Belmont Police Unveil Traffic/Parking Plan for PGA Tournament

Photo: Belmont Police Capt. Peter Hoerr talking with a resident during a public meeting,

When suggesting what residents in and around Winter Street can do to assist police when a PGA golf tournament come to the Belmont Country Club next month, Belmont Police Assistant Chief James MacIsaac said that week might be “a good time to open the summer house and go to the Cape,” to chuckles in the room. 

The good natured quip to the 15 residents who attended the community meeting at the Belmont Hill School on Thursday, May 14, spoke volumes about some of the challenges facing homeowners in what is being called “the triangle” of streets and roads adjacent the club and Marsh and Winter streets beginning Tuesday, June 9 and lasting (weather permitting) until Sunday, June 14, when 8,000 people will descend daily on Belmont attending the PGA Tour Constellation Senior Championship.  

“There are a lot of moving parts in this plan and along the way there has been challenges for the PGA to do the plan correctly,” said Belmont Police Chief Richard McLaughlin to the residents.

“So I want to know your concerns and we’ll work to alleviate those [issues],” McLaughlin said. 

The most significant of the week-long change will be the closure of Winter Street, a main thoroughfare from Belmont into and out of Lexington and Route 2. The street, according to BPD Capt. Peter Hoerr (who has been coordinating the effort between the town and suppliers), will be closed from:

  • Tuesday, June 9 – 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. 
  • Wednesday, June 10 – 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 11 – 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, June 12 – 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 13 – 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 14 – 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Closing Winter Street will also result in the popular Route 2 Exit 56 East to be shut down, with traffic being directed to use Exit 55 onto Pleasant Street in Lexington. This detour will result in traffic that usually travels on Winter will shift over to Concord Avenue. 

In addition to Winter, Marsh Street will be closed to non-residential motorists who are looking for Winter, Route 2, Lexington or Concord and Robinwood Road will be posted “Do Not Enter” at Concord Avenue. Hough Road residents will also be impacted.

While there will be restrictions to through traffic, residents in the impacted area will still be able to get to their homes by flashing a Mass Driver’s License with the current address visible.

“Residents will have easy access to their homes,” said Hoerr, who added that the department is developing a system of visitor passes for residents to have guests during the tournament. 

During the tournament, there will also be temporary “no parking” restrictions on the following streets:

  • Concord Avenue
  • Country Club Lane
  • Dundonald Road
  • Greenbrook Way
  • Grey Birch Park
  • Greybirch Circle
  • Hough Road
  • Marsh Street (between Concord Avenue and Country Club Lane)
  • Partridge Lane 
  • Rayburn Road
  • Robinwood Road
  • Winter Street 

Ticketholders will park at Bentley College in Waltham and arrive at the tournament via shuttle bus. Volunteers who need to park will be picked up at Minuteman Regional High School in Lexington. VIP and players parking will be at the club and at St Camillus in Arlington. There will also be shuttle buses from Alewife station.

A Week of Road Closures, Parking Restrictions Set During Golf Tourney

Photo: The map of street closures set for June during a golf event in Belmont.

A popular travel link between Route 2 and Belmont will be closed for nearly a week in early June and residents living close to Belmont Country Club will have daytime parking restrictions in their neighborhoods while a major golf tournament takes place, according to Belmont Police.

During the Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour’s Constellation Senior Players Championship, taking place at Belmont Country Club next month, initial plans call for Winter Street from Route 2 to Marsh Street to be closed during the day to through traffic from Tuesday, June 9, through Sunday, June 14, 2015, according to Belmont’s Assistant Chief James MacIsaac.

Residents should also expect daytime parking restrictions in the neighborhoods abutting the club.

These are initial plans that still need to be finalized, said MacIsaac. 

The news comes a few weeks since the PGA initiated, then rejected using Rock Meadow Conservation Land for up to 1,000 parking spaces. Currently, the PGA acquired parking, outside of Belmont, for employees and spectators who will be transported by shuttle bus from parking areas to the club. 

Belmont Police will host a public meeting at 7 p.m. on May 14, in the Wadsworth Room of the Belmont Hill School Athletic Center. This meeting will provide residents with information pertaining to traffic and parking plans. The meeting will also provide residents with the opportunity to ask questions to law enforcement.

