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To park, or not to park?


RMV's Route 20 decision not shared with police



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People all last week were continuing to use the rear Mass Pike lot off Route 20 in Charlton to park for the RMV. State Police, meanwhile, have said they were never told the lot was being closed to customers. (click for larger version)
March 07, 2010
CHARLTON — In yet another sign of the breakdown in communication between the state Registry of Motor Vehicles and other agencies, a Charlton State Police sergeant said last week no one at his barracks was ever notified that the state was eliminating parking for the Mass Pike RMV office off of Route 20.

"We didn't know anything," State Police Sgt. Mark Curtois said of the closing. "We were notified by a maintenance worker. The parking signs were erected by the Registry and then we were notified that the signs were being taken down and people were being directed elsewhere."

Confusion and anger over the decision to no longer allow RMV customers to park in the Mass Pike service area's rear lot off Route 20 peaked again last week, this time by chance.

State police on Thursday turned away a man pulling into the lot, leading him to believe authorities had been stationed there to ward off customers who have been ignoring signs informing them they can no longer park there to do business at the RMV. Police told the man he had to drive onto the Mass Pike in Sturbridge to access the office, then drive to Auburn to turn around.

Apparently deciding not to, the man drove next door to the family-owned business Cronin Cabinets, according to one of the owners, Caroline Phillips, who called this newspaper with the story.

"This guy went in to do business and police told him he couldn't park there," she said the man told an employee at the store. "He couldn't do the Mass Pike and asked us if he could park here."

For more on this story, please see Monday's Southbridge Evening News.

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