New parking regs in Cobleskill


By Jim Poole

Cobleskill’s new parking regulations are designed to free up spaces, generate more parking for customers and eliminate the illusion that “there’s no parking downtown.”
With the new signs that went up last week, the regulations designed by village staffers and Cobleskill Partnership Inc. are now in full force.
CPI, the downtown improvement organization, started the effort last year. The project included counting the parking spaces––nearly 300 between South Grand, Main, Union, Division and Center streets––and tinkering with parking times that had been on the books for years.
CPI members also worked with village board members, Mayor Mike Sellers and Police Chief Mike O’Brien to come up with the changes:
Two-hour on-street parking on Main, Division, Park Place, West Main (by the park) and Union.
Two-hour parking lots will be the Main and Union lot and the center spaces of the South Grand lot.
20-minute parking will be on Union Street in front of the Post Office and library and the northern part of the Union Street lot by the Post Office.
All-day parking is available in lots on Division Street, the perimeter spaces in the South Grand lot and the Union Street lot by Back Street Music.
The west end of the Firehouse lot also has all-day parking, 8am-6pm, but no overnight parking.
All of the other timed parking runs 6am-6pm, Monday through Saturday.
“The timed lots are to create turnover so that customers have a place to park,” said CPI Vice President John Sagendorf, who worked on the regulations.
“And it’s important to make people aware of the number of spaces downtown.”
Parking at the Firehouse lot is not intended for downtown customers, Mr. Sagendorf said, but for downtown employees. It’s only a short walk to most businesses, and parking there frees up closer slots for customers.
“This makes it clear that there’s parking for store owners and their employees and people who live in apartments––and plenty more for customers,” Mr. Sagendorf said.
Enforcement is key for making the new regulations work, and Police Chief Mike O’Brien said he began ticketing cars––without a grace period–– on June 1.
Tickets are $15, and cars may also be towed.
“I think the signs will help a lot with educating the public,” Chief O’Brien said. “We don’t want this to be a negative thing.
“The idea isn’t to generate fine money. It’s to gain compliance with the law. That’s CPI’s goal, too, and I think it’s a great thing.”
CPI and village officials issued a letter describing the changes; the Water Department delivered the letter to all households when it also delivered the water-quality report several weeks ago.