Savin Hill residents press city for help on parking, noisy nighttime activity

New, temporary parking restrictions are going into place on Thursday in Savin Hill in response to neighbors’ complaints about overcrowding, partying, and fireworks along two nearby beaches and McConnell Park. The new measures include clearly striped spaces, overnight parking restrictions, and a combination of planters and flex posts as deterrents to illegal parking. 

In coordination with Dorchester District 3 City Councillor Frank Baker and the Boston Parks & Recreation Department, Boston Transportation Department (BTD) has developed parking regulations that will be installed at McConnell Park.

The following regulations will be installed tomorrow by BTD operations:
-The existing designated parking spaces adjacent to the field and the playground will be striped with pavement marking lines and signs will be posted for (Resident Parking Permit, 11pm to 9am, Mon-Fri)
-(3) HP spaces will be provided as part of these designated parking spaces.
-In front of the residential curb section from Playstead St to Denny St (left side of roadway), pavement markings curb extension will be striped in the roadway to narrow this section of roadway. Driveway accessibility will not be impacted. And the Parks Dept. will be providing planters to prevent vehicles from parking on the roadway pavement markings.

Baker called the changes a “temporary fix” until a previously scheduled renovation project at McConnell Park begins, likely in October. He has worked with Boston Transportation Department (BTD), the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS), and Parks and Recreation Department with respect to complaints.

“A few weeks ago, I did a drop-by and had a meeting with the abutters. There were about 20 people down there and we socially distanced,” said Baker. “We were looking at the issues with parking, which has been disorganized for years. There’s never really been enforcement.” 

He added that there was “pent-up frustration” that the closing of the state lots along Morrissey Boulevard and Day Boulevard due to the pandemic (they recently reopened) had sent more people to park on streets near McConnell Park, where, he said,

“Fire lanes are being blocked, neighbors asking people to move are getting into arguments.”

Bill Brennan, whose Springdale Street house faces the McConnell lot, said “it’s really a quality of life and safety issue. Everything goes on right out front of my house at night and it’s basically a dumping ground.” He added that some cars remain in the parking lot overnight, many of them with out-of-state plates.

“It’s become kind of a commuter lot where people come to grab the T,” he said. “People will park here and go to the airport. There’s no monitoring of anything. Emergency vehicles have a really hard time getting down here.” 

He said that he’s called the police several times, but knows that they have their “hands full. We also have called 311 and filed reports and submitted pictures. Usually around the Fourth of July it’s free for all but this year is different. This isn’t a new problem. It’s just continuing to get worse.” 

The city owns McConnell Park and parking lot, while everything north of the boardwalk, including the additional parking lot along Morrissey Boulevard, is owned by DCR, a state entity. 

Baker said the city has drafted plans to deal with the issues based on feedback from residents and the local civic association. 

“Our message is to ensure beach access for all during the day while maintaining safety at night,” said Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association president Desmond Rohan. “Right now, we are working with Councillor Baker’s office to get the word out and give his office feedback and find a compromise/plan that works.”