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Transit Bill Earmarks $1M+ for Medford Parking Enforcement

The $1.5 billion bill helps build infrastructure that strengthens the state’s economy over the long term, governor says.

About $3 million has been earmarked for several projects in Medford, including a parking control system, in a transportation bill signed by Gov. Deval Patrick last week.

The earmarks, put in by local legislators, don't guarantee the money is spent on the specific projects.

"The legislature can put anything it wants into the bond bill, the hope is the governor will allocate it," State Rep. Paul Donato said Tuesday. “The governor is the only one who can spend the money.”

Donato said he added earmarks for several transportation projects in Medford, including at least $1 million for a parking control system in the "downtown Medford area."

Patrick called the $1.5 billion transportation bond bill he signed last Thursday what the state needs to strengthen its economy and "quality of life for the long term.”

“Our transportation infrastructure had suffered from years of neglect, so this administration started rebuilding roads, rails and bridges in every corner of our state and creating thousands of jobs," Patrick said after he enacted the bill, which enjoyed the strong support of the Legislature, passing the House by a vote of 150-2 on July 31, the last day of the session.

Parking enforcement has been a controversial subject in Medford. Some city councilors have been reluctant to consider a proposed $7.5 million parking garage in Medford Square until parking enforcement is addressed. Currently, the city's police department enforces parking regulations, but they don't have officers specifically assigned to parking enforcement.

Donato said he also requested $1 million for improvements to Clippership Drive that would include a boat dock.

"It would give the opportunity for someday in the future, the possibility of a water taxi," Donato said. "I know it sounds pie in the sky, but basically that’s what the Mayor’s hope is."

Among the items earmarked for Medford:

  • $500,000 expended for design and improvements at the intersections of Boston avenue with route 16 in the city of Somerville, Boston avenue and Winthrop street in the city of Medford, and pedestrian safety improvements on Winthrop street between Boston avenue and route 16 in the city of Medford 
  • Not less than $1,000,000 expended for a parking control system in the downtown area of the city of Medford
  • $1,000,000 expended for the Medford Square roadway project in the city of Medford
  • $250,000 expended for the design and construction of traffic signals at the intersections of Harvard street with Main street and Willis avenue in the city of Medford
stevieB August 15, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Why build a parking garage for a square no one goes to or has any reason to go to..build up the square then do a garage..or just let somerville pass us and get all the business revenue
Medford Taxpayer August 15, 2012 at 01:06 PM
How much more of our money will be wasted on "studies" that tell us the obvious? This mayor loves paying his friends $100,000 at a time to study the city's problems instead of solving them. This time the money is coming from state taxes instead of property taxes, but that doesn't make it less abusive.
MO August 15, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Exactly Medford Taxpayer. How much did the garage study cost us to tell us we don’t need one? We’d be in far better shape if the Mayor used all the money he spends on "studies" on maintenance. Medford citizens have bond and study fatigue. Lots of people getting rich off of us while we get taxed into bankruptcy. Enough!
Richard Dees August 15, 2012 at 01:40 PM
$250,000 for design and construction of trafic signals at Harvard and Main and Willis Ave. They have signals there already. Been there as long as I can remember. Oh, and I went through there today and they work just fine.
Jarret Bencks (Editor) August 15, 2012 at 01:55 PM
The bullet points are text taken from the bill, but I asked Donato about those intersections and he said the funding would be used to re-design the traffic flow and coordinate the lights at those two intersections.
ella watson August 15, 2012 at 02:04 PM
...Boat Launch.....HELLO, ..Earth To DONATO ......use some of the the money to prevent and remove the water-chestnuts strangling our ecosystem on our mighty mystic river.
Arthur DeLuca August 16, 2012 at 04:49 AM
If one wants to improve Clippership Drive, they should shut it down and return that whole area behind the Riverside Avenue stores to parking. The entire area used to be a parking lot in the 60's. Unfortunately you'd also need to alleviate the traffic jam it would cause now that the Route 93 to Route 60 changeover goes through Medford Square. It never should have happened. We need to shut that changeover off and make it somewhere else or nothing else that is done to Medford Sq will do much to revitalize it. But since it has become a center for professional services and is quite successful at that, maybe we should just leave things the way they are. peole have only so much money to spend. if Medford sq should revitalize and people start spending more of their money there, they will just spend less elsewhere and something else will suffer for it.
Arthur DeLuca August 16, 2012 at 05:00 AM
The parking garage is meant to grab the out-of-city commuters who park in Medford Sq & take the T into Boston. The idea is to build the garage, then enforce the parking rules to drive these all day on-street parkers into the garage, thus creating a revenue stream for the City that does NOT come from our taxes and also free up on-street parking for actual store/business patrons. If we ticket them first, they'll just go elsewhere and not return to use our garage when it's built. But it's such a cost to build the garage that a lot of the profits will be eaten up before we see any appreciable amount of revenue. Why don't they just turn the existing parking lot into a park All Day lot like the T has in Wellington station? They charge $5.50 to park all day. We could undercut them & charge $5.00 a day. The only start-up costs would be for a kiosk, a couple of gates and an employee since this Transit Bill will provide the funding for parking enforcement. It would start to show a profit almost immediately and not require a bond issue to get it going. The revenue it would genearte would help pay off the bonds for the DPW yard & Police Station renovation/replacement projects (if the City Council ever actually approves those bond issues).
Pete Harmon August 16, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Its a straight shot across Harvard and Main and a straight shot across Willis and Harvard. What traffic flow are they going to re-design?

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