Remember the media crush and traffic snarls this past February when Belmont's own Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, voted in the state's Republican primary?
Residents had to weave their way around the Town Field neighborhoods due to crush of news trucks (and helicopters), curiosity seekers, political workers and protesters who surrounded the Beech Street Center.
Now, as Belmont Town Clerk Ellen Cushman explains, multiply that activity by 10 come Nov. 6 when the world's media descends on the Town of Homes to witness the Republican candidate for president vote in his home town of the past 40 years.
In an attempt to tamper, or at least control the coming news media "circus maximus," the Belmont Police Department has established a traffic and parking plan they hope will at least make life bearable during "E" Day.
But in some ways, according to Belmont Police's Assistant Police Chief James MacIsaac who is coordinating the town public safety plan, the department is taking the same approach with Mitt Romney voting as if, let's say, there was a gas leak on a major street in town.
"The department has plans to keep traffic flowing around any incident or emergency," he said.
The department's mission election day will be to allow residents who vote in the two precincts located at the Beech access to the building while providing perimeter security for Romney and his entourage.
It will also provide sufficient traffic control in the neighborhood and around town that will minimize gridlock and allow for the free flow of vehicles and pedestrians to and from the Beech Street Center.
Just when Romney will vote remains up-in-the-air to Belmont Police; the timing will be determined later in the weekend.
And Belmont's response to the anticipated tsunami of visitors from around the world begins on Monday, Nov. 5, with both traffic and parking restrictions being set in place.
• No overnight parking will be allowed in the Beech Street Center lot on Sunday, Nov. 4 and Monday, Nov. 5.
• Parking on Beech Street (on the field side) is to be reserved for voters. ‘No Parking’ signs will be posted on Beech Street, opposite the Beech Street Center.
• On Sunday, Nov. 5, the Traffic Department will post ‘No Parking’ signs on the eastbound side of the following streets up to Slade Street: Upland Road, Drew Road, Benjamin Road and Orchard Street up to Amelia Street.
• There will be no on street parking on both sides of Henry Street.
• All ‘No Parking’ signs will be posted on the evening of Nov. 5.
• At 11:45 p.m. on Nov. 5, Waverley Street will be closed from Beech
Street to Harris Street to through motor vehicle traffic. Eastbound traffic on
Waverley Street will be detoured down Harris Street. Shean Road will be closed at Waverley Street. Media trucks will not be allowed past Henry Street
• Media vehicles should enter the staging area at Beech Street.
• Residents on Ash, Midland, Woodland and Waverley will be allowed to exit and enter at Henry Street.
• There will be a police officer stationed at Waverley and Harris streets to allow residents to enter and exit. Motor vehicles will not be allowed access to Waverley Street from the intersection of Beech and Thomas. Police are asking that you please drive west on Waverley Street (towards Waverley Square) when leaving. When returning home, police ask that residents enter at Henry Street and Waverley Street.
• Media vehicles will be parked on the westbound (the field side) of Waverley Street.
• At the conclusion of the event, media vehicles should exit Waverley Street, at Henry Street.