Wednesday, May 24, 2017

In letter to DOT, Rep. Madaro expresses frustration and disappointment in new Sumner Tunnel traffic design.

The following is a letter sent by state Representative Adrian Madaro to the Department of Transportation.


May 23, 2017


Secretary Stephanie Pollack
Massachusetts Department of Transportation
10 Park Plaza, Suite 4160
Boston, MA 02116

Dear Secretary Pollack:

I write to express my extreme frustration and disappointment with the implementation of the new traffic patterns at the Sumner Toll Plaza. This has become a major quality of life issue for East Boston residents who are now dealing with a significant increase in traffic on neighborhood streets causing much longer commutes as well as elevated levels of pollution. The results have been unacceptable and the inequity for East Boston residents must be addressed swiftly.

During the planning of the redesign, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) officials ensured the East Boston community that the new traffic patterns would result in a safer, smoother, and more efficient commute through the tunnel. Instead of improving traffic flow, the new design has created traffic backups unseen in East Boston since the pre-Ted Williams Tunnel days. In fact, the current traffic is even worse. Beyond the impact on commuters, this increase in neighborhood and tunnel traffic has dangerous implications for emergency vehicles that cannot get through the gridlock. 

In the redesign, traffic impacts to the community were not fully considered. On a daily basis, residential streets in East Boston are entirely congested, including streets that never experienced traffic before. While the transition to all-electronic tolls appears to have improved traffic flow in other areas throughout the State, this particular redesign has resulted in a tremendous step backwards. Simply put, East Boston residents deserve better. 

I recognize the ongoing efforts of MassDOT and the Boston Transportation Department to address this issue. However, it has now been over two weeks since the new traffic patterns went into effect and there has been no improvement. In fact, it seems that traffic gets worse by the day. I know that countless engineers from both the City and State are closely monitoring the situation and actively looking for modifications that will improve the flow of traffic. I strongly urge these changes to be put into place immediately. Any such changes must prioritize East Boston residents who deal with the full brunt of the congestion from North Shore drivers trying to get into Downtown Boston, particularly during the morning commute. 

East Boston residents face a number of transportation equity issues due, in part, to our geographic separation from the rest of the City. The Sumner Tunnel serves as a vital connection between our neighborhood, Downtown, Storrow Drive, and I-93 North. MassDOT must acknowledge the deficiencies of the current pattern and utilize the significant resources at its disposal to fix this issue expeditiously.  

Respectfully,


Adrian C. Madaro
State Representative

Monday, May 22, 2017

Boston Globe names city council candidate Lydia Edwards "2017 Game Changer"

District 1 City Council Candidate Lydia Edwards

(BOSTON, MA May 22, 2017) – Lydia Edwards, East Boston resident and candidate for district 1 Boston City Councilor, was named a 2017 Game Changer by the Boston Globe as part of their series highlighting innovation and leadership in the metro Boston area.

The Globe praised Edwards ability to build relationships and conversations among “three constituencies that often can feel as if they’re speaking completely different languages”: tenants, landlords, and city hall to come up with solutions for gentrification and displacement. 

"We have to come up with a way we can talk and have all of us feel like part of the solution," Edwards says. “I am honored to receive this distinction from the Boston Globe and to shed light on this issue.”

Edwards campaign kickoff is taking place in East Boston on Wednesday, May 24th at 5:30PM at La Hacienda located at 150 Meridian Street. All are welcomed to attend. 

Link to Boston Globe article.

Source: Edwards Campaign

May 25: Friends of the East Boston Greenway and the Greenway Council meet

Thursday, May 25, 2017
6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Anna DeFronzo Center
395 Maverick Street, East Boston
Near the corner of Jeffries Street


AGENDA

1.  Introductions 

2.  Greenway Safety and Security Update 
Boston Police Dept. District A-7
 Community Services Sergeant Martin and Officer Simons

3.  Greenway Murals
Heidi Schork, The Mayor’s Mural Crew

4.  Climate Ready East Boston
Workshop held May 23

5.  New Business / Old Business


CALENDAR OF MEETINGS
All meetings on 4th Thurs at 6:30 PM

Upcoming meetings: 2017: May 25, June 22, July 27, Aug. 24, Sept. 28, Oct. 26, Nov. 16 (note change), Dec. TBD     





Wednesday, May 17, 2017

May 21: Wounded Warriors Bike Run" TheyFoughtWeRide.com



Margaret Farmer announces candidacy for District 1 city council seat

At the invitation of EastBoston.com this week, Margaret Farmer provided the following statement: 

"I am proud to announce my candidacy for Boston City Council, District 1. As a longtime East Boston resident, and a president of the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association for the past 5 years I have dedicated my time to working on the issues most important to us, including development and transportation.