Those interested in obtaining future announcements on the PGA’s event at Belmont Country Club should follow the police and town’s social media accounts and websites.

After Review, PGA Rejects Rock Meadow for Golf Tournament Parking

Photo: Rock Meadow Conservation Land. 

A plan to use town conservation land off upper Concord Avenue to park nearly 1,000 vehicles during an upcoming professional golf tournament at Belmont Country Club in June has been abandoned, according to an email from the town’s conservation agent to a resident.

“At this point in time, the Conservation Commission will not be using Rock Meadow as a parking area for the Constellation golf tournament,” Mary Trudeau, Belmont’s conservation officer, wrote to Jeff Miller today, Tuesday, April 21.

Trudeau did not return a call from the Belmontonian for comment. 

According to Belmont Town Administrator David Kale, the PGA decided after reviewing the anticipated traffic coming to and from Belmont and the “complications of the site” on the number of vehicles onto the site, to relocate the majority of the parking to another area nearby. 

“The PGA is always looking at alternatives and they found one that suits their needs a little bit better,” said Kale.

It is unknown where the parking will be situated. 

The change comes a week after the Belmont Conservation Commission narrowly approved a conditional agreement to allow the Professional Golf Association Tour (PGA) to use approximately 11 acres of Rock Meadow Conservation Land for up to 1,000 parking spaces to support crowds attending the Constellation Senior Players Championship, one of the five “major” tournaments of the PGA’s Champions Tour for players over 50 years old.

The tournament will take place from Thursday, June 11 to Sunday, June 14 at the Belmont Country Club. 

During the debate whether to approve the conditional agreement – any fees to use the meadow would be placed in the ConCom’s Victory Garden reserve account to pay for the biannual mowing – Trudeau said the town forces her “to go begging” for grants and other funding to maintain the land as Belmont does not provide monies to the ConCom.

After news of the agreement was made public, several residents questioned the vote to place upwards of 1,000 cars in three locations on the meadow.

The PGA’s decision was welcomed news to those who felt the number of vehicles could lead to pollution and damage to nearby wetlands. 

“For both public policy and environmental reasons, I’m pleased that the decision appears to have been reversed.  Now I’d like to see the town add a budget item for meadow maintenance, and I also encourage all users to donate to the Friends of Rock Meadow,” Miller, a Precinct 1 Town Meeting member, told the Belmontonian. 

ConCom Approves Parking on Rock Meadow for Major Golf Tournament

Photo: The location on Rock Meadow where parking will be located for a golf tournament in June.

The Belmont Conservation Commission narrowly approved a conditional agreement to allow the Professional Golf Association Tour (PGA) to use approximately 11 acres of Rock Meadow Conservation Land off upper Concord Avenue for up to 1,000 parking spaces to support a major golf tournament taking place at Belmont Country Club during the second week of June.

The 3-2 vote came after an hour in which the commission members and Conservation Agent Mary Trudeau debated whether the land – never used for such an activity – would be damaged by vehicular pollution or whether a “yes” vote would set a bad precedence versus the commission’s real need for outside funding to continue the upkeep of the land and the nearby Victory Gardens.

“I am literally begging to find grants and money as the [Town Meeting] doesn’t give [the Conservation Commission] a penny,” said Trudeau, in an impassioned plea to the board to pass the proposal.

The approval came with the proviso that all fees for using the meadow will be placed in the Conservation Commission’s Victory Garden Revolving Account to provide money to mow the meadow.

With the Commission’s approval, the PGA and the town – through its Town Administration Office – will begin negotiations on a contract that will include both fees for parking and for other town services. In addition, the PGA has made considerable charitable contributions to municipalities and

The PGA is scheduled to meet with the Belmont Police Department on Thursday, April 16, to discuss required traffic control and details.

Rock Meadow is 70 acres of public conservation land that includes a meadow, wetlands, streams and woods. It is a part of the Western Greenway, a corridor of undeveloped green spaces that connects the towns of Belmont, Waltham and Lexington. It is a favorite place for hiking, birding, biking, picnicking, cross-country skiing, and community gardening.

