On December 9, the Transportation Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC) held a special meeting that allowed residents to share their input regarding the Point Shirley resident parking pilot that was executed July 10, 2020 through September 7, 2020.
The purpose of the pilot program was to stir up solutions regarding the excessive traffic on Point Shirley during the summer months. The program integrated public streets from the end of Yirrell Beach to Point Shirley and required all cars parked within that range, to display a Winthrop resident permit 24 hours a day. Visitor placards for homes within the pilot area were also required 24 hours a day. During the pilot, 230 tickets were issued in the pilot area for resident permit violations. This number includes written warnings with no fine. During the same time period, 268 resident parking tickets were issued in the rest of the town.
The following streets were incorporated in the program:
• Bay View Ave excluding the parking lot adjacent to Coughlin Park
• Elliot Street
• Grand View Ave
• Hale Ave
• Maryland Ave
• Otis Street
• Pebble Ave
• Shirley Street from Petrel Street to its southern terminus
• Siren Street
• Tafts Ave
• Townsend Street
• Triton Ave
• Undine Ave
• Whittier Street
The public hearing resulted in a variety of feedback, mostly from Point Shirley residents. Mary Mahoney, resident of 891 Shirley Street, questioned why Yirrell Beach was taken out of the pilot.
“The residents who live on Yirrell Beach lose their parking spots in the summer months, and it’s only fair that residents who pay taxes get a spot in front of their house.”
TSAC committee member, Mike Diluiso shared that the public safety committee decided that it wasn’t fair to restrict access to a public beach.
Mahoney also brought up the idea of charging a five dollar fee for out of towners, similar to how Nahant Beach manages their parking spaces in the summer months.
Josephine Fatta, resident of Bayview Ave, had mixed feelings on the pilot program.
“On a number of occasions I noticed that there were no tickets being issued during beach days, which is why I felt the effect of a lot of people trying to park on my street. I’d have to call the police department, and give out license plate numbers, makes and models of the vehicles belonging to people who don’t live in town. I think the study went differently, depending on what street you live on.”
The dead-end streets closest to Deer Island were a concern for some residents. The biggest burden being the high amount of vehicles driving down Maryland, Townsend, and Otis (all dead-end streets) and turning around in driveways. With kids playing on those streets, the excess traffic was a concern.
The committee agreed that if the program is enacted, there will likely be more signage directing drivers and indicating the permit required areas. Because this was a pilot, the Town didn’t invest in permanent signage, and relied on the digital sign for communication. The committee also shared that they would have to establish protocols for residents hosting summer gatherings. Due to the timeframe of the pilot, in the midst of a pandemic, small gatherings were nearly non-existent, however; the committee is well aware that they will need to tackle the additional parking that will come along with summer barbeques. This is something that will be addressed in the future.
Tyson Gregor, who lives on Brewster Avenue, suggested that the town partners up with Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) to open up more options that will increase the access at Deer Island.
“I like seeing people at the beach and parks,” said Gregor. “I’d rather work on a different solution than restricting parking.”
Diluiso said that the committee is relying on the input from people who live in the affected area, and he will be gathering communication from residents until December 23. When all information is analyzed, the committee will present their recommendation to the Town Council.
“If this was to become permanent/seasonal we want to present it to the council so they have time to do what they need to do, before the start of the summer season.”
The TSAC meets the third Wednesday of every month at 8:00 am. There is currently an opening for TSAC and the Airport Hazards Committee, and interested candidates can fill out an application on the town website at:
Comments regarding the Point Shirley Parking Pilot can be emailed to:
They can be mailed to Town Hall or dropped in the 24-hour drop box at the front door:
1 Metcalf Square
Winthrop, MA 02152