Fitzgerald’s looking to create paylot for commuters

by beth on May 14, 2015

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Above: Commuters looking to take advantage of “free parking” by the commuter rail were a problem for Fitzgerald’s. Now, the owner is looking to rent out spaces to train riders. (Photo by Beth Melo)

Fitzgerald’s General Store is seeking permission to create a pay-for-parking lot adjacent to their store lot.

Hearings on special permits and a site plan review are scheduled for this Monday’s Planning Board Meeting. I stopped in to find out what kind of renovations were in store. Turns out that renovations aren’t planned for the store, just it’s lot.

The store owner is looking to pave the area next to his lot, and charge for parking. The lot is behind the town’s commuter rail stop.

According to store management, commuters parking on the dirt lot caused problems in the past. (In addition to being an inconvenience for the owner, there were environmental concerns.)

The area is now cordoned off while he pursues proper permitting to make the most of his situation.

Southborough Wicked Local interviewed owner Vinnie Patel for more details:

The plan, which requires Planning Board approval, calls for creating 73 parking spaces to be rented out on a monthly basis, according to the special permit application. . .

A second parking lot will also be created for store customers.

Patel said commuters are essentially squatters, parking on the property for free.

“A couple of times I complained to police,” he said. “In the evening, it’s like New York Grand Central Station. Everyone comes here to pick up” people coming off the commuter train.

For the full article, click here.

1 Adam May 14, 2015 at 1:22 PM

Will this there be a stipulation that will make it illegal to pickup and drop off commuters in the stores parking lot? I have stopped using he store because it is a nightmare to get in and out of the parking lot as none customers are using it as if it were the “T” parking lot. The store at Southborough center is to pricey and I have been making the trip to Cumberland farms on rt 9 lately. Too lone of a trip for a gallon of milk when there are stores closer.

2 MarthaB May 15, 2015 at 10:10 PM

I REALLy miss Colella’s.

3 SouthboroDave May 14, 2015 at 1:50 PM

We need a WAWA on this corner. That’s all I’d vote for!

4 Used to shop there May 14, 2015 at 2:28 PM

I parked there once waiting for my daughter to get off the train. A person came out and was threatening and unpleasant. I was there for five minutes. After that I decided never to buy anything at the store. It was convenient to pick up small stuff, but man was just too nasty. He lost a customer. I wonder how many others have had this experience. Good luck to him.

5 JMO May 14, 2015 at 11:18 PM

I hope he gets his permit. It’s wrong that people don’t use the MBTA lot and try to get something for nothing. I don’t understand why police can’t ticket pickup/dropoff offenders giving the town needed revenue. Spot checks by the police would suffice, the trains are predictable, and I believe offenders would pretty quickly get the message.

6 Hammertime May 15, 2015 at 11:47 AM

I don’t have a problem with this pay lot however it should not be allowed until the original rules put in place are enforced not talked about. As a neighbor to this station I attended every meeting about the EXPECTED problems with this station regarding drop off and pick up and illegal parking. Everything talked about has happened and I would venture not one citation has been issued. There is a 2000 ft no parking no drop off pick up on all public streets in Southborough surrounding the station. This includes in front of your own home if it falls within the 2000 ft. The police chief at that time said these problems would happen and they have. Its unfortunate that” Used To Shop There” had this experience but what if this was your store or better yet your neighborhood. You are supposed to pick up in the commuter rail lot, which is impossible at rush hour, I have tried it. So what to do? I honestly don’t know but start issue citations. Signs were installed before the station opened so enforce them, no warnings. There are only a couple of trains that are an issue here and guess what they run on a schedule! Would seem to me that if you knew when a train was coming and going it would be pretty easy to find the problem and stop it. No permit for this lot should be issued until a proven track record of enforcement can be shown.

7 LJJ May 15, 2015 at 11:52 AM

Is there something gonna be developed to pick up the passengers from Boston?

8 beth May 15, 2015 at 12:11 PM

I’m not sure I understand the question.

If you are talking about a reverse commute for Boston residents to work in town, with busing on this end – I haven’t heard anything in the works for that.

9 Lisa May 15, 2015 at 7:15 PM

I would LOVE a WAWA!!!!!!!!

10 Used to shop there May 15, 2015 at 7:21 PM

Hammertime – you make a good point. There was not a good solution as to where to pick up my daughter. It’s a sad situation when people try to use public transit and the infrastructure isn’t adequate. I guess that could be said for the very poor train situation as well as parking in and around the station and the road network. There are very few choices for folks commuting. I do feel badly for neighbors around the station, it must be quite a nightmare around rush hour. Perhaps if Southborough had a local bus that would drop folks off around central areas of town — then the traffic would be more dispersed. I think folks would pay a $1 or 2 for the service. Another question might be to identify if the issue is Southborough folks or if they are Hopkinton or Marlborough or Westborough folks…

Hope you have a quiet, free of train traffic weekend.

11 John Kendall May 16, 2015 at 12:42 PM

The people creating the nightmare are from all over. Yes, I see just as many cars with Southborough Transfer Station stickers jamming everything up as I see cars from other towns. And it’s not just at Fitzgerald’s…..they park on Cordaville Road, Parker Street, Highland Street. My neighborhood which includes Cottage Street, Hammond Street, as well as the other streets is intolerable every weekday between 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM. People disregard the safety of the neighborhood as well as the no parking signs in order to pick up train passengers. We even have people dumping their cars on Cottage Street from time to time in order to avoid parking fees. Yes, I was on the original MBTA committee, and have followed all the meetings preceding the construction of the commuter rail station. The parking problems were discussed, and then police chief Bill Colleary predicted that we would have problems. I’m not sure what the answer is because we don’t want the vehicles of residents of the neighborhood or their visitors towed or ticketed, but there needs to be some type of enforcement should the permit be granted to Mr. Patel. I’m all for him being granted a permit. Why not, It’ll clean up his lot and improve things as far as parking. It’s the traffic and the non-conformists that are creating the problem. Anyone who thinks the problem is great on nice days, try driving around here on a rainy or snowy day. And by the way, I’ve never had any problems with the staff at Fitzgerald’s since it was purchased by Mr. Patel. They have always been very personable to me.

12 Wawa May 17, 2015 at 10:44 PM

What the heck is a wawa?

13 beth May 18, 2015 at 8:49 AM

I was puzzled, too. I looked it up before approving the comment. According to Wikipedia, Wawa “is a chain of convenience store/gas stations located along the East Coast”

14 SouthboroDave May 18, 2015 at 11:48 AM

Wawa is by far the best convenience store on Earth. Great coffee, great breakfast sandwiches, great subs, great service. Plus all the other goodies you get at a 7-eleven. Fast, clean, priced fairly. They exist in PA, NJ, NY, DE, MD etc..

Wawa started in Wawa, PA as a Milk store. Wawa, PA was primarily dairy country.. at least that’t what i know…

15 South Train May 25, 2015 at 9:31 AM

We rarely use Fitzgerald’s EXCEPT when we do a passenger pick-up then we ALWAYS go inside and BUY milk and more…they are always nice to us.

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