Big changes for Puffer’s Pond parking, traffic flow

  • —Submitted Photo

  • —Amherst town website

Staff Writer
Published: 6/11/2019 6:32:00 PM

AMHERST — Beginning next Tuesday, parking will become significantly more restricted in the area of the main beach at Puffer’s Pond, while State Street will become a one-way road east from Sand Hill Road to the railroad overpass.

The Department of Public Works this week is finishing the elements of a plan approved by the Select Board last fall that includes restriping the road for one-way traffic, limiting parking by adding new handicapped parking, drop-off and tow zones, and creating a turnaround for westbound vehicles that enter State Street from Bridge Street and East Leverett Road.

Brianna Sunryd, communications manager for the town, said all of the changes will be enforced by police to ensure compliance. This effort is part of a larger plan to make State Street and the area around Puffer’s Pond safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicular traffic, while giving improved access for public safety vehicles during emergencies.

During the warmest days of the spring, summer and fall, the street is often packed with vehicles parked on both sides of the road. Where those people will park is uncertain, though the town will install bike racks at both the main beach and the smaller north beach, with plans to add more bike racks, as a way of encouraging alternate modes of transportation.

Town officials are also suggesting the use of the Route 33 PVTA bus to get to the site. 

Police Chief Scott Livingstone wrote a letter in support of the changes last fall.

“It has reached the point that both patrol officers and parking enforcement officers have had to spend many hours of their shifts patrolling the area at peak times issuing parking citations, towing vehicles and monitoring large crowds on the beach,” he wrote.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.


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