Parking Plan for the Plainfield Town Hall Opera House
After five years of concerted effort, the Plainfield Town Hall Opera House is in much better shape today than it’s been in 175 years. Off-site conditions are still poor in critical respects, however. There remain serious obstacles to overcome for the facility to be fully functional. Although the Hall has the capacity for events of up to 240 people, it only has nearby, dedicated parking for crowds one-fifth that size. This narrows potential audiences considerably, as well as the scale of events offered there. Moreover, pedestrians walking between their parking spots in the lower village and the Town Hall Opera House face hazards due to the lack of adequate sidewalks, as well as the dangers of crossing US Route 2. Fortunately, efforts are underway to correct these conditions and reduce these liabilities.
When the Main Street Bridge/Sidewalk Project is completed in 2019, the walk between the lower village and the Town Hall Opera House will be much easier to make. A signalized pedestrian crossing and pedestrian-scale lighting in front of the Town Hall will make it safe to cross US Route 2.
With regard to parking, town officials have been eyeing the property directly across the street from the Town Hall, adjacent to the existing Town Hall lot, for years to afford additional opportunities for patrons of the Town Hall Opera House. The Regional Planning Commission has recently developed plans showing that eighteen additional parking spaces and a roadside drop-off/pick-up area could be created on that property. The current lot only has space for 12 cars. While most patrons of a sold-out event would still need to find parking in the lower village or elsewhere, passengers could conveniently be dropped off and picked up directly across the street front of the facility
In August 2018, the Friends of the Plainfield Town Hall Opera House purchased the property across the street and is presently raising money to pay off the mortgage and to remove the abandoned building to create additional parking for patrons of the Town Hall Opera House. For more information about the fund campaign contact David Strong at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parking Scenario 2 - Add Parking On Adjacent Parcel
This map shows a parking configuration for the Gallison property as it is now. Only minor grading and fill is needed (approximately 33 cubic yards of crushed granite subbase, costing roughly $675 delivered). This can be done in the short-term a potential (i.e. - 0 - 1 year) after the property has been purchased. The net effect would be an immediate and substantial increase (nearly doubling) in the amount of parking.
With the two lots side by side, 23 parking spaces would be available right away, and 27 in the near- term (with the expansion of the existing lot previously described). Note that a handicapped parking space is provided adjacent to the new AOT-approved crosswalk to be installed in 2019.
Also note the carriage house on the back of the property remains under this scenario. That is because, in order to convert the space it occupies into parking, not only would the building (which is in sound condition) need to be removed, but a considerable amount of additional fill would be required. And the net result would be one additional public parking space.
Parking Scenario 3 – Remove Abandoned Building and Utilize Both Parcels to Create a Single Lot
This shows what could be done with the combined lots if the abandoned house on the property were gone. This plan calls for making the grade
equal on both lots and reducing the number of entrances from two to one. This plan would allow traffic flow within the parking area. A “Loading
zone” (drop-off/pick- up area) could easily be established near the new crosswalk. This would permit passengers to leave (and return to) their rides in a safe, convenient location.
In addition to the cost of removing the house (which the Friends of the Plainfield Town Hall Opera House has guaranteed it will pay for), other site improvements needed under this plan include retaining walls on the south and west sides of the new lot, and the importation of approximately 2,000 cubic yards of fill to bring the new property to level grade. While free fill material from nearby construction projects will undoubtedly be available, additional fill and the installation of retaining walls, as well as other site improvements, will have to wait until costs are known and funds are available.
Note that this scenario adds a second handicapped-accessible parking space adjacent to the new crosswalk.