Downtown Parking Forum Resources


Take the survey!

The Town of Amherst, through its consultant Nelson Nygaard is seeking your input on parking issues affecting Downtown Amherst. By completing the following short survey, you will help us develop a deeper understanding of how well our existing parking supplies, policies, and management approach are serving the needs and expectations of our downtown business owners, employees, residents, and visitors.

Follow this link to take the survey:

April 28, 2016

New Parking Banners Installed

Just in time for UMass graduation, several new banners and sign have been installed downtown.  Improving signs for public lots downtown was a of the Downtown Parking Report.  These five new banners and new signs for the Pray Street and Town Hall Lot is phase I.  Subsequent improvements may follow the reconstruction of the Amity Street Lot and portions of East Pleasant Street.  This project illustrates a good collaboration between the Planning Department and Department of Public Works.


April 1, 2016

Parking Data Collection Study

As a continuation of the downtown parking forums, discussions, and as outlined in the Downtown Parking Report, the Town is excited to announce that Nelson Nygaard will begin an existing parking facilities supply and demand study in April!

The project will consist of three distinct data collection opportunities this spring, including an updated inventory and study of utilization rates. It will include a detailed parking user survey online, intercept surveys, and a series of stakeholder roundtable discussions, including residents, where the data findings will be shared. A final report will be prepared and provided with a presentation of the findings to occur towards the end of the summer. Subject to rain dates, data collectors working with the consultant will be in Town on April 7, April 9, and, April 23rd and may be seen walking around town conducting counts in two hour loops.

As a reminder, the collection of new data was a key objective identified through forums hosted by the Planning Department and co-sponsored by the Select Board and Planning Board. We are now embarking on this much needed step to begin addressing downtown parking issues. Information related to the data collection, the online user survey, along with the Downtown Parking Report, will be available and posted at

Questions may be directed to Jeff Bagg, Senior Planner, in the Amherst Planning Department at 413-259-3187 or


(Click on the image to review the Report)

Downtown Parking Report cover
The Downtown Parking Report is complete!

On October 26, 2015, the final Downtown Parking Report was presented at a joint meeting of the Select Board, Planning Board, and Transportation Task Force.  In addition to providing the final report, the following initial action items and policy question were discussed:
  • Initiate overnight winter parking pilot in Town CVS lot
  • Complete Downtown parking banners for public lots
  • Initiate updated parking supply and demand study
  • Formation of a downtown parking working group
To view the Planning Department memorandum to the Select Board, click here:  link
Select Board Presentation of Final Parking Report and next steps (starts at 1:28:40 thru 2:09:45

FINAL DRAFT - Downtown Parking Report, July 24, 2015

The following is the final draft of the Downtown Parking Report: FINAL DRAFT, Downtown Parking Report, July 24, 2015 

DRAFT/PREVIEW - Downtown Parking Report, June 15, 2015

The following draft was presented to the Select Board on June 15, 2015.  This version of the Report is more akin to a "preview".  It is intended to show the purpose, an outline, framework, and format.  Between now and the final draft the language and content may change. 

The goal is to provide the Select Board and Planning Board with a final draft by the end of July, 2015.

To view the document, click here: DRAFT Downtown Parking Report, June 15, 2015

Let's Talk About It (LWV of Amherst) - Transportation Plan and Downtown Parking, May 19, 2015


Thank you to everyone who came to the third parking forum, co-sponsored by the Select Board and Planning Board, on Tuesday, March 24, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. in the Large Activity Room in the Bangs Community Center.  We will be updating this page to include the notes, maps, and information collected at the third forum, so please check back soon.
Individual Ranking Form
During the third forum, participants were asked to complete an individual ranking form.  We will keep this form available here until April 17, 2015.  Click here for the Individual Ranking Form.

To submit your ranking, please print the form, fill it out, and submit it to the Planning Department office, or send the completed form electronically to
Forum # 3 Video
flyer 3
May 4, 2009 Town Meeting Video (Discussion of Municipal Parking District is from 1:12:45 to 2:20:00)



Forum #2 Video

Forum # 2 slide show

forum cover

Thanks to everyone who attended the second parking forum on Tuesday January 20, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.  
The following letters were received prior to the forum:
Jones Library
Amherst BID
News and Updates

Forum #2 - Memorandum to Select Board and Planning Board, December 12, 2014
Forum #2 - Gazette article, December 15, 2014
Notice of Funding Availability - Parking Demand Management Plans, December 2014

Downtown Parking Forum #1:

Co-sponsored by the Select Board and Planning Board, the Planning Department hosted the first in a series of public forums about parking in Amherst Center, on September 23, 2014 at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst. One of the goals of the first forum is to provide a platform for residents, business owners, and others to identify what's working, what's not, ask questions, and offer potential solutions. Subsequent forums will be organized to present a summary of the issues and concerns raised and to create a collaborative, comprehensive, and open process for the community, Select Board, and Planning Board to establish future options and solutions regarding this complex topic.

Forum #1 Video

Forum #1 Presentation

parking forum slides.png

Forum #1 Notes

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Available Parking Information, Studies, and Reference Documents
As part of what will be an ongoing conversation about parking in Amherst Center, we are happy to present the following important information about the history of Amherst Center Parking and previous parking studies:

Information About The Current Parking System:
Municipal Parking District 1st created in the 1960's and expanded again in 1986 and 2009, the Municipal Parking District is a zoning overlay district intended "to encourage the dense development and pedestrian spaces in Amherst town Center". Read more...
town Center Permit Parking (NOTE: this page is still under construction) This system was adopted by the Select Board in October of 2000 and is a non-zoning permit system intended to provide long-term parking for people who live, work, or own property downtown while protecting prime-street parking for customers and visitors. Read more...

Public Lots and Metered Spaces (Note: this page is still under construction) As identified in the 2008 PVPC parking study, there are approximately 538 public parking spaces downtown. There are approximately 410 parking spaces spread across 8 public lots and approximately 128 on-street metered spots. Read more...

Private Lots and Non-Metered On-Street Parking As identified in the 2008 PVPC parking study, there are approximately 1,159 private parking spaces downtown. The number and usage of non-metered on-street parking requires further review. The 2008 PVPC study provides the best resource for information about private parking resources.