Tenacity runs a summer tennis and literacy program for North End kids at the park at the corner of Commercial and North Washington streets. Parents who dropped their kids off on the way to work would pull into the parking lot next to the tennis court to let them off.
Until recently, that is. The Romney presidential campaign, based at 585 Commercial St., next to the lot, is now blocking it off to everybody but campaign workers, forcing parents to stop in a turning lane for the Charlestown Bridge and get their kids out. This morning, a couple of glowering guys enforced the no-lot policy. They told one irate parent there'd been a "hit and run" in the lot. Hit and run? Why, yes, somebody scratched a car and then left without taking responsibility. A parent? Well, nobody'd seen the "hit and run."
Another parent writes:
Parents have always been able to drop off and pick up from there with no problem and even now that parking lot is pretty empty, but apparently the new tenants do not want ANYONE using that parking lot. There have been arguments between parents and young men in suits, young men in suits placing and replacing traffic cones and now two young men in suits standing with a traffic barrier.
DCR is scheduled to meet with building management this week and is looking for documentation from the redevelopment of that site stipulating that they have easements for access (which is what many parent-veterans of the program have been told over the years). But in the meantime parents are unable to park safely anywhere nearby and many cannot even double-park to drop off because they have infants or toddlers strapped into car seats that they cannot leave unattended.
That's a terrible spot to let children walk out of your line of vision -- lines of buses, crowds of tourist, perhaps even the dreaded segways. It's a very unsafe situation for the children and a very unneighborly, unkind thing for the Romney campaign to be doing. Ten minutes of friendly access for a sparsely-used parking lot that they do not even own seems to be a lot more important to the Romney Campaign that the safety of children or their reputation.