UPDATE: Rockland Main Street summer street closures approved while one street reopens; Council considers parking options

Sun, 05/14/2023 - 12:00pm

    May 14 update: Rockland City Councilor Adam Lachman wishes to clarify that though Oak Street has been reopened to traffic, organized activities and special programming on the street are still encouraged by Council. According to Lachman, efforts are underway to develop a plan for more programming as a public community space (including music, makers markets, and other community oriented programming this summer).

    Additionally, Council voted 4-1 (MacLellan-Ruf) on May 10, to allow a portion of Museum Street to be closed Tuesday, July 11, 2023, beginning at 10 a.m., through 8 a.m., Sunday, July 15, 2023, for a Farnsworth Gala.

    The specified portion stretches from the westerly boundary of the Farnsworth’s Parking Lot to Main Street.


    ROCKLAND (May 11) – Multiple short-term street closures for Rockland’s Main Street have been approved for this summer as Rockland City Council continues to address parking.

    Specific to the summer of 2023, Council approved the following short-term street closures during their May 8 meeting:

    Rockland Main Street Inc is authorized to close Main Street between Park and Summer streets on June 16, from 3 – 8 p.m., and June 17, from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m., for the annual Summer Solstice celebration. On June 17, portions of Tillson Avenue and Winter Street will also be closed from 2 p.m. - 3 p.m., for the sculpture race.

    Main Street will also be closed between Park Street and Glovers Passage on June 2, July 7, and August 4, from 4 – 10 p.m. for the First Friday Art Walks, and on June 18, July 23, and August 20, from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. for the Sunday Strolls.

    Organizers are responsible for set up and clean up, coordinating with Police and Fire departments for traffic control and/or public safety measures, and must provide proof of liability insurance to the City. All fees associated with these events have been waived.

    In a 3 – 2 vote (Austin and York) Council also authorized the permanent reopening of Oak Street, which was closed during the past two summers, allowing outdoor space for people to gather with friends and neighbors, eat at picnic tables, and to participate in organized activities.

    Metered Parking?

    The City Council has authorized the City Manager to begin the process of establishing a pilot program for seasonal metered parking in multiple parking lots. The initial amendment specified the Customs House Parking Lot, the Thorndike Parking Lot, and the Winter Street Parking Lot. However, those names were stricken from the amendment prior to Council’s final May 8 vote.

    Added into the amendment was:

    Taking into account the Parking Study recommendations that were presented to Council on April 19, 2023, the City Manager shall, prior to the installation of parking kiosks for seasonal metered parking program, provide to council an updated plan, including a timeline for implementation for the following: 

    -Local business parking validation program

    -Local parking incentives

    -Modernization of current permit parking program

    -Employee parking program 

    -Drafted parking policies -funding plan for program as well as additional parking enforcement personnel

    Multi-day parking

    The Council is seeking an option within the city for multi-day visitor parking within a designated area. This option would require creation of a long-term parking program with procedures and fee schedule set by Council.

    Specifically, Council is looking at eight spots at McDougal Park for vehicles that fit within the 8 x 20 ft spaces. No day or overnight parking would be allowed. Council voted unanimously in favor of the idea, allowing the amendment to return to the June 12 agenda and Public Hearing.


    Reach Sarah Thompson at news@penbaypilot.com