It’s no secret that traffic is a major headache and safety concern throughout Revere.
During last Monday’s City Council meeting, Ward 5 Councillor Al Fiore introduced a motion asking that Mayor Brian Arrigo have the police chief assign two traffic officers to the intersection of North Shore Road and Revere Street on weekday afternoons and early evenings. Fiore’s motion led to several other councillors highlighting areas in the city where there was help needed to alleviate traffic issues.
“This is a matter of quality of life,” said Fiore. “It can take from Revere Beach Boulevard, the old Sullivan Park, 20 minutes to get from the beach through five traffic signals down to the corner of Revere Street and North Shore Road. That affects the people on the Boulevard, the people at the Point of Pines, the people at Oak Island.”
Fiore said the traffic issue is year-round, not just in the summer, and noted that the traffic can also back up on the other side from Revere Street. He asked that the police chief either provide for the staff for a traffic detail from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on weekdays or work with the MBTA or the state police to assign officers.
Councillor-at-Large Steven Morabito said he remembers a time when there were officers directing traffic when Councillor-at-Large Dan Rizzo was mayor and that he found the measure effective. “Right now, if you are traveling north up 1A, and you take the left lane only to go up Revere Street, when there is a green arrow, it only allows four cars at the most to pass,” said Morabito. “It causes congestion, so having someone physically there to direct a detail will be an improvement, and it is a quality-of-life issue.”
Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky said the traffic issue has been a burden for the residents in his ward trying to get north during those hours. “Seeing the traffic back up on North Shore Road and VFW Parkway is unbelievable, and this is a point of severity at this location,” said Novoselsky. “This is what backs up everything going north during those hours, and I think it is a good idea.”
Rizzo said the bottleneck at the intersection is an issue he’s been bringing up for decades. “When it takes someone from the Point of Pines to get to the center of the city sometimes 30, 40 minutes, that’s just not right,” said Rizzo. “We are a very geographically small city, and they shouldn’t have to go through this.”
Councillor-at-Large Marc Silvestri said if the city is going to put a traffic detail at North Shore Road and Revere Street, it should also consider a detail near the Dunkin’ at Shirley Avenue. “The cars just keep coming; the traffic flows right, and you end up almost dead in the middle stuck because the light coming from the location where Councillor Fiore wants to have the traffic [detail], they don’t stop,” said Silvestri. “If they get a red light, they continue to flow through that light. Living on that side of the city, I find myself getting stuck in the middle of the road having to go into the only place which you can go, which is illegal.”