On Wynn’s Traffic Plans

August 13, 2014
By

Dear Secretary and Commissioners,

It is my understanding that the design plans and traffic analysis for the Sullivan Square portion of the Wynn Everett 2014 FEIR (Final Environmental Impact Report) have been removed. If so, this is completely unacceptable on many levels. First of all, the DEIR (Draft Environmental Impact Report) included plans to mitigate this traffic circle and now all of a sudden they’ve been dropped. What’s the rationale here? Wynn has stated that the current study being conducted by the City to alleviate the existing traffic problems would be more than sufficient and would resolve the current issues. Except the current study being done by the City isn’t taking into account thousands of extra cars that will be traveling through this area on the way to a casino. Secondly, I’ve attended numerous meetings in Charlestown, which is a neighborhood that I represent as District 1 City Councilor, but I can particularly remember one meeting where Wynn representatives showed up with virtually no plan at all. So they didn’t have a plan, then they had a plan, then they removed that plan? Are we supposed to have faith that they will keep their word?

What we have is a traffic nightmare that will be guaranteed to only get worse and we have a company that has not been very forthcoming with us from the beginning of this process. Wynn expects the City to cover the full expense of a project that has many difficult challenges ahead in its existing form, never mind in years to come. They have not provided us with a capacity analysis or any documentation that would account for signal times and safe street crossings for pedestrians, bicyclists or the handicapped. For all its flaws, at least the DEIR had something.

We also need to take into account traffic that will be coming in from Main Street and Rutherford Ave as well as traffic leaving the casino.  Can’t the argument be made that there is a huge risk being taken by allowing this project to go through with its current traffic proposal because no attention has been paid to the traffic that will be leaving the casino at the same time? When confronted with that question, the Wynn representatives’ token answer was always “Well we believe that the commuters will take another route home.” Except we all know that once these “alternative routes” have been discovered they will become a bottleneck as well.

I respectfully ask that you take these concerns into consideration, for they should not be weighed lightly. It’s no secret that the City has been unsuccessful negotiating any aspect of this proposal with Wynn, not that we haven’t given our best effort. The same cannot be said for Wynn, so why should we bear the burden of making up for what they’ll obviously be lacking? The previous plans were too insufficient and the fact that they’ve been completely removed is ludicrous. I hope that the EOEEA and the Gaming Commission agree on the FEIR’s inadequacy.

Salvatore LaMattina

Boston City Councilor, District 1