Free parking on New Year’s Eve in Northampton

  • Fireworks explode above the E.J. Gare Parking Garage during First Night Northampton. STAFF FILE PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

Staff Writer
Published: 12/28/2018 5:21:50 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Parking on New Year’s Eve will once again be free on the streets of Northampton and in city lots, and Mayor David Narkewicz doesn’t think the addition of New England Treatment Access’ recreational marijuana business will provide any issues.

“I don’t foresee that,” Narkewicz said. “There is so much parking available.”

The mayor added anecdotally that everything seemed to have worked out on Christmas Eve, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, when NETA was open and parking in these areas was also free.

Leslie Laurie, the western Massachusetts regional director for NETA, said that NETA is also going to be renting out additional private parking lots from neighbors on New Years Day and New Years Eve for its customers.

NETA sponsored First Night Northampton last year, although it is not able to do so this year because of state regulations.

Parking in city lots and on the street will be free on Dec. 31. Parking in the E.J. Gare Parking Garage will, however, still be paid.

“Pretty much the normal routine for First Night,” said the mayor.

Because of the ball-drop watching party at the Hotel Northampton, parking in the section of King Street near the hotel will be off limits from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Police plan to put up parking signs in the afternoon.

That area of the street will also be closed off beginning at 11:30 p.m.

The mayor said that offering free parking is a “longtime tradition” designed to make the city more visitor- and family-friendly. 

From 2 p.m. until 8 p.m., those in Northampton for New Year’s Eve and First Night Northampton will also be able to use a free shuttle, which is being provided by the Pioneer Valley Transportation Authority. 

The shuttle will take riders to the parking lot outside 33 Hawley St., across from the Northampton Community Arts Building, and to bus stops at the Northampton Courthouse, on Masonic Street, and at the Salvo House. The shuttle will run a loop around these locations while it is active.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.


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