By Seth Daniel
The Lower Mystic Regional Working Group is staging several small discussion groups over the next week to begin getting more input from Charlestown residents and others in the study area – including Everett, Charlestown and Somerville – about transportation improvements on Sullivan Square.
While the Patriot Bridge has sought to do a comprehensive story on the Working Group for more than a year, no one at the state Department of Transportation has been willing to discuss the Group or its work to date. Neither have any of the consultants in the process returned phone calls or even forwarded a schedule of meetings.
That said, a group e-mail has circulated from the Working Group recently detailing a list of meetings coming up over the next week.
The meeting in Charlestown today, Feb. 2, takes place from 9-10:30 a.m. and is to focus on business interests in the area. Overall, the Working Group is looking to get input for its draft plan, which has been a collaborative effort of the City of Boston, the City of Everett, the City of Somerville, the MassDOT, Attorney General Maura Healy’s Office, the Wynn Boston Harbor and numerous others. Their mission statement is to study options to improve transportation in the Lower Mystic region in the long-term. It was formed by the state and required by State Environmental Secretary Matthew Beaton as part of the environmental review (MEPA) process more than one year ago.
“The Office of Attorney General Maura Healey has been an active participant in the Working Group and in particular is seeking to ensure a better transportation solution in Sullivan Square to address the impacts of the Wynn Casino on Charlestown and other communities,” read a recent e-mail. “Through surveys, public meetings, discussions with local organizations, and social media outreach, the Working Group has been looking for ideas and seeking input on some of these proposed changes, from people who live, work, commute and recreate in the Lower Mystic region, including Charlestown.”
The discussion groups are meant to introduce members of the communities with the overall Group and its goals and the work it has done to date.
“At the discussion group session, the participants will learn more about the study goals and status, and some of the approaches that are being studied,” read the e-mail. “The discussion group format will allow stakeholders to listen to and discuss ideas, challenges, and goals from different perspectives in a more ‘conversational” manner.’”
The conversations will be professionally facilitated, and seven are scheduled through Feb. 8.
The list includes:
- Thursday, Feb. 2, 9-10:30 a.m. Focus on Business Interests, Knights of Columbus, Charlestown.
- Monday, Feb. 6, 10 – 11:30 am. Focus on Transportation and Land Use Organizations, Somerville.
- Tuesday, Feb. 7, 1 – 2:30 p.m. General Audience, Boston City Hall, BPDA Board Room, 9th Floor.
- Wednesday, Feb. 8, 3 – 4:30 p.m. General Audience, Somerville.
- Wednesday, Feb. 8, 7-8:30 p.m. Spanish Speaking Community Focus (in Spanish), La Communidad en Everett, 471 Broadway #1, Everett.