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South Boston to host two fewer road races this year

Posted by Patrick Rosso  May 22, 2013 12:09 PM

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As spring comes to South Boston, so do the charity road races along Day Boulevard and the parking woes associated with them.

But not all residents in the seaside neighborhood are keen on the races, especially when they have to move their cars or face towing.

Last year, local politicians raised concerns about the number of races along Day Boulevard, saying they cause hardship for residents.

In 2012, there were 10 races in South Boston that required road closures and parking restrictions, according to the Department of Conservation and Recreation, which permits the races and manages Day Boulevard and the surrounding beaches.

“The races last year had a negative impact on the community,” said South Boston Representative Nick Collins, who helped lead the charge against the races last year. “They cause a significant amount of disruption with the towing and closures.”

For 2013, seven races, with another race pending approval, have been scheduled for the roadway, and no new applications are being accepted by DCR for the year.

“DCR continues to work with the community and its leaders to strike the right balance between public access to these state properties and respect for the neighborhoods in which they fall,” said SJ Port, a spokeswoman for DCR.

Collins said the reduction is a start, but added he will be pushing to get the number of races down to four.

Legislation has been filed by Collins and the former state senator Jack Hart to curb the number of races in the neighborhood.

“The commissioner shall not authorize the issuance of special use permits more than four times in a calendar year to an individual, group or entity that would result in the closure of all or a portion of Columbia road or Day Boulevard in the South Boston section of the city of Boston,” reads the legislation. “The four permits authorized in this paragraph shall only be issued to individuals, groups or entities whose purposes have a direct impact on the South Boston community.”

Even with the legislation, which is currently awaiting a hearing, Collins said one of the best solutions to the problem is more parking.

“That’s [towing and parking restrictions] what is driving this,” he said. “Parking will always be a top issue in this community.”

DCR has tried to eliminate some of the headache surrounding parking, allowing residents prior to the races to park overnight in the angular parking spots in between Shore Road and Castle Island.

“We have to find the right balance,” said Collins. “We’re starting, but it’s always up for discussion.”

Email Patrick D. Rosso, Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

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