Residents Express Opposition to One-Sided Parking

The Revere Traffic Commission (RTC) held its regular monthly meeting this past Thursday, March 21, in the City Councillor Joseph A. Del Grosso City Council Chambers. On hand for the session were City Planner Frank Stringi, Fire Chief Chris Bright, Police Chief Dave Callahan, and City Engineer Nick Rystrom.

The principal portion of the meeting was taken up by an at-times heated discussion regarding the recent imposition of one-sided parking for the streets in the Riverside neighborhood, which is wedged between the Pines River, No. Shore Rd., and Gibson Park.

Prior to that discussion the commissioners addressed some routine items on their agenda.

The first matter was a public hearing to add a handicapped parking space at 54 Carlson Avenue. Revere Disabilities Commission chairman Ralph DeCicco presented the request, informing the commissioners that the applicant met all of the criteria for establishing an on-street handicapped parking space. DeCicco explained that although there is a handicapped-accessible driveway, the landlord, who is the brother of the applicant, will not allow the tenant/applicant to park in the driveway.

DeCicco informed the commission that numerous residents in the area were opposed to the application. A neighbor questioned why the tenant will not allow his brother to park in the driveway, which he said has plenty of spaces for parking. He also said the street “already is tight for parking.”

In addition, Rystrom questioned whether there is enough space to establish a legal handicapped parking spot in front of the residence. Bright made a motion to table the matter to allow the commission to determine whether there is enough space to meet the required 16-18 feet for establishing a parking space.

Next up was a request for a handicapped space at 165 Orvis Rd. DeCicco noted however, that the property has a handicapped-accessible driveway and thus does not meet the statutory requirement. The commission unanimously rejected the application.

The commissioners moved a number of matters to full public hearings for their next meeting, at which time they will take a formal vote on those applications.Those items were:

— The creation of a 30-minute drop-off zone in front of 286 Fenno Street from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., seven days a week. Ward 4 Councillor Paul Argenzio presented the request. He read a letter from the daughter of a condo owner at 286 Fenno St., who explained that her mother has a handicapped placard, but because of a recent health issue, the distance from the handicapped spaces in the condo parking lot to the front door is too far for her to walk. At the request of Argenzio, the commission voted to put the 30-minute drop-off zone into effect immediately for a 30-day period that will be reviewed at their next meeting;

— A request presented by Ward 6 Councillor Chris Giannino to remove the No Parking signs for a small stretch of Ann Rd. and to place a new No Parking sign in front of 2 Ann Rd. He explained that the new No Parking sign is needed because of a safety issue related to the driveway at 2 Ann Rd.; and

— The installation of a stop sign on Charger St. southbound at Ward St. The request was brought forward by Rystrom, who explained that there is three-way stop signage at that intersection now, but a fourth is needed to “balance-off” the intersection.

In a separate matter, the commission resumed a continued public hearing from the previous month and approved the installation of stop signs on Harris St. for northbound traffic to Sewell St.; Blaney St., for northbound traffic at Constitution Ave.; and Coolidge St., for southbound traffic at Constitution Ave.The matter had been brought forward by City Council President Nick Cogliandro, who explained that the stop signs “balance off” these intersections, where there presently are stop signs only in one direction.

The commission then got to the issue that took up most of the meeting, the newly-installed Parking on One Side Only restrictions on the northerly sides of Archer Avenue, Lawson Avenue, Wadleigh Avenue, Gilbert Avenue, Frank Avenue, Beckert Avenue, Tobin Avenue, John Avenue, River Avenue, Thayer Avenue, and Hayes Avenue, which are the streets encompassing the Riverside neighborhood. The agenda item was as follows:

“a. Restrictions regarding one-side parking only;

“b. Have a 60 day trial run with parking on both sides;

“c. Meeting with the Traffic Commission, Police and Fire to resolve any


“d. Request proper signage be installed which would state ‘Resident

Parking Only 24/7 with Permit/Sticker’; and

“e. Remove signs from the northerly side of the streets and be placed on the

southerly side as per the amended restriction.”

Stringi noted that No Parking on the southerly side of the streets was voted upon by the commission three years ago. However, the DPW installed the signs only recently and installed them on the northerly side by mistake.

Ward 5 Councillor Angela Guarino-Sawaya questioned why it has taken three years for the city to rectify its mistake. “I think we need to revisit this entire ordinance,” she said. “In addition, Blanchard Ave. was left out three years ago and it has been left out again, but it should be included now.”

Many residents of the Riverside neighborhood spoke against the recent implementation of the parking-on-one-side-only regulation. Loretta LaCentra explained that the 24/7 parking restriction for residents only came about because of the Redgate Property development in that area. She also noted that the signage installed by the city is not consistent and has created confusion for everybody.

Mark DeSimone of No. Shore Rd., a resident there for 30 years, said, “There never was an issue with parking. There isn’t one resident who is happy with the parking only on one side,” and also noting that there is a dearth of available parking for residents who do not have driveways. He suggested that the smaller fire trucks that are part of the Fire Dept.’s fleet should be able to negotiate those streets even with parking on both sides.

Another resident, who said he has lived in the neighborhood for 23 years, said that there now is insufficient on-street parking because of the new one-side-only parking rules. “There never was a problem, but the one-sided parking has made things worse,” he said.

A resident of No. Shore Rd. added, “None of this makes sense for us, especially because of the one-visitor pass restriction,” while Ricky LaCentra pointed out that the presence of the nearby boatyard and Gibson Park are the reasons why the 24/7 restriction was put into effect.

Elaine Hurley, who has lived on River Ave. for 50 years, also spoke. “I am totally in favor of resident-only parking, but I do not see any reason for one-sided parking,” Hurley said. 

Stringi said there is no explanation for why the DPW took so long to install the signs and agreed that the signage has been placed haphazardly and has bred confusion. However, he said the commission is adamant that one-sided parking is necessary as a matter of public safety, a comment that was met with another round of opposition from residents.

Guarino-Sawaya asked that the present signs come down and that the two-sided parking that always had been in effect be restored for a 60-day trial period. “We’re pushing people out of Revere. This is not fair to residents,” she said.

“Where else can we go?” asked Hurley. “We have a very small neighborhood in between the highway and the river. Other areas of the city have adjacent areas where they can park, but we do not.”

Rich DeCrisotofo of Mills Ave, who has lived there for 40 years and has been a resident of Revere for 70 years, said, “We never have had parking problems. Why do we have to create problems with parking on one side and no parking on the other side? I’m totally against it. Let’s all work together. We love it down there and let’s leave it the way it is and move on.”

“This neighborhood hasn’t changed, unlike other areas of the city,” said DeSimone. “There is no reason to change what we have had down there.”

Councillor Giannino, the former head of the Revere Police Dept.’s Traffic Division, suggested that the matter should be readdressed in consultation with the city’s public safety officials.

“We can work this out, but it’s going to take some time. In the meantime, the DPW will be informed of the need to install the proper signage on the correct side,” said Stringi at one point.

However, with Guarino-Sawaya remaining adamant and residents such as DeCristoforo also speaking up insistently, in the end, the commissioners voted unanimously to send to a public hearing at its next meeting a proposal to allow parking on both sides of the streets for a 60-day trial period.

In the meantime, given that the present No Parking signs are on the wrong side of the street, Guarino-Sawaya added, “And there’ll be no ticketing?” a conclusion that appeared to win the assent of the commissioners.

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