Centre and Walter Intersection

DCR Community Meeting on Walter and Centre Street Redesign – November 10, 2015 at St. Nectarios Church Hall

Centre and Walter Intersection
Intersection of Centre and Walter Streets
The Department of Conservation and Recreation (“DCR”) recently held a series of public meetings to solicit input about the parkways of the Parkway Area–particularly the Centre Street Corridor, which accommodates 40,000 cars every day. The corridor is poorly designed for drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists alike, and it’s time to fix it.

Although Centre Street brings thousands of cars daily right through Roslindale, no meeting has focused on or been held in Roslindale — until now. Thanks especially to the efforts of neighbor Carter Wilkie, our representatives in the state legislature have arranged for a fourth public meeting, focused especially on the intersection of Centre and Walter Streets, which has had the majority of crashes in recent years — 46 crashes over a three year period! Traffic engineers have determined this intersection violates state safety standards, but funding for improvements will be hard to secure unless people speak up. Previous meetings about this corridor have demonstrated a lack of care for and attention to pedestrians and bicyclists–it’s important that the planned improvements serve everyone, not just those who might be passing through in a motorized vehicle.

We understand (at least) Sen. Rush, Rep. Sánchez, and Rep. Coppinger will all be present at the meeting, so this is an excellent opportunity to be heard on the importance of pedestrian- and bike-friendly infrastructure in one of the worst-designed parts of our neighborhood. We’ll add to this post if we receive confirmation about attendance from any other elected officials. We should turn out in force and advocate for walkability!

Please spread the word (retweet or like/share this announcement on Facebook). Details below:

Tuesday November 10, 2015 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
St. Nectarios Church Hall
39 Belgrade Ave. (and Robert Street)

More background:

REMINDER: 20 Taft Hill Park Proposed Project — Comment Period ends 7 Nov 2015

We will be submitting a comment letter on behalf of the WalkUP Roslindale steering group tomorrow (most likely).

THAT SAID, everyone here is encouraged to submit their own comment letters/emails before the official November 7 comment period deadline. Public meeting presence and participation count to set the tone about a particular process, but it’s the written comments that really get reviewed and counted in the formal consideration. Take a little bit of time and send in an email with your comments and expression of support (if applicable) to edward.mcguire@nullboston.gov, the BRA project manager for the project.  And feel free to let us know when you’ve submitted and even a summary of what you said in the comments to this post. Thanks!!!

Rozzie Votes!

Distirct 5 Voting ResultsFollowing up on our entreaty to Get Out and Vote to show political engagement, we’re delighted to report that District 5 (the district with the greatest coverage of Roslindale) had the highest number of total votes for district councilor (7,551) in the city, followed closely by District 4, which also covers part of Roslindale, with a total of 7,026 votes for the district councilor position. And to finish out the pack, District 6, which also includes several Roslindale precincts, had the third-greatest number of voters (6,808) for district councilor–for an uncontested seat! Voter turnout in many Roslindale precincts was at or well above 20% — a striking contrast with other parts of the city, e.g., Allston/Brighton, for which the majority of precincts had single-digit percentage turnout, some as low as nearly 1%.

Great job to everyone for doing their civic duty. Now let’s take this level of activation and visibility to continue to demand a more walkable neighborhood.

Congratulations are also due to yesterday’s winners, including Roslindale resident Michelle Wu who finished a strong second in the city-wide at-large contest, District 5 Councilor Tim McCarthy who bested his opponent by a nearly 2:1 margin, District 4 Councilor-Elect and first time candidate Andrea Campbell who likewise had a substantial margin over her incumbent opponent, District 6 Councilor Matt O’Malley who ran unopposed, as well as the other three winners in the at-large race: Ayanna Pressley, Michael Flaherty, and Annissa Essabi George.

Relevant links:

Get Out and Vote!

Casting BallotThis is a reminder that tomorrow (Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015) is election day in Boston. You can find your polling location here. Of particular interest to this group should be the city-wide at-large election (five candidates vying for four seats), District 4 (Dorchester/Mattapan/Roslindale – two candidates running for one seat), and District 5 (Roslindale/Hyde Park – two candidates running for one seat). Complete list of candidates here.

This election cycle was lower profile than the last few since only City Councilors are up for election (no higher offices), and many of those seats are uncontested. This does not mean you should just skip the vote, however — to the contrary!

First, a lower visibility election means your vote counts more. The District and At-Large seats could easily be decided on the basis of hundreds, dozens, or even single votes. Most Roslindale residents live in a contested district (D4 or D5), plus the disputed city-wide slots, and thus there is a real race that will be resolved tomorrow.

Second, these offices matter. The impacts of decisions at the federal or even state level on our daily lives are typically dilute. A city councilor can impact what happens right on our streets and around our neighborhoods–playgrounds, sidewalks and crosswalks, paths, stop lights, snow removal, community policing, trash and recycling collection, development and transportation policy, etc. We need competent and responsive people serving; if not, our quality of life will suffer more than if we elect a subpar United States Senator.

Third, neighborhood voter turnout is critical to getting attention from whoever wins. It is basic logic that elected officials listen best to those who vote, and will spend the most time, effort, and political capital addressing the needs of those in voter-rich areas. For this reason, it may matter less whom you vote for than that you vote at all. Even if you live in an uncontested district, you should turn up and be counted for this important reason.

Fourth, voting is a social event. Meet your neighbors! In fact, meet the people you’re voting for (and against). This is the official opportunity to connect with other engaged citizens and be part of the process.

WalkUP Roslindale doesn’t endorse candidates. We will note that we have met with a variety of candidates (both serving and hoping to serve) and thus far the reception has been all positive. The most useful thing you can do tomorrow to help bring continued attention and more walkability to Roslindale is cast your ballot.

We’d also ask that you retweet and share/like this entry on Facebook once you’ve voted (or even if you plan to vote).