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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Parking Concerns in Magoun Square Prompts More Board Orders...

Intersection of Broadway and Medford Street
Previous discussions surrounding the economic development of Magoun Square have already shed light that the square needs more available parking if filling storefronts with viable businesses is a top priority. Currently, the square has barely enough parking for night time businesses to be filled at a profit-making capacity, making the idea of more night time businesses more of a worry than a dream. Cut-throat daytime enforcement makes the potential of a daytime life for Magoun unsellable to even the most daring entrepreneur.

Recent news of another delay in the passenger availability of the Green Line Extension directly impacts Magoun Square as the proposed Lowell Street stop was/is depended upon to assist in the improvement of this business district. This fact has caught the eye of genuinuely-interested advocates, business owners, and elected officials alike.

On Thursday, Ward 5 Alderman Sean O'Donovan submitted Legislative File #191811, stating: "That this Board of Aldermen hereby requests that the Traffic Commission institute 2:30 AM - 8:30 AM parking restriction zones abutting Magoun Square to assist in the economic enhancement of the Square."

This is a new approach for Alderman O'Donovan as most submissions were made through the Board of Alderman to various committees or to the administration, itself for consideration. This attempt ties into other orders and resolutions in an attempt to rejuvenate a square that has fallen victim to bad policy and poor business plans. 

According to the City's website, "The Traffic Commission is the regulatory body that promulgates all traffic and regulations in the City of Somerville. It’s authority is based on enabling legislation from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ General Laws and the City of Somerville Charter. The Traffic & arking Department serves as its staff and is the custodian of the records and the regulations.

The Commission is chaired by the Commissioner of Public Works. The other members of the Commission are: a representative of the Police Chief; a representative of the Fire Chief; the Chair of the Board of Aldermen’s Subcommittee on Traffic & Parking; and a citizen-at-large appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Board of Aldermen.

Meetings are attended by the Director of Traffic & Parking, the Parking Clerk, the Commission Secretary, and other Traffic & Parking staff as necessary. The meetings of the Traffic Commission are monthly and are open to the public. Presently, meetings are conducted every third Thursday."

At this point, a meeting of the Traffic Commission has not been formally scheduled on the City of Somerville's official calendar dedicated to the commission, however, this information will be posted once it is made available.


KelseyRoth said...

Curious, how does adding overnight parking restrictions "assist in the economic enhancement of the Square"?

Frank said...

Funny thing----

Years ago Magoun Square was a thriving square when local foot traffic and public transportation outnumbered people with cars.
Retailers and people knew each other by name.

It was a social/business interaction---including neighbors with neighbors taking time to "talk."

[one who lived it and seen it as a kid, shopping with a parent]

Granted---things and demographics change, and have changed!