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City Council approves longer downtown parking hours

VERGENNES — The Vergennes City Council on Tuesday as expected approved an amendment to the city’s parking law that will add an extra hour to the time motorists may leave their cars parked on downtown streets.
Effective 60 days from Tuesday (March 9), the legal daytime limit to remain in a downtown parking space will be extended from two to three hours. Neither the current or new limit applies to evenings or Sundays.
Vergennes officials said downtown shopkeepers and restaurateurs lobbied for the change, saying that two hours was not always enough time for residents and visitors to run multiple errands, such as both shop and enjoy a meal.
“The commentary that came back was that two hours was not enough,” said City Manager Matt Chabot, who had prepared the amendment at the council’s request.
The city is now an outlier among Addison County’s largest villages: Middlebury and Bristol both impose two-hour limits on most of their downtown streets, and Middlebury has a parking enforcement employee.
Vergennes officials plan to put up signs to indicate the new time limits in a district that includes Main Street between East and South Water streets, all of Park Street, and parts of Green and School streets.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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