Monument Ave Neighbors Hope to Establish Slow Street District

By Seth Daniel

Residents of the Monument Avenue area are in the midst of putting together an application for the newly-established Slow Streets competitive application from the City.

Amy Carlson said several neighbors from the area are looking to hopefully gain the designation from the Training Field to Green Street though their application, which is due on March 24. They said they are looking to gain support from residents and have an online petition circulating in hopes of getting signatures and personal stories.

“I am new here, but others supporting this have been here for decades,” she said, noting that she was put in charge of getting the word out. “We have seen people doing 45 mph on our street, especially since it was repaved last summer. We have about 2,000 kids on this block from Main Street to the Monument. It’s scary and that’s why we are so concerned. We heard about this program and thought it would be a good idea.”

As part of that effort, long-time resident Arthur Colpack has been using a radar gun borrowed from WalkBoston to monitor speeds on the street. All of that information will be logged into the application and provide further evidence in support of winning the grant.

“I live on Monument Avenue and it’s really dangerous,” he said. “I’ve lived here 37 years on this street and have seen a number of cars hit. My wife’s car was hit. I’m going to use the radar gun to document the date, time and speed so I can record exactly what is happening. There are a lot of young families with little kids on the street and they are concerned as well. It’s a good program and it’s good for Charlestown, but we’re competing so we need letters and signatures and support.”

The City of Boston Transportation Department (BTD) is now accepting applications for 2017 Neighborhood Slow Streets projects. Residents, neighborhood associations, and other community-based organizations have been invited to apply to have their neighborhood participate in the program, which works to use traffic calming measures to improve roadway safety within a defined residential area. However, only a few applicants will be selected.

BTD and the Boston Public Works Department will work with selected applicants to plan and implement Neighborhood Slow Streets projects that meet the specific needs of their communities. Selected Neighborhood Slow Streets will be equipped with visual and physical cues to slow drivers to 20 MPH, making each street feel more inviting for people of all ages who are walking, playing, or bicycling. The program emphasizes quick-install and low-cost fixes, such as signage, pavement markings, and speed humps.

So far, the Boys & Girls Club on Green Street has given its support, as has the Charlestown Nursery School, Boston Fire Engine 50 and the Charlestown Mother’s Association.

“Even if we don’t get it, because they are only choosing two or three per year, I hope we can keep applying each year,” she said. “By doing this, it gets the attention of the City that we need something done before someone gets hurt. I encourage people to sign the petition and write in the space provided what’s happening on their street. We’ll include all of that in the application. It’s great to be able to let the City know exactly what’s going on firsthand.”

Added Colpack, “I brought up three kids and two dogs in our house here and I remember when the kids were little, I would just grab on to them every time we came out the door. It was scary, but it’s way worse now. There are so many more kids here now.”

The link to the online petition is as follows:

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