Traffic Comm. Hears of MBTA’s Plans for 110 and 116 Bus Route Improvements

Special to the Journal

The Revere Traffic Commission (RTC) held a regular monthly meeting last Thursday, May 23, in the City Councillor Joseph A. Del Grosso City Council Chambers at Revere City Hall. On hand for the session were chair Frank Stringi, Police Lieut. Sean Randall, DPW Director Chris Ciaramella, City Engineer Nick Rystrom, and Fire Chief Chris Bright. First up on the agenda was a presentation by Becca Wolfson and Olivia Mobayed from the MBTA regarding the T’s Better Bus Network Improvement plans for the 110 and 116 bus routes.  “We are working on implementing a once-in-a-generation update to the MBTA’s bus network,” said Mobayed. “This is a complete reimagining of the MBTA’s bus network to better reflect the travel needs of the region and create a better experience for current and future bus riders. There have been changes to travel patterns in the area in the past 20 years, but the current bus networks do not reflect those changes.” She said the first phase of redesign will include a 60% increase in service for five bus routes in Chelsea, Everett, and Revere, which include the 110 and 116 routes. The 110 originates at Wellington Station and runs through Everett and Revere to the Revere Beach and Wonderland T stations. Presently, there are 15-minute intervals during rush hour and 30 minute intervals in off-peak periods,  but the T’s new plan calls for 15 minute service all day, every day, from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m.  The current route serves about 3000 riders per day. In Revere, this route goes down Park Ave., then onto Broadway, then onto Central Ave., then to Beach St., and finally to the Revere Beach and Wonderland stations.  The 116 Route runs from Maverick Station through East Boston, Chelsea, and then onto Broadway, Revere before proceeding to Wonderland. This route carries 11,600 riders per day. The new service plan for this route also will provide 15-minute service all day, seven days per week.  Wolfson said there will have to be capital improvement projects in all of the communities in order to accommodate the increase in service, including designated bus lanes, accessible sidewalk repairs, the installation of new benches and shelters, and transit signalization priority improvements to help speed buses along, which is especially needed at the already-congested intersection of Park Ave. and Broadway, through which 500 bus riders pass per hour during rush hour. She said the first phase will incur about $560,000 in construction costs that will be paid for entirely by the T. The proposed changes will require about 400 daily riders to transfer from the 117 bus to the 116 bus for those who are going to Chelsea and East Boston. However, the T’s plan will shorten the walking distance between the connecting stops considerably (by as much as 775 feet) for these transfer commuters. In addition, the changes proposed by the T will result in a net loss of five parking spaces in the vicinity of Broadway and Park Ave. At the conclusion of the meeting, the commission members voted unanimously to move the matter to a public hearing next month, at which time the RTC will decide whether to approve the proposals. The commission conducted a number of public hearings and took votes approving the following matters: — Amending Schedule IV of Title 10 (Isolated Stop Signs) by adding: a. Adams Street Southbound Traffic at Cooledge Street and b. Raymond Road Northbound Traffic at Cooledge Street; — Amending Schedule V of Title 10  (One-Way Streets) by Removing: Fairfield Street as a one-way Street; — Amending Schedule V of Title 10  (One-Way Streets) by Adding: Fairfield Street as a two-way street; — Amending Schedule VIII of Title 10 – to change the Eastern side of Fairfield Street to No Parking Anytime. City Councillor Angela Sawaya-Guarino spoke on behalf of the residents of Fairfield St. who favored the move and City Parking Director Zach Babo echoed his support for the measure; — Amending Schedule XI of Title 10 (Handicapped Person Parking) by adding: 19 Fairfield St. and 54 Carlson Avenue; and — Amending Schedule XI of Title 10 (Handicapped Person Parking) by removing 68 Endicott Ave. (which no longer is needed). The lone item rejected by the commission was a request to amend Schedule VIII of Title 10 (Parking Restrictions Generally) by removing restrictions regarding one-side parking only on Archer Avenue, Blanchard Avenue, Lawson Avenue, Wadleigh Avenue, Gilbert Avenue, Frank Avenue, Beckert Avenue, Tobin Avenue, John Avenue, River Avenue, Thayer Avenue, and Hayes Avenue. The request also included a meeting among the Traffic Commission, Police Dept., and Fire Dept. to resolve any issues. In addition, the request included a provision that new signage be installed that would state “Resident Parking Only 24/7 with Permit/Sticker.” Councillor Guarino-Sawaya spoke on behalf of the residents of the Riverside neighborhood, telling the commissioners that Riverside residents are seeking to have the same parking restrictions as currently exist in the Point of Pines neighborhood. However, after a discussion among the commissioners regarding the ability of snow plows and fire trucks to navigate the streets if parking were to be allowed on both sides of the streets, they rejected that part of the proposal and parking will remain only on one side. However, parking will be restricted to residents with parking stickers. The commissioners also moved to a public hearing for next month the following items: — Amend Title 10, Sections 10.32.210 – 10.32.211 to allow parking of vehicles with pupil plates not to exceed six passengers. Ward 4 Paul Argenzio brought the matter forward on behalf of a constituent; — Amend Schedule VIII of Title 10 – Restrictions Generally by adding: Gibson Park – Two Hour Parking during the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., seven days a week. Babo said that the construction workers at the nearby Gibson Point residential project have been parking there despite having a shuttle bus lot available to them just over the bridge in Lynn. He said this is a request that had been brought forward by residents of the area, who said that there is nowhere to park in the vicinity of Gibson Park if they want to bring their children to use the park. “The time-restricted parking will ensure that it is available for playground users at all times,” said Babo. “In addition, we want to ensure that the new residents of the development and their guests do not use the park for parking.” Stringi added an amendment that the time frame be increased to three hours instead of two hours; — In conjunction with that matter, the RTC also moved to a public hearing an amendment to Schedule XXIII of Title 10 (Tow Away Zones -Off Street Parking Areas) by adding: Gibson Park – both sides – Time of Towing 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m., seven days a week; and — Amend 10.34.010 Section G (Resident parking sticker) by removing 145 Harris Street and amend 10.43.010 Section F by adding 145 Harris Street – one Parking Sticker per unit. Additional vehicles will not be eligible. Babo noted that the 11-unit condo building at 145 Harris St. only has 14 parking spaces and does not have sufficient parking for additional family members now residing there.

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