January 7, 2017
As the snow began to fall on Saturday a ‘no snow emergency parking’ sign had been removed from its post and was on the ground next to bolt cutters at a Lynn elementary school.
By THOMAS GRILLO
LYNN — Several city councilors removed locks from some of the city’s elementary school parking lots early Saturday in advance of the winter storm to make parking available, sources told The Item.
“What we did was, we made sure through a collaborative effort of everyone to get all the lots open Saturday morning so residents could use them for parking during the snow emergency,” said Darren Cyr, Ward 3 City Councilor.
Cyr declined to name the councilors who may have cut the locks.
“The school committee, the mayor’s office and the council all talked Saturday morning and decided that we had to get those open as quickly as possible,” he said. “For the concern of the public’s safety, the council did what they had to do.”
The gates were installed last summer to prevent car owners from parking on the school lots during snow emergencies. In an earlier interview, Cyr said the council was coming up with alternative parking sites because residents often failed to leave the school property by school start time following a storm.
Michael Donovan, the city’s Inspectional Services Department chief, said he was unaware that any locks were broken. Originally, he said, parking was banned at all 18 of the city’s elementary schools. But early Saturday morning, he received a call from the city’s law department telling him that parking should be allowed at eight of the elementary school lots.
“By about 11:45 a.m. our people were opening the locks,” he said. “I did not receive a single report of a broken lock.”
The city issued notice that parking is not allowed at the following schools: Aborn, Brickett, Callahan, Cobbet, Fallon, Hood, Lynn Woods, Sewell-Anderson and Washington. But a drive-around by Item reporters found the gates at several of those schools open with cars parked inside.
Thomas Grillo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.