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Friday, March 23, 2012

Aldermen Call For Public Hearing on Traffic and Parking Changes

Legislative Item #192725 was submitted at last night’s Board of Aldermen meeting asking that the Committee on Traffic and Parking work with the Traffic Commission to conduct a Public Hearing in late April or early May, to review the effectiveness and/or lack of thereof, of the recent Traffic and Parking regulations targeting the major business districts; and to obtain feedback from the businesses within those districts.

This item was cosponsored by everyone on the board except for the Ward 1, 6, and 7 Aldermen. Ward 1 Alderman Bill Roche is the chair of the Traffic and Parking Committee and Ward 7 Alderman Bob Trane is a member.

Ward 5 Alderman Sean O’Donovan was usually one of the only Aldermen that has been focused on the negative impact of recent changes to traffic and parking regulations, mainly, because of the severe impact it has had on Magoun Square. Upon implementation, businesses in the already struggling square saw drastic losses, forcing some to close completely. It was great to see other Aldermen take notice of this issue and call for a public hearing.

Magoun has suffered greatly from the new parking regulations and the demise of the Parking Solutions Task Force (yes, this was the name) which included a Magoun business owner and representative from the Somerville Parking Advocacy Reform Coalition-also a Ward 5 resident.

As more details of this public hearing are released, I will provide all necessary information via the website and the newly-compiled Magoun Square United email list!

1 comment:

Bill D said...

My last trip to Magoun, a few weeks ago, was around 5:30 on a Tuesday afternoon. I parked for about 15 minutes to fill a prescription at CVS. I was having a medical procedure that night, and was in a bit of a rush.

In my pocket, I had some dimes, some nickels, some pennies, plenty of dollars, a couple of credit cards, and a bank card. My car also has a $30-a-year Somerville on-street parking sticker.

What I didn't have was a quarter. I only needed one, and that's the only thing the meters accept. I wasn't interested in avoiding the parking free, and and would have paid it gladly. But because, in 2012, we have this ridiculous rule that parking can only be paid for with one type of coin, I felt I had no choice but to take my chances.

Well, I lost. In those 15 minutes, with my car sitting in an almost empty parking lot while I stopped at CVS and White Sport, I was rewarded with a $30 ticket.

You would think, with all of the empty store fronts in Magoun, that the city could be a little less aggressive in how it handles parking in that lot. I really don't understand what the mayor and the folks at the parking office are thinking. I can afford the thirty dollars, and yes, I was technically "breaking the law," but it wasn't like I was taking a space from someone else who needed it.

I've learned my lesson, though, and I send my regrets to the businesses of Magoun Square, because next time, I'll be filling that prescription at the CVS in Porter. Gone, too, will be the ancillary dollars I might spend at White Sport or K-2 or any other of the remaining businesses. I don't need the hassle of dealing with Somerville's restrictive parking rules when I can leave my car at Porter for 15 minutes for free.