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Traffic Commission discusses new layout, parking meter status for Central Ave. lot

Monday’s meeting of the Revere Traffic Commission was historic in that the members fielded exemption requests from residents pertaining to the city’s first-ever residential parking program that began on Oct. 15.

It was also historic in that it will be the last time the Commission begins its meetings at 4 p.m. As a result of Ward 6 Councilor Richard Serino’s successful motion and as Commission Chair Paul Argenzio announced at the end of the meeting, “All [Traffic Commission] meetings will be held at 5 o’clock instead of 4 o’clock from now on to allow for the participation of residents that work. so our next and subsequent meetings will be at 5 o’clock.”

The Central Avenue municipal parking lot that serves many parking purposes, Broadway businesses, residences, and the Rossetti Cowan Senior Center, was a major topic of discussion by the committee relative to the proposed fee schedule [meaning the installation of parking meters] and the uses of the lot for varying reasons.

“The section going in from Central Avenue (which is located off of Broadway across from the Central Fire Station) would have parking meters,” said Argenzio while paraphrasing the many changes being proposed for the lot.

He further explained that there would be parking meters for the two rows of spaces that face each other, just behind the bus shelter seating area on Central Avenue.

 Two of those spaces would be designated for handicapped parking.

Argenzio said the spaces in the right corner of the lot closest to Aucella Court would become “business permit areas” where businesses would have access to obtaining  business parking permits.

He added that the Sprague Street side of the lot would designated for people using the Rossetti-Cowan Senior Center while the spaces in the back area of the lot would have parking meters.

 Ralph DeCicco, chair of the Revere Commission on Disabilities, asked whether some of the handicapped parking spots would be eliminated from the Sprague Street side of the lot.

“There were a dozen handicapped spots [and it was determined] that we didn’t need that many, so we’re reducing that number back down to four which it was originally,” responded Argenzio.

DeCicco supported the decision to reduce the number of handicapped spaces to four spots.

The issues pertaining to the actual per-hour cost for a parking space in the Central Avenue lot and the potential cost of a business parking permit in the lot were not discussed at the meeting.

The Commission did approve a motion by Police Chief David Callahan that the Central Avenue parking lot and parking meter proposal proceed to a public hearing.  That hearing will likely be held during the first week in January.

McKinley School parking discussed at the meeting

Ward 2 Councilor Ira Novoselsky, Ward 1 Councilor Joanne McKenna, and Council President Patrick Keefe appeared during the meeting, speaking in favor of certain parking-space requests made by their constituents.

Keefe was pleased with the support that the use of the lot at the former McKinley School for off-street parking received at the meeting.

McKenna said at the meeting that she supported the use of the McKinley parking lot for patrons of businesses on Broadway and for residents during snow emergencies.

“This lot is idle, it’s not being used,” said McKenna. “I’m definitely in favor of using the parking lot for snowstorms and for residents.”

Police Sgt. Chris Giannino clarified to the Commission that all restrictions to use the McKinley School lot for parking were removed in 2018. He added that the only parking restriction was for the fire lane in front of the former elementary school.

The Commission asked Fire Chief Chris Bright, a member of the Traffic Commission, for his professional opinion on the removal of the fire lane restriction in front of the school.

“I would have no problem removing the fire lane with the current use of that building,” said Bright, adding that the issue could be revisited if the McKinley School is converted for another use.

After the meeting, Keefe said there is an effort being made to convert the parking area at the McKinley School into a municipal parking lot.

“We want to add more off-street parking for the residents in the neighborhood,” said Keefe. “We would eventually like to stripe it, clean it up, and make it so there’s an area for people to park. With the lack of use of the school, there isn’t a heavy demand on that street, but when the restaurants and businesses on Broadway and the Post Office gets busy – and there’s going to be new retail space on Yeamans Street – you’re going to get more people wanting to park in the area.”

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