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Ted Dillard writes –
This is what happens when I get a little down time, sit on the beach and sip (illegal) rum drinks while watching the sun setting on the bay from Nahant Beach.
The traffic this past holiday was brutal. At 8:30 AM it was backed up all the way to the middle of the Nahant strip. There was no parking anywhere, and people were parking all along the streets in the Diamond District to get to Red Rock, the beaches, and the restaurants and shops in Swampscott.
I don’t think people think about Lynn Shore as what it is – the second largest beach within 10 miles of Boston, and accessible on public transportation. Let’s make it a destination, by making it a little more accessible, while keeping the traffic impact at a minimum. Run a free seasonal Beach Shuttle from the MBTA garage to the Nahant parking area (DCR land), then back along Lynn Shore Drive, by Red Rock, and up to Mission on the Bay, and back to the garage and Central Square.
Yeah, I know the MBTA runs a bus to Nahant, but a) it’s the MBTA, and b) it goes all over Nahant and not along LSD. And did I mention? It’s the MBTA.
This is a common solution to traffic in resort, state and national parks and beach areas. It’s not thinking outside the box by any stretch. It’s treating Lynn Shore for what it is – a destination – tourist, beach, whatever you want to call it, I have friends from all over the Boston metro area who drive their cars up here and have no place to park them, all to go to our beaches. It’s not even re-branding. The brand is already there, it just seems we don’t embrace it. It activates the MBTA garage. It brings people into DTL. Did you try to get to Revere Beach on Wednesday? I had friend who said you couldn’t get near it at 8:30 at night.
Sponsors? The Tides, Mission, the shops in Swampscott, Anthony’s, Rosetti’s and Blue Ox could all buy advertising. Eastern Bank? Bent Water Brewing? Ironbound? Beyond Walls? Corporate sponsorship for long-term community commitment? I would think the DCR would welcome involvement in this. Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce? Did I mention the food trucks selling burgers and dogs and ice cream along LSD? Why don’t we have that? We have a few charter bus companies in town as well, as I’m sure y’all know. Hell, with a used shuttle van from CraigsList I could start this up for $50K.
Needless to say, you’d have to promote it as well, which again, the MBTA doesn’t do.
Resistance? Sure, I anticipate all sorts of arguments from Nahant and the Diamond District, maybe even Swampscott, all fairly protectionist, and the argument to them is the same. This will keep your traffic and parking manageable. It will reduce the impact on your areas, not increase it. You could even go so far as to eliminate some parking on LSD to open it up a bit and restrict parking on Nahant St etc. Resistance from the anti-gentrification folks? Of course, but my answer is, bring them in, park their cars, take their money, send them home. Even if their home is a luxury condo on the waterfront.
Now, although this was conceived under the influence of rum drinks on the beach, i’m drinking coffee, currently, in my kitchen after a good night’s sleep, and still think it’s a brilliant idea. 😉 …and no, I’m not gonna be the one to do it.
Hope you’re all enjoying your holiday!