The annual Sand Sculpture extravaganza drew tens of thousands of visitors to Revere Beach during the past week. In fact, it is believed well over 100,000 came to Revere.
During the weekend, the traffic in and around the sculpture exhibition by the Reinstein gazebo, was heavy, with nearly everyone driving to Revere from Winthrop or from anywhere south of here becoming stuck in traffic leading onto the beach and into Bell Circle. The traffic on the Revere Beach Parkway at times during the weekend extended from Bell Circle to the Chelsea-Revere line at Broadway – and from Bell Circle north to Lynn.
The American Legion Highway and all the roads sprouting out of Bell Circle and running into it were a traffic mess for much of the weekend.
We have come to expect very little in the way of traffic mitigation from the Revere Police during the most obvious times of need, and the chief, we are sure, will lecture us on how everything possible was done, although not a single Revere police officer could be found directing traffic or aiding in an effort to open Bell Circle or any of the roads that Revere residents traveled during the course of the entire weekend.
The Revere Police and State Police grouped themselves at the left turn off the beach by the gazebo in a grand effort at rerouting traffic off the beach and onto Ocean Avenue.
The traffic was lined up from that position all the way to the Revere Beach Parkway, and all the way to Chelsea.
Bell Circle was unattended. The Revere Beach Parkway was unattended. The American Legion Highway was unattended. In fact, police could only be found at the beach, while tens of thousands of commuters and Revere residents just trying to get around were reduced to running up and down residential streets well west of Broadway in order to get home.
Bottom line – the Sand Sculpture Festival was a grand success, drawing tens of thousands here.
But traffic was horrific with nothing done – no signage warning about the festival and traffic back-ups, no visible sign of police attempting to keep traffic moving north and south, no police presence of any meaningful kind anywhere except at the beach near the gazebo.
Organizers of the event might do well to plan for traffic mitigation for next year’s event or run the risk of the festival drowning in its own traffic.