Council Requests Better Notification on Road Work

By Adam Swift

City councillors want residents to be better informed about construction work in the city that impacts traffic and creates noise and other inconveniences. At last week’s meeting, Councillors Robert Haas, III, Angela Guarino-Sawaya, and Joanne McKenna introduced a motion asking city officials to investigate requirements for utility companies and other companies that conduct road work or construction to provide notification of that work to the council and impacted residents. According to the motion, notification shall be given at least two weeks in advance, provide a timeline for completion, and describe any impacts the residents may experience including but not limited to lane closures, traffic congestion, parking bans, and overnight noise.  The proposed notification would be applicable for all scheduled non-emergency work. “I think this is the type of motion that’s probably been in the works for years, not by me myself,” said Haas. “This stems from a couple weeks back, when myself, Councillor McKenna, and Councillor Guarino-Sawaya all received different messages from residents concerning traffic in certain areas, road closures in certain areas, parking bans in one instance, and noise from construction that was going on overnight.” Haas said none of these residents were informed of the construction or the potential impacts ahead of time. “I’d like to see if this is something we can do through the city policy writer and analyst, along with the building department, and see if we can get a notice for residents just so they can plan accordingly,” said Haas. “I think it is something residents deserve and the city should look into.” McKenna said that several weeks ago she got several calls from residents who live on Revere Beach Parkway, and that she had called city officials and no one knew about the construction work in the area. “I asked one of the residents to take a picture of the construction truck, and it was MassDOT,” said McKenna. “MassDOT did not even give them flyers to tell them that they were going to be working at night, and the reason they want to work at night is because they don’t want to cause a traffic jam. But they are impacting people’s quality of life.” McKenna said residents should be notified by the utility companies doing the work through notices to the public. “We have to do better, and I think the city needs to demand that we get respect from these construction companies, utility companies,” said McKenna. Guariano-Sawaya said she got stuck in the Revere Beach Parkway construction traffic leaving a recent council meeting and that she had no idea what was going on. “They need to notify not only us as councillors, but they need to notify all the abutters when they do any work, and it has to be in a timely fashion,” she said. Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky said that for the Revere city projects, the city can make sure people are notified. But he said the city needs to notify its state delegation for projects such as the state project on the parkway to notify MassDOT to reinforce the importance of notifications of construction work to everybody. Council President Anthony Cogliandro noted that new public works superintendent Chris Ciaramella has stated that one of his goals is to improve communications with other agencies. “I’m hoping that we can get some more respect from state agencies that really don’t show us any,” said Cogliandro. City planning and economic development director Tom Skwierawski said the city administration is looking to put together a traffic working group of traffic and transportation officials that can make sure there is more communication going out to residents.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.