Parking fines for restricted parking spaces in Aquinnah will be increased in 2022, along with overtime parking fines at the town lot.
As seasonal nonresident parking passes are set to expire on Sept. 30, the Aquinnah select board decided at Tuesday’s meeting to double the parking ticket fines in town for next year.
Fines for parking in a restricted spot at Philbin Beach will be raised to $100, and overtime parking fines at the Aquinnah Circle will be raised to $50.
According to Aquinnah Police Chief Randhi Belain, police have written a total of 159 parking tickets at Philbin from May until the end of August.
“And that ‘no parking’ sign can’t be any more yellow. It’s plain to see,” Belain said. “As we have discussed it more and more, I am of the belief that the fine needs to be increased for overtime parking due to the increase in the normal parking fee for the municipal lot.”
Select board member Tom Murphy, who first suggested doubling the fines, said the $50 fine at Philbin that has been in place “is not enough of a disincentive for people.”
Belain said the police department would need to order new parking tickets for next year, as they had already ordered $600 worth of tickets with the original fine amounts.
He noted that the town does not enforce parking near the Vanderhoop Homestead up at the Cliffs, and said he would reach out to the Land Bank, which owns the spaces.
Town administrator Jeff Madison suggested the town ask the Land Bank to install a split-rail fence near the homestead parking area that would allow for only three cars to park.
“Cars are parking closer and closer to the vegetation, and it’s making a new space every year. This year it will be four cars, next year it will be five cars that will squeeze in there,” Madison said.
In discussing how to handle parking at West Basin during the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby, the select board decided to form a subcommittee that would look at parking issues in town.
Madison suggested that once the subcommittee is formed, they look at using state matching funds to enlarge the parking areas leading to the boat ramp at West Basin, so that residents who wish to use their boats have enough space to load in.
“One of the problems we have is when someone parks illegally there, and you are backing a trailer down to get your boat in, it’s really difficult to do,” Madison said.
Board members also decided not to make additional accommodations for nonresident parking during the Derby.