Central Falls Parking Controversy

It was an emotional public meeting Monday about a parking ban in Central Falls.     

Hundreds were angry they wouldn't be able to park on the street overnight and got even more frustrated they couldn't all get inside a public meeting about the ban.    

We knew tensions were already high before the meeting. Then when hundreds of people were locked out, unable to voice their concerns over their overnight parking ban, things got crazy.

Folks in Central Falls showed up to try to overturn the recently announced overnight parking ban, but most of them couldn't even get into the meeting at city hall. The city council locked the doors after 65 people made it in.

Inside it was a screaming match. Police tried to control the crowds. Some residents almost got kicked out. Most tried to let the city council know the hardships a ban from 1a.m. to 6a.m. will cause.      

“May I get an escort home as I walk through the city please,” said one resident.     

Council President William Benson said his hands are tied. He can't do anything about the ban without the receiver's permission.     

The receiver, Robert Flanders, announced the parking restrictions last week. He  was supposed to be at the meeting. He didn't come.    

Nothing got settled Monday. The council ended up rescheduling the meeting for the next week, so that everyone who wants to attend can.     

But the ban went into effect early Tuesday morning. “All I can suggest is just to abide by the ordinance as it stands,” said Central Falls Police Major James Mendonca, “No tickets have been given because I can't stand here before you and make any promises.”

That rescheduled meeting is set to be at the Central Falls High School.