By Barbara Taormina
REVERE – The City Council is anxious to talk with representatives from Massport and the MBTA about their plan to use 500 parking spaces at the Wonderland MBTA parking garage for Logan Airport employees while their usual parking facility is undergoing renovations. The plan involves 500 spaces in the parking garage and another 750 spaces in an unnamed, unspecified overflow parking lot. The new commuters are scheduled to come to Revere by the end of the year, and councillors are angry. So far, no one from either agency has notified the City Council about the parking plan.
“We need to address this with Massport and the MBTA immediately,” said Councillor-at-Large Marc Silvestri. “These agencies speak out of both sides of their mouths. They ask people to take the train and then they take all the parking spaces.”
Councillors were mad that they learned about the plan not from Massport, but from a resident who is one of the employees being shifted to Wonderland.
Joey Road resident Jill Atwood, who works for American Airlines, was at this week’s council meeting explaining everything she knows about the plan. “There are 1,250 people being driven out of Chelsea and they’re coming to Wonderland. They’ll be here by the end of the year,” Atwood told the council.
Atwood said it’s a two-pronged issue. Airport employees will be taking parking spaces from commuters all over the North Shore.
And in the case of the possibility of snow, Revere residents have always had preference for spaces in the garage to get their cars off the streets to make way for the plows. According to Atwood, Massport has said the parking shift won’t affect snow emergencies.
“As a Revere resident, I see an additional 500 cars coming into Revere every day, that’s going to be nuts,” Atwood told the council, adding that her union is fighting the plan.
City Council President Pro Tempore Joanne McKenna’s reaction summed up the council’s feelings about Massport’s move. “How dare they not tell us?” asked McKenna. “We’re just finding out now from a resident?”
Other councillors also expressed their frustration with the agencies. “Revere gets no respect,” said Ward 3 Councillor Anthony Cogliandro. “This is another variable of that. We shouldn’t be finding this out from a resident.”
The council is requesting a meeting with Massport and MBTA officials to discuss the plan as soon as possible.