Hi Ward 2! First off, I was glad to take a ride on the new GLX from Union Square to go support our neighbors at CAAS’ Anti-Displacement Community Press Conference on Monday. You can read about the powerful event and hear from your neighbors getting pushed out by rent increases here, and if you or your neighbors are facing massive rent increases please reach out. CAAS and other community partners are helping tenants form unions and organize to prevent displacement while we call on the State House to allow us to enact more legal tenant protections.
Also, I can cheerfully report that the infamous “Green Line Boylston Screech” is in fact present on the new GLX, lending the whole experience a sense of vida real.
There’s a lot of meetings coming up in the next few weeks and a ton of activity on the horizon. Here’s a few updates on recent activity and a heads up on coming meetings:
• Union Sq Streetscape Planning Recap from 3/21
• Ward 2 Flooding Meeting TONIGHT 3/23 at 6pm
• Lake St Park Design Meeting 3/31
• 99 South St Lab + Open Space Meetings 4/6
Union Square Streetscape Redesign 3/21
This was an interesting meeting. I know we’re all exhausted by the years of utility and streetscape work in Union Square, but the administration is considering even more work, including to Bow Street, the Plaza, and Somerville Ave (again) between Webster and Prospect. Options presented included removing the parking lot in front of the Indo, turning Somerville Ave into “busway-only” (shown at right), and fully pedestrianizing Bow St, closing it to vehicle traffic. You can sign up for updates at https://voice.somervillema.gov/union-square-p-and-s, and should be able to watch the recording (and take a poll!) there soon.
Ward 2 (and 3) Stormwater Meeting TONIGHT, 3/23 at 6pm
Another exciting one that is close to a lot of people’s hearts (and basements), tonight the Engineering Department is hosting a meeting presenting proposed projects to address the root causes of flooding and prepare for ongoing Climate Change. You can learn more at somervillema.gov/drainageplan, and register for the Zoom meeting tonight at this link.
Lake St Park Design Neighborhood Meeting, 3/31 @ 6pm
This meeting is to talk about designs for a brand new park on Lake St, behind the old JJ Sullivan Plumbing building – and it’s entirely due to the efforts of neighbors down there during 2018 and 2019 to negotiate a better building and more open space from the developer. I’m very curious to see what options are on tap, and absolutely hope to see many of you there so that you can help determine what the neighborhood park you made possible ends up looking like to serve your needs best. The meeting registration will be at tinyurl.com/LakeStParkNM1
99 South St Lab Building and Thoroughfare Meetings, 4/6 at 6pm (and 7pm)
This is a meeting to get neighborhood input on the second major lab building in Boynton Yards, to join the currently occupied building at 101 South. In addition, we’ll be talking about the new street design there and providing feedback to Planning Staff and the design team. NOTE: awkwardly, Planning Staff has advised that unlike previous meetings we’ll need to use 2 different links for what is functionally one meeting, due to legal requirements. So please sign up for both, and you’ll get links to join them each.
6pm: “Thoroughfare 1” at tinyurl.com/BoyntonTF1NM1
7pm: “99 South St” at tinyurl.com/99SouthStNM1
These aren’t the only meetings going on in the next few weeks, just a few that you’re not likely to find posted online anywhere else that are particularly important to folks in Ward 2. If you want to see even more meetings happening in the city and ways to get engaged, somervillema.gov/events has a running calendar. As always, I also encourage you to drop in to my Virtual Office Hours every Friday from 8-10am (4 years and running!) and follow me on Twitter for even more up-to-the-minute updates on events and news in the Ward.