Organizers Looking for More Survey Responses in Plan Charlestown

A survey from the 02129 Neighbor Alliance is available now and organizers of the effort said they are really pushing to get the maximum number of responses before the City’s planning process starts in January.

The survey is part of the organization’s effort to hold the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) accountable to the neighborhood once the planning effort starts, and consists of a query of the most important issues facing the Town.

“We are excited about the way things are unfolding and our involvement with some of the faction groups that are trying to the same thing in a different way,” said Julie Hall, of the Historical Society. “Right now we really need people to fill out the survey because we have a limited time. We have 60 days before the BPDA process starts…We have to hear everyone’s voice and frankly we are really surprised by the initial feedback because historic preservation is a big thing on people’s minds, we found.”

Amanda Zettel, president of the Charlestown Preservation Society (CPS), said so far the surveys have shown the top priority for the plan is historic preservation. That is followed by education and traffic/gridlock.

She said the more responses they get from the survey, the more viable it is in making sure the BPDA follows the desires of the community in the plan.

“In the next few weeks, we’ll start to figure out what exactly what people’s thoughts are around these topics,” she said. “That’s the point of the survey – that what the City comes out with matches the desires of the Charlestown residents. With that survey, we’ll be able to say it’s right or it’s wrong. It’s a tool to make sure there is accountability.”

The survey has been translated into Mandarin and Spanish, Hall said, because they want the maximum amount of feedback. She said they recently had 40 volunteers canvass the neighborhood and leave information at virtually every door.

“We’ve got a good ground game,” she said.

This Saturday, at 10 a.m. in the Bunker Hill Museum, they will have a community meeting to continue the planning.

Zettel said one thing that has arisen lately is the topics have been divided into subcommittees, with new leaders handling those topics.

In sum, the idea is to be entirely ready for the process when it starts so that the neighborhood controls it, and not the BPDA or City.

“The fact is the BPDA is coming to Town and they are going to plan our neighborhood,” said Hall. “It’s important everyone is part of the process.”

To fill out the survey online, go to www.02129neighboralliance.com and click on the link. Paper surveys will be available on Saturday at the community meeting as well.

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