With the New England Patriots playing home Sunday (1 p.m. kickoff), Walpole's Board of Selectmen is looking to crack down on taxi and limousine drivers who operate in South Walpole during events at .
At the board's Sept. 4 meeting, selectmen discussed ramping up efforts to fine taxi and limo drivers who stop, stand and park in South Walpole - particularly on Water Street, Neponset Street and Washington Street - during stadium events.
“Apparently some of the limo operators and taxi operators thought our temporary no parking signs were a joke. So we spent significant time, police officers and others chasing limos off of Water Street and in the South Walpole area during Country Fest,” said Walpole Town Administrator Michael Boynton.
He said there has been an issue with people parking in the Boyden School and South Walpole United Methodist Church parking lots during stadium events.
“After events at the stadium we have a lot of standing vehicles … it becomes a real nuisance for the residents that are living in that area," he said.
Said selectman Nancy Mackenzie: “Some of the reason the limos are doing this is that the fee at the stadium to park is whatever it is. So instead of paying that fee and to get out quicker, they’re having their people come down and meet them at Boyden School.
“I was wondering if we could adopt, with the intent for during stadium events, that the fine would be something comparable to what it would be to park a limo up at the stadium. I think it’s something that we should be, as a board, pushing, that we choose not to do parking,” Mackenzie said.
The selectmen added the fines would be issued throughout all of South Walpole to avoid the issue spreading deeper into town.
“Don’t even drop your folks here," Boynton said. "Because you’re not going to be allowed to come back and wait around to pick them up.”
The board approved a vote to have an electronic message board in South Walpole with a message reaffirming limos and taxis that stop, stand and park in South Walpole during stadium events will be subject to a fine.
The board also stated it would be looking into raising the fine and possibly start towing those in violation.
In addition, Boynton said another issue was taxi cab fares that were originating in Walpole after events at Gillette.
“Specific to the taxi issue, I did note the one taxi company that was very prevalent [during Country Fest] operating in South Walpole and I contacted those folks, the Town Taxi Company, the Monday or Tuesday after Country Fest and informed them that while they are probably complying with the rules and regs of communities that they originate fares in, in order to bring folks to the stadium, the origination of a fare after the game in the town of Walpole without a license is a violation,” he said. “I suggested that if in fact they want to do that then they need to get a license through the Walpole Board of Selectmen under our new rules and regulations.”
Log on to Foxborough Patch Saturday morning for more on parking issues throughout the area during Gillette Stadium events as Local Editor Jeremie Smith takes a closer look at Foxborough's recently established parking bylaw, which takes effect on Sunday for the Patriots' home opener. The bylaw prohibits Foxborough residents from parking vehicles on their property for a fee and will be regulated by Foxborough Police and Foxborough Building Commissioner Bill Casbarra. Those in violation may receive a fine of $100.