WAKEFIELD — Parking restrictions on certain areas of Farm Street will be temporarily lifted to alleviate a parking shortage caused by the start of construction for the the new high school.

Police Lt. Joseph Anderson, who chairs the Traffic Advisory Committee, appeared before the Town Council this week to present the the proposed parking changes.

“As you know, the first phase of construction has begun for the new Wakefield Memorial High School on Farm Street,” Anderson said. “The initial phase has caused a significant reduction in available off-street parking. This reduction has caused vehicles to be displaced to legal and illegal on-street parking spaces. This situation has resulted in complaints to the Police Department from citizens due to decreased visibility when exiting driveways, intersecting streets, etc. 

Anderson requested that the Town Council vote to temporarily lift the current parking restrictions on the east side of Farm St. where current signage restricts parking from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. from in front of the high school to just past the Woodville Elementary School. The “No Parking” signs in those areas would be temporarily covered.

All other parking restrictions would remain in place including all restrictions on the westerly side of Farm Street, Anderson explained. 

He requested that the current restrictions on the east side of Farm Street be lifted through Sept. 30, 2024 in order to give the developer time to complete the upper parking lot. He further requested that the developer temporarily bag the existing signage and supply traffic cones to prevent parking in unauthorized spaces that interfere with visibility.

Town Councilor Edward Dombroski asked whether the lifted parking restrictions needed to remain in place over the summer. Lt. Anderson agreed that it probably wouldn’t matter much either way during the summer, when on-street parking is less in demand than during the school year.

In response to another question, Anderson said that the parking changes likely would neither alleviate or exacerbate traffic backups on Farm Street during peak hours.

The Town Council approved the proposed parking changes.


In other matters this week, the Town Council:

  • Approved the renewal of an intermunicipal agreement between Wakefield and Reading to share animal control services. Town Administrator Stephen P. Maio said that the arrangement has worked well to date and has saved both communities money.
  • Issued a proclamation declaring the month of May “ALS Awareness Month” in Wakefield.
  • Approved a “pledge of liquor license” for “BossMama” restaurant at 963 Main St.
  • Granted two requests to sell wine at the Farmers Market during the upcoming season. The licenses for Blisspoint Meadery and House Bear Brewery are for the sales of bottled wine only, with no on-site sampling allowed.
  • Approved a request from Happy Hostess at Your Service for a one-day liquor license for an upcoming fundraiser to be held at at the Wakefield Bowladrome on Water Street.
  • Appointed Joseph A. Giacobbe to the Veterans Advisory Board.
  • Appointed Hyon Leon to the Wakefield Human Rights Commission.
  • Approved donations from various donors to the Wakefield Senior Center totaling $445.
  • Accepted a donation of $50 to the Wakefield Youth Council.
  • Voted to accept a donation of $5,605 to the Lucius Beebe Memorial Library. It was noted that of that amount, $5,000 was from Dianne Humphrey of Charlotte, NC in honor of her mother, Claire Humphrey, a lifelong Wakefield resident who died in 2012 at age 85.