MANCHESTER — Main Street's parking-limit patchwork would come to an end if a planapproved by Town Council last night becomes law.
Wrapping up nearly three months of study, the council will submit to the state a proposal to eliminate the four different parking time limits that line the 1.5-mile stretch of Route 30 that serves as Main Street.
"We have a general mishmash of parking now as it is," said Councilman Gerald H. Bollinger. "We need more consistent parking."
The proposal, passed unanimously by the five-member council and vocally approved by the nearly two dozen residents and business owners crowded into Town Hall, will be passed on to the Department of Transportationnext week.
Among the provisions of the new parking regulations are:
* A two-hour time limit between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
* Parking spaces painted on the street.
* Allowing handicapped drivers to obtain exemptions to the time limits.
Parking regulations now are a hit-or-miss affair. In front of the 65 businesses and 151 residences along Main Street are 10-minute, 30-minute, 1-hour and 2-hour time limits.
"We've got to do this so that people will know what to expect," said Councilman Robert Kolodziejski.
Mayor Earl A. J. "Tim" Warehime Jr. pointed out the town itself isn't clear on its own parking regulations. In the town code, the regulations are in effect until 6 p.m. However, some Main Street parking signs indicate they are in effect until 8 p.m.
One of the complaintsaired by the more than 10 people who spoke up during the hourlong meeting was about the lack of parking enforcement.
"I don't think people in Manchester can read signs," one resident shouted.
The mayor and council admitted that enforcement has not been consistent.
But with a third police officer expected to be hired for the two-man force by next month, council members said enforcement would be steppedup.
"Most people will learn to read the signs once they get theirfirst ticket," said Councilman Geoffrey S. Black.
Since Main Street is a state highway, any changes in parking regulations must be approved by the state.
In another Main Street traffic matter, the council decided to ask the state to install a left-turn signal at the intersection of Main Street and Route 27. Until last night, the councilhad considered creating a left-turn lane at the intersection of Mainand York streets.
None of the traffic or parking changes is expected before the end of the year, council members said.
In other business last night, the council kept the town's monthlong outdoor waterban in effect.