By James David Mitchell
The City Council Legislative Affairs Subcommittee met Monday afternoon to consider the establishment of a citywide parking program that many councillors feel is long overdue. Committee Chairman Brian Arrigo said that a parking program is a “quality of life” issue and a financial issue that the city is missing out on excise taxes from residents with out-of-city and state plates.
Ward 1 Councillor Richard Penta, whose area includes Beachmont, cited an abundance of out-of-state license plates along his own street; including Beachmont T station parking, which clogs the neighborhoods on a weekly basis. Penta also pointed out the absentee landlords who make “a lot of money” and only add to the parking problem.
“Let’s give residents of Revere a break,” said Penta. “We need to get the illegal cars off the streets—it’s time for a sticker program.”
Penta suggested that the police department send the license plate camera reader to tag illegal license plates that aren’t registered in the city.
Councillor Arthur Guinasso stated that a parking program is needed but felt that it should be implemented and enforced for overnight rather than daylight hours. Guinnaso referred to taxicabs, commercial and other vehicles parked on sidewalks throughout the city.
“There’s no place to park,” said the ward 3 councillor. “We need to free up these spots for residents. We need meter people working at night—it would be revenue-driven. This is a great motion and long overdue—this has got to happen.”
But Ward 3 Councillor Steve Reardon stated that he wasn’t a fan of restrictive parking, saying that it makes people captive in their own homes. Agreeing that many out-of-state vehicles are congesting the neighborhood streets and citing the hampering of snow plowing, Reardon said he would support the overnight parking restrictions.
Ward 5 Councillor John Powers also spoke in favor of the motion, saying that the excise tax was implemented so that cities and towns could raise revenue. “These people from other cities and states are congesting our streets—this is an excellent motion,” said Powers.
Councillor-at-Large Bob Haas stated that his neighborhood in ward 3 has been hampered with “all kinds of parking” and that the City has to finally address this issue.
But City Parking Clerk John Henry reminded the council that implementing a citywide resident parking program would be a logistics and financial problem considering there are 38,000 registered vehicles in the city and that the costs for stickers and signage could be up to $300,000 to get the program off the ground. “And without enforcement, it would just be a waste of time,” said Henry, adding, “And it will be an expensive undertaking.”
Arrigo summarized the meeting with three considerations: overnight meter readers, overnight hours of 12 a.m. – 6 a.m., and neighborhood zoning.
Penta said that the committee should consider beginning the resident parking program in the areas hardest hit with congested and illegal parking.
“This could be the beginning of a larger discussion,” said Arrigo.
The matter was sent to committee.