By Lorenzo Recupero
Before the casino ever opened, trying to find parking in the City of Everett was already like something out of a scary movie.
Recent alterations to the city’s resident sticker policy, as it pertains to Lower Broadway, might turn reality into a nightmare for certain residents looking to drive down to the other end of town and park before enjoying a time in the newly opened Encore Boston Harbor Casino.
In May, ahead of the Encore opening, the traffic commission and City Council voted to enact an ordinance that would allow only Lower Broadway residents to park in that area to “address many of the concerns from residents that live there and their quality of life,” according to Everett Police Sergeant Joe Gaff.
Under the new Lower Broadway parking ordinance, all vehicles not registered to a LB address will be issued a $50.00 parking ticket and towed.
The only ways to avoid this would be to have a special black “LB” parking sticker or take public transit, order a Lyft/Uber, or walk down to the casino.
As of June 21, the city officially started ticketing and towing cars – even those with a valid blue colored residential sticker – not registered to a LB address.
The idea to create a special kind of parking permit for the estimated 300 vehicles registered to the LB area stemmed from the idea that the Encore Boston Harbor opening would cause an influx of illegal parking that would hinder Everett residents from being able to park outside their homes on a daily basis.
While the area will be restricted to all other Everett residents, the City will allow one visitors pass per LB resident sticker, with the pass good for 72 hours at a time.
Councilor Mike McLaughlin, who called for the creation of the new parking program, was pleased with it coming to fruition.
“I am very pleased and thankful to see that the Traffic Commission took my recommendation to implement a 24-hour residential parking sticker program for ward’s one and six and isolated it to just the area across the street immediately from Encore Boston Harbor,” he said. “Although I am pleased by this action, I believe strongly that we need to build off of that success and use that as a foundation to impact all streets in Wards 1 and 6. I hope on Thursday, May 30, the Administration will support and understand my concerns and work collaboratively to implement a program that will protect residents,” said McLaughlin to another local publication in the days following the completion of the ordinance.
Everett residents not located in the LB area voiced their opinions on social media this week and felt less enthused about the changes and labeled the program as “disgusting” and “unfair” to all other taxpaying residents.
“This is totally absurd,” said one resident, while another questioned the city’s motives for the changes.
“The fact they have to come up with this lame excuse to get more revenue for the city is shameful,” he said.
Be aware, unless you live in Lower Broadway, and have a black parking sticker, do not park in that area and go over to Encore. You’d be gambling on your car being there when you get back.