservative with North Common renovation

In the article titled “Board frowns on ‘bold plan’ for North Common” in Saturday’s Daily Hampshire Gazette (9/8/18), I read that the Select Board is presently considering three proposals for renovations to the North Common in the upcoming year.

The most egregious proposal called the “bold plan” recommends eliminating the 34-space parking lot at the head of the common and building a promenade leading to Town Hall with sweeping walkways and a large green lawn with a stage area for performances.

My initial reaction to this proposal was disbelief that any of our town officials would consider eliminating even one parking space, never mind an entire lot.

Parking in Amherst is already a very contentious issue that residents and business owners have complained about for years. The lack of parking space in our town center is a perennial hot topic as are the highly unpopular hike in time limits from 6 to 8 p.m. on parking meters and the subsequent increase in parking fees.

With the upcoming change in our town government and a number of other capitol projects in the town’s hopper, I think it’s important to keep renovations to the North Common simple. Leave the parking lot, repair damaged areas on the greens and make some modest enhancements.

The proposed “conservative plan” seems to capture this concept best. Let’s not make change just for the sake of change.

Sharon Faherty