Oak Bluffs considers raising Pacific Avenue parking rate

Oak Bluffs town hall. —Eunki Seonwoo

The Oak Bluffs select board is considering raising rates for a commercial parking lot on Pacific Avenue to more align with off-Island commuter lots. 

The parking pass for the lot has been $500 per year, which the board contemplated raising to $600 per year.

The board did not make a final decision on Tuesday, March 12; instead they postponed the conversation until absent board members Dion Alley and Jason Balboni were available.

Oak Bluffs town administrator Deborah Potter pointed out that the offsite parking pass for the Steamship Authority’s Palmer Avenue lot in Falmouth is currently $850 per year. Potter said the proposal wasn’t meant to elevate the Pacific Avenue parking lot into a “moneymaking venture.” 

Board members Gail Barmakian and Emma Green-Beach expressed concern whether this would be a financial challenge for on-Island companies, and wondered if a discount could be given to Vineyard businesses. Potter responded that the “vast majority” of the Pacific Avenue lot users consisted of commuting commercial vehicles, adding that a tiered charge could be problematic when determining what counts as an on-Island business. 

Green-Beach said she would be comfortable with voting for the $100 increase, but board member Thomas Hallahan said he wanted more information, and to have Balboni and Alley be a part of the conversation, before a decision was made.

Meanwhile, the board discussed potentially solidifying where a flagpole meant for government speech should be located, although this conversation will also be continued once more board members are present. The matter was discussed during a previous board meeting in February. Currently, the town’s flagpole is in downtown Oak Bluffs. The town had adopted a flag policy last May to allow ceremonial flags, like the LGBTQ Pride flag, to be temporarily flown at the select board’s discretion. 

The board also unanimously approved a final version of Oak Bluffs’ annual and special town meeting warrants.


  1. Comment on Oak Bluffs Considers Raising Pacific Avenue Parking Rate:

    As an immediate abutter to the Pacific Avenue Park & Ride, I sincerely hope that the Town of Oak Bluffs will use this additional income to comply with its Recodified Zoning By-Law, April 2003, 5.5.1 General Landscaping Requirement for non-residential use in a residential neighborhood and protect one of the Town’s oldest and most diverse neighborhoods with suitable boundaries that buffer abutters from dirt, unsightly views such as a huge shipping crate, noise from diesel trucks warming their engines at 7 am, and diminished property values due to adjacent nonresidential use. This Park & Ride has been an eyesore in our neighborhood since in opened in 2015. We deserve better!

      • That’s not the point I read from her comment it was more that the Town needs to do what it is supposed to do in addressing the parking issue.

    • Do you have a better spot in mind??? There doesnt seem to be much ‘room’ elsewhere! Suggest a spot thats better and then maybe they can work with that…. but complaining without a solution doesnt work very well – it creates nothing but chaos and anxiety for the workers looking to just get in their vehicles and go to work. Keeping fingers crossed for the best outcome!!

  2. The Park and Ride might reduce some use of gasoline/diesel. That’s a good thing. Let’s plant more daffodils. That’s a good thing too.

Comments are closed.