WHAV Listener Gets Action on Handicapped Parking at Stadium

Haverhill City Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua.

A Haverhill city councilor says designated handicapped parking spaces are soon to be in place at Haverhill Trinity Stadium.

Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua credits talks with Haverhill Stadium Commission members leading to its purported action to designate several handicapped access parking spaces at the stadium, addressing concerns on behalf of a WHAV listener.

“I actually spoke to several members of the commission after I brought this item on the city council agenda and they were in support of it. It was just simply a matter of putting everyone together and getting it done. And that’s what I think is happening,” Bevilacqua said. “That’s the role I’m trying to play on the city council. If there are things that are of interest and of need by our city, I’m just obviously trying to encourage people to do it quicker.”

Bevilacqua placed the matter on the agenda after WHAV Open Mike Show listener David P. Safran related his concerns on the program. Safran, 73, is a frequent contributor to Open Mike Show and has been dubbed the show’s “public safety officer.”

“I was looking for a handicapped parking space and I couldn’t find one. All of the regular spaces were taken. They have no signs there,” Safran told WHAV after he visited the stadium last summer. “They put all this money into the stadium, but there’s no assistance for disabled residents,” he said. Safran, who has health problems and difficulty walking, mentioned his plight to a firefighter. “The fireman kindly gave up his parking space,” Safran said.

However, Bevilacqua told WHAV he has yet to see plans since he raised the issue during the Feb. 2 council meeting.

“I haven’t seen the actual report yet but I know there had been discussion. From what I understood, we were told there was going to in fact be some spaces provided. I haven’t seen the actual layout as to where they’re going, but the most important thing is that the city is acting and will provide spaces for those with a disability that need assistance,” Bevilacqua added.

At the time, the council approved sending a letter to the stadium commission asking handicap parking be in place “for the upcoming season.” The move came after Public Safety Committee Chairman Michael S. McGonagle told councilors the commission was already working with the city’s Engineering department “to comply with state law.”

WHAV has attempted to contact Stadium Commission Chairman, Haverhill High School Athletic Director Thomas E. O’Brien and City Engineer John H. Pettis III, however, both were not immediately available for comment.