SOUTH GLENS FALLS — Common Roots patrons should park at Village Hall to keep from blocking a narrow side street near the popular bar, Village Board members decided.
Common Roots is temporarily occupying a building on Newton Street, at the corner of Saratoga Avenue. The tap room space is much bigger than in its previous location, which burned down on March 25.
But with the increased space comes crowds, every night of the week. Customers are parking on both sides of Newton Street, narrowing the road so much that only one car can fit in the driving lane.
“One car can fit through, and then if another car is coming, you have to wait until they get through,” said neighbor Jamie Johnson.
Others described the road as so congested that it’s hard to navigate the entrance because cars are parked so close to the intersection.
It’s so tight that firefighters are concerned that they might not be able to get a firetruck down the road. They are going to try driving one down the street to verify that there is enough space.
Village Board members, at their Wednesday night meeting, noted that Common Roots officials have been urging their customers to be considerate to their neighbors and park carefully.
“They’ve encouraged people to park in other places,” Mayor Harry Gutheil said. “But it’s the typical thing, people want to park as close to the door as they can.”
Board member Tony Girard said Common Roots must do more to stop people from parking unsafely.
“They’re in a neighborhood. It’s a pretty big shock to see the traffic,” he said. “I would ask that they help us out.”
He proposed letting the public use the parking lot at Village Hall. It’s a 2-minute walk from there to Common Roots. And there’s a lot of room: 12 parking spots in front of Village Hall, as well as parking along the side of the driveway and several more spots behind Village Hall.
“All of us, work together,” Girard said.
Common Roots employees welcomed the idea Thursday.
But Gutheil said the village may need to do more “to get voluntarily cooperation” from customers.
The village may put traffic cones on one side of Newton Street to stop people from parking there, or put up stakes with temporary “no parking” signs. The board did not want to change village law to ban parking forever on one side of the residential road.
Common Roots may need to scale back some of its events, Girard added, noting that there was a food truck there recently.
“I especially think with the parking issues we have, they shouldn’t have a food truck because that just eats up more space,” Girard said.
Residents seemed willing to find compromises because the business will only be there temporarily while the former building is rebuilt. That might take a year.
“I think it’s fabulous that they’re there,” Johnson said, adding that she was glad the employees didn’t wind up unemployed for a year during construction. “I’m glad they’re there. It’s just the parking is kind of scary.”