REVERE (CBS) - An I-Team investigation has now led to action on Beacon Hill that will make parking at the nation's first public beach free once again.
It was a win for the people and a defeat for Governor Charlie Baker and Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo, both of whom wanted parking meters on Revere Beach. But after community protests and several I-Team investigations into the unfairness of the program, the legislature stepped in and put a stop to it.
Residents were jubilant after learning the state can no longer charge for parking on Revere Beach.
"Those meters need to be removed from Revere Beach once and for all," State Representative Jeff Turco said. "Once again we'll restore the first public beach in the nation and make it truly a free public beach."
The Department of Conservation and Recreation owns the roadway along the beach. It put in metered parking during the pandemic with little notice to the community, igniting a firestorm of protests this summer.
After I-Team investigations, the DCR backed down and agreed to give residents some parking, but the fight and our investigation continued.
It caught the eye of state representatives, who filed emergency legislation stopping DCR from charging for beach parking and preventing the agency from putting metered parking on any other DCR roads without city or town council approval.
Turco says this was an opportunity to work with Representative Jay Livingstone and others in the Boston area to fight for the little guy. "This is our beach; this is open for everybody regardless of their economic status," Turco said. "The DCR essentially put a charge on the use of the public beach and the legislature said no we are not going to do that. We overrode the governor's veto and the meters will come down. It's a great win for the people."
Residents say they will celebrate when the meters are removed.
"I really have to thank you and WBZ for presenting this story and spearheading it and you just didn't let it go, and that was what was important," said resident Nick Restuccia. "This is the result, and this shows when the people get behind something what can happen. The American way of doing things. It's absolutely amazing."
The legislation takes effect immediately, meaning the state can no longer collect any money for parking. Another law also passed requires the DCR to share half the revenue it collected with Revere. The governor failed to veto that bill as well. We reached out to DCR for comment. We are told it is reviewing the legislation.
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