en English
en Englishes Spanishpt Portuguesear Arabicht Haitian Creolezh-TW Chinese (Traditional)


Your Local Online News Source for Over 3 Decades

Welcome to Cliftondale – Looking back at a proposed parking lot – way back

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

By Janice K. Jarosz


  (Editor’s Note: This is the sixth in a series of articles about the upcoming “Open House” event set for the first weekend in May at the old Cliftondale School – now known as The MEG – at 54-48 Essex St. in Saugus.)


The congestion at Cliftondale Square dates back to the early forties when automobiles became a little more affordable and consumers found the area very handy to do their shopping and banking.

According to old newspaper accounts, business owners complained constantly about the lack of parking spots for their customers. Committees were formed to study the problem, recommendations were made and reasonable solutions agreed upon, and it is the “reasonable solutions” part that has been the stumbling block for over 60 years. Many ideas and proposals were submitted down through the years in the hopes of making the pleasure of shopping and the joy of working in the Square safer for all concerned. The problem is that not all can agree on the best method to resolve the parking for shoppers.

In 1952, Saugus officials and store owners in Cliftondale Square came to a mutual agreement to lay out a parking plan to benefit all concerned. The plan called for the purchase of property behind the Saugus Post Office for a public parking area with the installation of 130 parking meters to pay for the cost, making possible the enlargement and growth of this shopping center.

The idea seemed great, but was never followed through. And here we are today, trying to find a few parking places.

Many of those well-intentioned business owners who agreed with the traffic plan in 1952 for a better traffic pattern have either closed or moved to different sites. Who said, “The more things change, the more they remain the same”?


This article originally appeared in The Saugus Advertiser in 1952 and was reprinted in The Saugonian Newspaper in March 2007.

Contact Advocate Newspapers