Macek Seeks Designated Cab Stands at Shopping Centers

City Councilor William J. Macek.

Haverhill city councilors are considering creating taxi pick up areas at shopping plazas and in the downtown for easier passenger access.

Councilors unanimously voted to send the proposal from Councilor William J. Macek to the traffic and public safety subcommittees. Macek said he has learned seniors have difficulties getting in or out of cabs at shopping centers. He added there is unequal enforcement of vehicles stopped in fire lanes.

“It’s a little bit harsh when you consider the fact that the MVRTA bus, which I have seen many times at the Westgate Market Basket, in particular, without a driver inside, idling and being there for a considerable amount of time waiting for whatever time it is they take off for their next run—and they’re in the fire lane. I think if it’s good enough for them, for that bus that is probably the length of three cars, then I would think a live, let-out or let-in vehicle should be allowed,” Macek said.

Macek suggested an alternative if use of fire lanes remains prohibited.

“If we’re not able to do that because we have a state regulation for fire lanes and we can’t see our way around it in any way, I would then suggest maybe, in speaking to the owners of these plazas and maybe even at a few spots downtown, that we review for possibility of not taking a handicapped spot but maybe creating a spot as close as possible in a different lane (from) where the handicapped spots are so they could use that one spot as a live park taxi spot,” Macek said.

Councilor Michael S. McGonagle.

Councilor Michael S. McGonagle.

Councilor Michael S. McGonagle, public safety committee chairman, was among those supporting the pickup area proposal. He said they would try to create something comfortable while keeping state or city ordinances in mind.

“It’s too bad that we’re not a patient society because you would think you could stop for a moment, let an elderly person out in front of the store, not in the fire lane and that wouldn’t anger some people. But we’re not that society,” McGonagle said.

Developer Postpones Ward Hill Housing Hearing

In other council action Tuesday, a scheduled public hearing for a proposed 13-unit condominium development in the Ward Hill section was postponed for a fourth time at the request of an attorney representing developer Robert Ahern for RKACO LLC.

A special permit application to construct a three-building development at 2 Cross Road has received favorable recommendation with conditions from the Haverhill Planning Board and from Economic and Development and Planning Director William H. Pillsbury. The public hearing, first scheduled on June 16, is now continued to August 11.