I have received those 2 AM phone calls about a local fire, and the 7:30 phone calls about trash spread out across the street. I understand that a city councilor has a huge effect on the day to day lives of residents, and can promise that core city services will remain a strong priority while fighting to improve Charlestown, East Boston and the North End for current residents. I will work to promote intelligent, appropriate development while promoting transportation options and continued investments in our schools. At the same time, City Government can, and should, work better for all of our citizens."

Margaret Farmer, Candidate for City Council, District 1

May 22: Gove Street Citizens Association to meet

The Gove Street Citizens Association monthly meeting agenda:

* Update on current status of GSCA area projects.

* Climate Ready East Boston Overview – Climate Presentations Program Manager Mia Goldwasser

* 287 -293 Maverick St. (Pickle Factory)- A proposal to demolish an existing vacant industrial building and erect a 5 story (with setback) mixed-use development of 37 multifamily residential units and café/restaurant at ground level with 31 on-site parking spaces. This project is subject to a BPDA Article 80E-2 small project review. - Attorney Richard Lynds (1st presentation / No vote.)

MEETING DATE: Monday, May 22, 2017

TIME: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

LOCATION - The Noddle Island Community Room located on the first floor of the Logan Airport Rental Car Center situated at the end of Porter Street, just a 4-minute walk from the Embassy Suites Hotel.

DRIVING – Free event parking in front of the building and in the Porter Street parking lot adjacent to the building.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Michael Sinatra on his decision not to seek the District 1 city council seat

Sent to Eastboston.com today: 
"After much discussion with my fiancée and family, I have decided to withdraw from the City Council race. I am getting married in August, so I have many life events to look forward to in the coming months and I want to be able to enjoy this happy and exciting time in my life. With that in mind, it would be unfair to me as well as all the residents of District 1 if I cannot give this campaign the undivided attention that it deserves. Therefore, at this moment in time I have decided to explore other job opportunities that would allow me more time to spend with my new wife and family."
Michael Sinatra, is currently Chief of Staff for Councilor Salvatore LaMattina, who earlier this year announced that he would not seek re-election.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Guest Column: Mayor Martin J. Walsh: Investing in East Boston

Investing in East Boston

By Mayor Martin J. Walsh 

This month, I am proud to put forth a budget for the City of Boston that will make Boston a better place to work, live, and raise a family. At City Hall, we’ve created a plan for our City that will keep Boston financially sound, while making targeted investments towards achieving a thriving, healthy and innovative Boston. Boston’s operating budget totals $3.14 billion, which represents an increase of $143.7 million (or about five percent) over last year’s budget. 

What does this mean for you, your friends and family? When we proposed the City’s budget, we did so knowing many in our City rely on the services we provide, whether it’s senior luncheons, homebuying workshops, recovery services or after-school programs for kids. We also funded projects to enhance our culture and identity such as increasing library services in neighborhoods and the Boston’s Artist in Residence program, which brings art to unexpected corners throughout Boston. Our budget continues to invest in Boston’s strongest asset: our people. 

The City’s budget is big -- that’s why I want to explain how it will affect your neighborhood. 

Community centers are one of the most important features of a neighborhood. Besides providing spaces for gathering, programming and events for children, they tie the community together in friendship and cooperation. The BCYF Paris Street Community Center is getting a major, $12.4 million multi-year renovation to better fit the needs of the East Boston neighborhood. The project includes additional programming space, a Teen Center, a new gym floor, a rock climbing wall and a new fitness area. Behind the scenes, all mechanical systems as well as boilers, windows, exterior and interior door replacements, athletic facility improvements, tele-data upgrades and new furniture and equipment will also be upgraded. 

The BCYF Paris Street Pool is also getting a $5 million investment, $520,000 of which is slated for fiscal year 2018. Renovations include upgrades to the mechanical systems, bathrooms and locker rooms, pool deck, lighting and entry. Noyes Park is also in store for a $3.1 million rehabilitation so that your public space works better for you. 

At the heart of East Boston, Central Square is receiving a $7.85 million investment for urban redesign and improvements with $2.28 million dedicated for FY18 to complete construction. East Boston High School is also getting $4.7 million for new windows. 

It’s our goal that our local improvements tie in to our ultimate goal of improving the safety, accessibility and sustainability of our city while also making it an enjoyable and affordable place to live and work. The short and long term investments are intended to lift up our neighborhoods in ways that take into account the needs and wants of the community. With this budget, we’re preparing our city for the next year, and the years forward. 

What’s the next step for the budget? This month, I submitted the City of Boston’s budget to the Boston City Council, where your City Councilor will review the proposed budget. Once the budget is approved, it will go into effect. This is the budget for fiscal year 2018, meaning the budget will take effect in July 2017, and run throughout the next 12 months. 

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to look through the budget proposal, online at budget.boston.gov. Together, I look forward to investing in our neighborhoods, and our people.