The Department of Conservation Recreation’s decision to reduce parking spots along Revere Beach lessened the number of visitors to the beach over the Labor Day weekend.
With excellent weather, large crowds were expected at the beach but that didn’t materialize as visitors were limited to 50 percent of the usual parking spaces at the beach due to the “every other space” regulation in effect due to the coronavirus. The DCR and the City of Revere were hoping to decrease the number of beachgoers and the strategy proved to be effective.
Large orange barrels (and orange traffic cones in some instances) were placed in every other parking spot along the beach.
Mayor Brian Arrigo thanked DCR officials for their limited-parking initiative at Revere Beach.
“We are grateful that the Department of Conservation and Recreation saw fit to reduce the parking capacity at Revere Beach as part of their regional initiative to help lessen capacity and crowds at state-run recreational areas,” said Arrigo. “While we want people to enjoy the Beach, we are also mindful that crowds pose a substantial danger to spread Covid-19. The barrels along the Boulevard are a stark reminder that the Covid-19 threat is a continuing menace and that we all have to play a role in preventing its spread. Overall, the reduction in parking along the Boulevard helped mitigate the influx of visitors over the Labor Day weekend, not only at Revere Beach, but at other recreation areas operated by the DCR. We will continue to work in concert with the DCR, as they have been very responsive to the City’s needs during the pandemic.”
Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky and Ward 5 Councillor John Powers also praised the initiative. “I think having fewer parking spaces kept a lot of beachgoers away and that was the DCR’s goal: to prevent overcrowding and lessen the spread of the virus through potentially large gatherings,” said Novoselsky.
Powers had been concerned that the parking overflow at the beach might spill into the Point of Pines area but he was satisfied with the end result.
“I thought that beachgoers might park on Rice Avenue or some of the other streets in Point of Pines, but I felt the parking situation was safe for my constituents throughout the weekend,” said Powers.
Council President Patrick Keefe liked the new policy of 50-percent parking spaces, but he said in reflection of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, “I think it probably would’ve been good to just keep the barriers up the entire summer season. But it’s really difficult when we have to go through the DCR and I think they wanted to open up the beach for non-residents. But I believe it hindsight, it probably would have been best to keep the barriers up the entire summer.”