River Road concerns addressed with ‘no parking’ signs

Aug 16, 2023

MARION — Signs indicating a tow-away zone will soon be installed at the top of River Road in Marion after residents raised concerns about guests from the restaurant blocking traffic to their residential street.

“We’re concerned about the experiences we had occasionally when Gilda would have her parties,” said River Road resident Chris Collings at a July 19 meeting of the Marion Select Board when the issue was previously discussed. “These aren’t imagined concerns, and it only takes two cars at the entrance to River Road to make it almost impossible for any vehicle, much less an emergency vehicle to come down.”

The restaurant in question, which was formerly known as Gilda’s Stone Rooster, will reopen in several weeks under the name The River Junction, said restaurateurs and owners John Mello and Joe Sauro,

At an Aug. 16 meeting, the Marion Select Board voted to install “no parking tow-away zone” signs on both sides of River Road starting at Route 6 and ending at the first property line.

Select Board member Norm Hills abstained from the vote, citing a guideline from the Massachusetts Highway Department, that prohibits any parking on a road as narrow as River Road.

“Based on the width of [River Road], the whole road should be ‘no parking,’ not just not just the beginning,” said Hills.

According to Select Board member Randy Parker, this option was not entertained during discussions with River Road residents because “we were afraid of restrictions for the homeowners who want to have a baby christening, graduation party or something like that.”

“All I’m saying is that [there should be] no parking,” said Hills. “I’m not going to go down there and check.”