Councillor-at-Large George Rotondo wants the city to release the recommendations that were made by the city to the Deprtment of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) regarding the Ocean Avenue/Revere Street intersection in light of the many projects being constructed on the busy roadway that runs parallel to Revere Beach.
“Actually someone had asked for this information and was denied this request,” said Rotondo. “I cannot see why the city would not want the people of Revere to know what recommendations were made to the DCR regarding Ocean Avenue and the Revere Street intersection. Why would the city deny this constituent, Eric Lampedecchio, this information? What’s the Mayor’s Office hiding, and why?”
Rotondo said there is so much construction going on Ocean Avenue, “the people show know what’s going on down there.”
Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky said he attended a meeting following the completion of a traffic study ‘”by a private organization” that focused not only on Ocean Avenue and Revere Street but on other areas of Revere.
“That was one of two
studies that were put together, one by a private developer, and one by [an individual] that the city hired,” said Novoselsky. “These were not at that time finalized recommendations. They were only suggestions to DCR. DCR has to make the final decision. It’s their property. It has nothing to do with the City of Revere. These guys are trying to correct a bad situation. We all know it’s bad down there.”
Novoselsky said that all members of the City Council were invited to that meeting. “Nothing is being hidden here. It was there for everybody to be seen. This is just a political showoff that someone wants to get something done,” he added.
Ward 5 Councillor John Powers said he agreed with Novoselsky’s summation.
“We had a meeting in the Mayor’s Office and and then we had another meeting at the State House that was sponsored by Speaker [Robert] DeLeo,” said Powers, adding that a rotary was proposed as one of the suggestions for relieving the traffic snarls “where the old Ebb Tide used to be at the end of Revere Street and Ocean Avenue.”
Sensiing that the discussion was ranging into “a lot of defensive posturing and hostility,” Councillor-at-Large Dan Rizzo said about the motion, “I think Councillor Rotondo is just looking for information. Not everyone can make every meeting that is held. And I didn’t see anything in the motion that no meetings were held and nobody was invited.
“If you can’t make a meeting, there should be a paper trail just to say what’s going on,” said Rizzo. “I learned more about this just listening to the scenario right now than I knew before. The resident that is looking for it just wants that information. If there is an update, we should just make that [information] available.”
Lampedecchio, a candidate for Ward 5 councillor, revealed that he was the constituent who requested the information.
“I was not trying to turn a mountain in to a mole hill,” said Lampedecchio. “By no means is this anything political. This is something I’m really excited about it. The Revere Street bottleneck has been a problem for a long time. To hear that the city is working on that, I just wanted more information. I wanted to know what’s going on, what’s the plan. When I asked for additional information, I was declined.”
Lampedecchio thanked Rotondo for bringing his request before the Council.
Council President Arthur Guinasso said he attended the meeting about the Ocean Avenue traffic study and came away frustrated with the lack of a remedy to the heavy traffic and difficult access for vehicles on Ocean Avenue and Revere Street.
The City Council approved Rotondo’s motion requesting Mayor Arrigo to release the recommendations that were made to the DCR about the current traffic situation on Ocean Avenue.
Mayor Brian Arrigo addressed the councillors’ discussion and action, stating: “The City commissioned the traffic study after an appropriation from the City Council. Multiple Councilors, including Councilor Rotondo and Councilor Rizzo, were among those invited to participate in meeting as the study progressed and recommendations developed. Our objective is to establish a dialogue with the Mass. Department of Transportation and DCR, which are the agencies that will have ultimate decision-making authority on the topic. Any recommendations at this stage are very preliminary drafts, and we are not inclined to usurp the state’s authority at this early discussion stage by publicizing the content of these early discussions.”