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The fight for permit parking in Providence

Contrary to popular belief in some quarters, on-street parking in residential neighborhoods will not hasten the decline of Western Civilization. Patrick Ward, the force behind Citizens for Resident Permit Parking, will tell you the same thing. The Phoenix has written about this in the past.

The PBN has an update on the campaign:

“There’s a hundred good reasons to eliminate the overnight parking ban,” Ward said last week. “But I can’t think of a lot of good ones to maintain it.”

In the last 18 months, he and other volunteers have circulated petitions, organized rallies, put up lawn signs and talked to neighborhood groups.

Now the efforts appear to paying off.

City officials confirmed last week that a pilot parking permit program will be established for a four-block section of Mount Pleasant surrounding Ward’s three-unit apartment house that is particularly starved for parking spaces.

According to City Councilman Terrance Hassett, the densely populated neighborhood with limited off-street parking joins an area of Washington Park in which cars have been allowed for about a year to park on the streets overnight with a permit.

Hassett said it will take another 60 to 90 days for the new program to start, allowing for signs to be printed and installed. Acknowledging he didn’t support the permit plan when it was first suggested last year, Hassett said he was swayed by the success of the Washington Park experiment.

“We’ve discovered it can be done with few problems,” he said.

The victory for Ward’s group doesn’t end there. Kari Lang, executive director of the West Broadway Neighborhood Association, said there are plans to add a pilot permit program in that neighborhood, too.

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