Ward 5 Councillor John Powers said he is opposed to the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DRC) plan to install parking meter pay stations on Revere Beach Boulevard. The 100 multi-space meters (MSMs) would serve 1,075 parking spaces from Eliot Circle to Carey Circle on both sides of the Boulevard.
Powers made his opposition known to DCR officials who held a parking meter proposal meeting remotely on Oct. 15.
Jennifer Norwood, of the DCR Office of External Affairs and Partnerships, expertly moderated the parking meter proposal meeting. Hazel Clarence, DCR parking operations manager, gave a precise and professional explanation of the project. Clarence’s thorough presentation included graphs, signs, photos, diagrams, maps and renderings of the projects.
Clarence said the Multi-Space Meters – as opposed to Single-Space Meters (SPM/individual parking meters) – would be in operation on a seasonal basis (April 15-October 15). The program would run from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The cost for each parking space would be $1.25 per hour, with no time restrictions. Vehicle owners could pay by coin, debit or credit card, or by using a mobile payment option. No annual DCR parking passes will be issued for the Revere Beach parking program.
The revenue from the parking program would go to the state (DCR) budget.
Powers said the Boulevard has seen an increase in traffic in recent years and that the parking meters would be a costly inconvenience to residents on the Boulevard.
“In recent years, the Boulevard has become a major route for traffic coming from the North Shore going south in the morning and going north in the evening, creating an inconvenience for residents on the northern end of the Boulevard (from Revere Street to Carey Circle),” said Powers.
“These parking meters would be another inconvenience and a costly situation for these residents to face on a daily basis,” added Powers.
The long-time councillor said the DCR claims that the money is needed to fund the DCR operating budget. “The money would not be dedicated to the Revere Beach Reservation so DCR is going to put meters down there, collect the money, and spend it anywhere they want outside of Revere Beach or on Revere Beach. If you’re collecting revenue in Revere, the money should remain in Revere to support the maintenance of Revere’s first public beach.”
Powers said his main concern about the plan is for the people who live in buildings on the Boulevard.
“Further, I would hope the DCR would give consideration to leaving the residential side of the Boulevard free from parking meters – for the people who live in condominiums, the Jack Satter House, St. George, and all those buildings,” said Powers. “If you’re going to put parking meters there, please don’t put the meters on the residential side from Revere Street down to Carey Circle – put them on the water (beach) side of the Boulevard.”
Powers said he wanted to be known that three years ago the City of Revere agreed to allocate $11.2 for the construction of a new maintenance and bathhouse facility (adjacent to the State Police Barracks on Revere Beach).
Rep. Vincent Also in Opposition
State Representative RoseLee Vincent vigorously opposed the DCR’s parking meter plan.
“As Revere’s State Representative and as the House Chair of the Metropolitan Beaches Commission, I am totally opposed to the parking plan as presented by the DCR,” said Vincent. “If revenues generated were going to go back to the maintenance of and capital improvements to America’s First Public Beach and some consideration was made for those who live on the Boulevard, I would be in favor of it. However, after attending the public hearings in which the proposal was presented, if funds cannot go back to investments in Revere Beach and the City of Revere then I am totally opposed to placing metered parking on our beach.
“Anybody who walks the beach knows that the sidewalks are cracked, the seawalls are crumbling, the pavilions are deteriorating and the period lighting poles are rusting. We have a serious need for tangible investment in our Reservation, and raising funds through metered parking would have been a logical way to make these needed improvements a reality in the near future. If this matter is resolved in a final plan, I would be supportive because I always thought that metered parking on Revere Beach would imply concrete action steps to restore the Boulevard to being the polished gem of our community that it so rightly is, as well as give the DCR and the City of Revere more resources in their toolboxes to maintain the day-to-day challenges the Revere Beach Reservation faces. However, for right now, I am opposed to the proposal currently before the DCR.”
Turco Says RB Partnership Supports Parking Plan
Revere Beach Partnership President Jeffrey Turco expressed support for the new parking program, but proposed that Revere be included in the sharing of revenue and that some of the funds go toward DCR programming on Revere Beach.
“We support the idea of a parking program on the beach,” said Turco. “But one thing that is concerning to me from the proposal – we support this with the understanding that there should be revenue-sharing with the City of Revere. Also this money should be used to augment the programming of DCR on the beach and in the beach area, rather than being replaced or supplementing the existing [DCR] budget. I urge you to reconsider that component.”
Vincent said, “I just want to voice my really deep concern about the fact that the revenues that will be collected from these meters will not be going to the areas in which they are located. As the representative of Revere Beach, we have our historic pavilions that are in disrepair, cracked sidewalks, crumbling seawalls, period light fixtures that are rusting. The fact that we’re going to have all of these parking stations on the Boulevard and not benefiting from any of the revenue – I think, is beyond words for me right now.”