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Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom


Facebook: Bob Hammerstrom at The Nashua Telegraph


Hybrid cars have the priority parking outside the latest New Hampshire Liquor Store in Nashua.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Parking at NH liquor store OK’d

CONCORD – The state Commission on Disabilities has endorsed the controversial parking scheme at a new Nashua liquor store, The Telegraph has confirmed.

The furor among House Republican leaders about special parking spaces for hybrid vehicles at the store on Coliseum Avenue convinced the state Liquor Commission to order a study on the issue.

House Speaker William O’Brien, R-Mont Vernon, and Rep. Peter Silva, R-Nashua, objected that hybrid spaces were closer to the front door of the store than spaces reserved for those with disabilities.

Liquor Commission Chairman Joseph Mollica stressed last month that the parking arrangement was only “temporary.”

The three-person commission voted to consult with the Governor’s Commission on Disabilities on the matter and ask the contractor to prepare a report.

The Governor’s Commission on Disability concluded parking spaces at the new store for those with disabilities fully comply with accessibility requirements, state officials said Tuesday.

Mollica and other state liquor officials maintained the spaces for those with disabilities were picked because they were closer to both the entrance to the liquor store/wine outlet and to the public restrooms.

O’Brien and others had objected that the hybrid spaces were even closer to the opening of the store.

House Majority Whip Silva had called for the immediate removal of any reserved spaces for hybrid cars.

State officials sought to get a high, “green” rating for environmental efficiency with construction of this $3.3 million store on Coliseum Avenue that replaces a smaller one being demolished.

Choice parking spaces for fuel-efficient vehicles is one of the features that improve a public building’s LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

The LEED standards, however, do not require those hybrid spaces be any better than parking for the disabled.

Kevin Landrigan can reached at 321-7040 or klandrigan@nashuatelegraph.com. Also check out Landrigan (@KLandrigan) on Twitter and don’t forget The Telegraph’s new, interactive live feed at www.nashuatelegraph.com/topics/livefeed.