Townie Tidbits


There was a recent community meeting at Spaulding Rehab to discuss the Charlestown Community Alternative Plan regarding the fixing of the old Bunker Hill housing project.. Diane Valle presented a PowerPoint Presentation, the overview of the alternative plan to Corcoran Jennison Plan for “ONE CHARLESTOWN.”

While historically, on anything in Charlestown, trying to get a consensus plan  is a steep battle royale.  Charlestown is known for its combative spirit going back to June 17, 1775, and the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Sy Mintz was there to explain the key features of this alternative plan. I am willing to listen because everyone knows things can’t stay the way they are down at the projects, it hurts the folks who live there and hurts everyone who calls Charlestown their home.,

Things have been dragging on too long. We need to get out of neutral. “ONE CHARLESTOWN” is not an “us versus them” fight. It is about all of us because we are one Charlestown and should stay that way.

Let’s get this show rolling again. I hate community gridlock like I hate traffic gridlock. Stay involved, this is where you live!


I guess folks are reading this column. I have been getting positive and negative reaction to some of my views. Mostly positive though.  In last week’s paper, I got a well-stated, negative criticism thrown at me. I really do see their position as an alternative to mine and those of many in Charlestown. I apologize for my tone, but I don’t think it was unnecessary.

I believe the underpass at Sullivan Square pushed people in their vehicles back and forth to Everett and beyond. I remember the old days, most of the traffic that passed through Sullivan Square at rush hours was either below or above the Square. Back in the late ’40s and into the early ’50s, underpasses and overpasses were the rage of transportation planners. However, it appears they have been running out of their many fans, even though the numbers of vehicles on the road is so much larger than almost 70 years ago.

My motive in criticizing those who want the underpass to be paved over is that  wouldn’t this just increase by 10-fold, maybe 100-fold the traffic nightmare and send more vehicles into the communities streets to avoid the gridlock?

As far as the  Austin Street Underpass, I still support it. I well remember the old Rutherford Avenue, the Potato Sheds, and Prison Point Bridge. I remember how well street-surface traffic worked, but as that intersection was re-arranged with the new Rutherford Avenue, this place has the potential to become a traffic nightmare.Too much traffic meeting up with each other by Austin Street. Once again that underpass makes traffic flow, maybe not as fact and easy as we would want it, but it works as it should.

I apologize for making fun of both more trees and more bicyclists on Rutherford Avenue. I have nothing against either. I do not mean to suggest that the anti-underpass folk have rocks in their head, but too often many feel like they are being lectured here. No one likes to be lectured.

Too bad that once again, we see the combative spirit of Charlestown at work. Sometimes more communication between the corners might help.


“Charlestown & Beyond,” hosted by Cookie Giordano has returned to the airwaves  at 6 p.m. on BNN-TV, Boston Comcast, Channel 9 and RNC  on channels 15 and 1961. You can meet her at the library on Tuesdays from 10:30 am until 11:30 a.m. Or e-mail her at [email protected].

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