The meeting began with a presentation from the PGA’s Joe Rotellini and Geoff Hill to give a highlights of the Constellation Senior Players Championship, one of the five “major” tournaments for older (those on the PGA’s Champions Tour for players over 50 years old) but still very popular golfers such as Bernhard Langer, Tom Watson, Fred Couples and Vijay Singh.

Rotellini, who oversees the day-to-day operation of the tournament, told the commissioners that people will come out to see the marque players and it’s critical to have parking in the area. He stated that the PGA was also in negotiations with other nearby communities for parking.

As part of its extensive management plan, the PGA will require parking from Tuesday, June 9 to Sunday, June 14 with the number of vehicles “ramps up” during the four days of the actual tournament, starting on Thursday, June 11, said Rotellini.

The temporary parking lot will begin to accept cars at approximately 7:30 a.m. with most vehicles departing by sunset. During the week, Winter Street from Concord Avenue to Route 2 will be one-way towards Lexington.


The parking plan will be laid out by a professional management firm hired by the PGA. Under the plan envisioned by the Tour, a pair of temporary curb cuts will be placed along Concord Avenue near the intersection of Winter Street (see image) that will allow a one-way circular loop where a shuttle bus will pick up attendees and deliver them to the country club. The cut will require moving large rocks that occupy the spaces.

“It is a temporary roadway that may require stones if it rains,” said Trudeau.

That portion of the North Meadow will be the location of the largest of three parking areas, used by 700 vehicle spaces from June 9 to 14. The activity will likely require moving a proposed sheep grazing site. (see image)


The second lot, expected to be used from June 12 to June 14, is what most residents recognize as Rock Meadow adjacent to the Mill Street entrance and the Victory Gardens. Up to 250 vehicles can use this location.

A final, and smallest, parking area will be located to the south of the first two sites, accompanying 150 spaces. Rotellini said if it does rain during the event, it’s unlikely to use the second and third areas as crowd numbers will be dampened.

In addition to setting up and roping off the parking areas, the PGA is insured up to $10 million, is set to acquire all permits, will bring in public restrooms and trash containers which will be cleaned at the end of each day, and have the necessary number of shuttle buses available to allow for 10 minutes between trips.

Rotellini said he and Trudeau have had discussions on repairing and restoring the meadow for any damage beyond the normal wear and tear expected from the activity that week. He said the property will be video recorded before the land is used to resolve any problems.

“We are the PGA tour. We do things the right way,” said Rotellini, saying the PGA hopes to create a working relationship with Belmont so when the tour hopefully returns – the Senior Players Championship will be in other locations in 2016 and 2017 – “we can rekindle those partnerships.”

Trudeau said she had discussed the proposal with Belmont Town Counsel George Hall, who judged that there didn’t appear to be a conflict using conservation land, granted to the town via state charter, for this activity.

Commissioner Margaret Velie asked if it wouldn’t be prudent to request a review with the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs “because it is conservation land.”

In addition, she expressed concern for restoring the land and the possible release of pollution by the vehicles while on the meadow for up to six days.

Following on Velie’s line, David Webster said Rock Meadow was created “for passive recreation uses,” and by approving the plan, “how do tell our neighbors they can’t use the meadow for another uses?”

“This will set a bad precedence. What’s next? Soccer fields? Dog parks?” he said.

But Commission Chair James Roth said he didn’t see any long-term problems from having the vehicles on the site as the “hard and firm” soil is similar to farmland “just that we’re growing grass.”

For Trudeau, the concerns of conservation and possibly opening the area for other activity were trumped by the desperate financial state the commission finds itself. She noted that Belmont is an outlier from surrounding communities as it does not fund the Conservation Commission – what she called “our zero budget” – to pay for the necessary upkeep of the land.

“We’re in a tight spot, and there is no willingness by Town Meeting to fund us,” said Trudeau.

The PGA’s Rotellini reiterated that through the Tour’s “charitable side” that gives to locales where events take place, a donation to fund two years of necessary mowing – approximately $2,000 – could be forthcoming.

“That’s what interests us,” he said.

When it appeared that the commissioners were evenly split 2-2 on the measure – with Miriam Weil joining Roth willing to vote to approve the plan – Commissioner Charles Chiang arrived and immediately voted “yes” to move the plan forward.

The plan now goes to the town where a contract is expected by April 28.