Mayor Brian Arrigo hosted a Ward 2 Community Forum on Wednesday, May 18 at the Garfield School, the second edition of a series of town halls the Mayor is hosting across the city. During the forum, the Mayor answered questions from residents on a range of issues, including parking, school religious holidays, pedestrian safety, economic development, and beautification.
One resident asked about making business parking permits available to utilize the municipal parking lot on Shirley Ave. The Mayor said he would consider this as part of a citywide overhaul of parking policies he plans on rolling out later this year.
Acknowledging parking as a “quality of life issue” for residents, the Mayor said he and his staff are developing a comprehensive, citywide residential and commercial parking program. The plan is to roll out changes in August or September, with implementation in place by January.
The Mayor was also asked about addressing blighted properties throughout the city. He said Revere would soon be rolling out a procedural overhaul in the Inspectional Services Department, dividing the city in to four “quadrants” that city staff would be in charge of patrolling. This will reduce duplication of work, ensure inspectors are familiar with the neighborhoods they’re in charge of monitoring, and “make sure Inspectional Services works as efficiently as possible,” said the Mayor.
Another resident asked the Mayor about plans for street and sidewalk repavement this summer. Arrigo emphasized that he asked the Engineering and Community Development departments to perform “for probably the first time” an assessment of city streets and sidewalks, so that work can be prioritized based on need, use frequency and public safety.
“We want to end the practice of somebody’s street or sidewalk getting done just because somebody knows the right person at City Hall,” said the Mayor. “We want to make the annual street and sidewalk improvement program as transparent as possible, so people know what work we’re doing and why.”
Mayor Arrigo also stressed that ensuring safe walking routes to school for kids was a major priority for his administration; he said that city staff has been performing “walk audits” at schools around the city to identify hazards for kids, especially children with disabilities. This will allow the city to invest in targeted infrastructure improvements; the Whelan School area recently had its crosswalks and handicap accessibility ramps upgraded. In addition, MassDOT will soon be reconstructing the streets and sidewalks around the Garfield School as part of a state program.
The Mayor was also asked about economic development in the region; he pointed out the window to the school’s view of Revere Beach and three blue line stops, and said there’s “incredible opportunity” to attract the right kind of investment that Revere residents are clamoring for – mixed use development, shops, cafes, restaurants, and other small businesses.
In the Shirley Ave neighborhood in particular, Mayor Arrigo said his administration was dedicating more Community Development Block Grant money to “storefront improvements, brighter street lighting and beautification” on Shirley Ave, calling it the “hidden gem” of Revere and a potential driver of growth and job creation.
Mayor Arrigo will host his next Community Forum in Ward 3 on June 1 from 6-8 PM in the Lincoln School Cafeteria. The remaining forums will be at the American Legion on July 26 (Ward 4), the Point of Pines Yacht Club on August 24 (Ward 5), and the Whelan School Auditorium on October 4 (Ward 6). All events will be held from 6-8 PM. Residents from across the city are encouraged to attend to discuss their questions, concerns and suggestions with the Mayor.