Published in the June 28, 2019 edition.


WAKEFIELD — A portion of Common Street will soon become one-way after the Town Council agreed to the change by a narrow 4-3 vote this week. The section of Common Street between Church Street and Lafayette Street will become one-way heading south beginning sometime this summer.

The change was recommended by the Traffic Advisory Committee (TAC). It has also been discussed as part of the planned Envision Wakefield downtown revitalization program, but the idea had also been floated separately, according to some Town Councilors.

Town Engineer Bill Renault presented the proposal, saying it would be a good idea to give it a try and see if it works, even ahead of the other changes proposed as part of the Envision program.

Town Councilor Ann Santos noted that the vast majority of traffic already goes south on Common Street, and VHB, the town’s traffic consultant, had recommended making Lafayette Street one-way.

But Town Councilor Mehreen Butt said that the public had not had a chance to weigh in on the proposed change. She suggested postponing the vote pending an opportunity for public input.

Councilor Paul DiNocco said that the idea had been discussed for several months and residents do not need an invitation to come to meetings and provide input.

Renault pointed out that all direct abutters on Common Street were notified. Santos asked Renault if he had heard from any abutters. Renault said that he had not.

Town Councilor Jonathan Chines said that he wanted to wait on the change and let the Envision process play out.

Chairman Edward Dombroski said that, in part, the change was a trial run and if it turned out that it didn’t work, it would be a simple matter to change the signs.

In the end, Dombroski, Santos, DiNocco and Peter May voted in favor of the change. Councilors Butt, Chines and Julie Smith-Galvin were opposed.

The Town Council also approved a TAC recommendation that parking be prohibited in front of 617 Main Street from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Signs will be installed.

Another TAC recommendation for “no parking here to corner” signs twenty feet from all four corners at the intersection of Chestnut and Cedar Streets was also approved.


In other business this week the Town Council:

• Accepted a gift of $152,000 from the Friends of Lake Quannapowitt for improvements to Gertrude Spaulding Park and Colonel Connelly Park.

• Adopted a kiosk posting policy that was initially discussed at the board’s June 10 meeting.

• Approved an all-alcohol license for Blue Moon Grille, 955 Main St.

• Approved scheduling the 10th annual Festival Italia on Aug. 24, 2019 along with the associated street closures.

• Approved a request from Beebe Library to accept and expend $1,147 in gifts from various donors.

• Approved a request from Wakefield Repertory Theatre to hang a banner across Main Street from July 22 to Aug. 5.