Local merchants unhappy
BROOKSIDE—The local E-13 Police Station has obtained on-street parking spaces for its police cars, reduc-ing the fender-benders that were common in the station’s overcrowded parking lot and improving emergency response.
“It has helped a lot,” E-13’s commander, Capt. John Greland, said of the police-only parking spaces along Washington and Green streets. “I don’t have cars running into each other.”
But, Greland acknowledged, some local businesses are not happy about the loss of customer parking.
“It’s definitely hurting us a lot,” said Mike Ruggiero, co-owner of Ruggiero’s Market next door to the police station. “We’re not happy with it. It is affecting my business.”
The on-street police parking was put in place last month, shortly after the Gazette revealed that police vehicle accidents are common in the small lot behind the station at 3347 Washington St.
E-13 commanders for years have requested a redesign of the lot and the relocation of a Boston Emergency Medical Services (EMS) ambulance from its post at the station, the Gazette previously revealed. The command-ers complained of the accidents and of delays in emergency response times.
“It was insane,” Greland said of the parking lot’s problems. He said police cruisers used to be double- or triple-parked during shift changes.
Greland said there are no signs the parking lot will be redesigned or repaved—it is currently pitted with potholes—and it seems the ambulance will be staying. “A three-story garage would be nice,” he said jokingly.
But, he said, the on-street parking has reduced the pressure. The roughly 15 on-street spaces are in-tended for marked and unmarked police cars. The parking lot is now used for officers’ personal vehicles.
“I understand some of the merchants have concerns [about parking loss], but you have a police station in your neighborhood,” Greland said.
Ruggiero’s is one of those concerned businesses. The 60-year-old market lost on-street spaces in front of its 3345 Washington location. Ruggiero’s has its own parking lot, but that is increasingly used by visitors to the police station, who now have no on-street parking, Mike Ruggiero said.
Ruggiero said he was told the police-only parking was coming only about a week beforehand. Boston Police Department headquarters made no mention of the pending change when the Gazette asked in May about the park-ing lot’s problems.
Ruggiero said that E-13 police officers are also among his best customers.
“I know all of the police officers,” he said. “It’s not their fault. It’s bigger guys.”
Ruggiero’s Market was originally on the site of the police station. The city took the land by eminent domain in 1986 to build the station, forcing the market to rebuild farther up Washington Street. While the Ruggiero family strongly fought that move, they also later praised the E-13 station for increasing public safety.