WILL VOTE FOR PASSACANTILLI
I am writing to weigh in on the upcoming election for our District City Councilor. There’s an impressive field of candidates running this year, but I have decided to support Stephen Passacantilli. As a resident of the Navy Yard, I want a City Councilor who will be responsive and knows how to get things done for the neighborhood. Stephen has been out campaigning hard and has the support of community leaders I trust. After reading Stephen’s pamphlet, I was impressed to learn about his experience in the community and delivering for residents at City Hall. The next City Councilor is going to have big shoes to fill, but I am confident that Stephen Passacantilli is the one to do that for Charlestown.
NOT FOLLOWING THROUGH
Although Mayor Walsh stated, “We will listen. We will learn. We will lead,” the actions by his City Hall are sadly the opposite.
The recent reversals on Congress Street and Rutherford Avenue suggest backroom decision-making prevails at City Hall. Over 300 residents signed petitions in support of a preferred plan at Rutherford Avenue for greater green-space and for a more livable community in Charlestown, and they received virtually no response. The Boston Transportation Department stated their recent reversal was based on cheap gas and new traffic projections, both of which are fundamentally flawed. Who has confidence that cheap gas will persist for years and traffic projections are consistently misleading and over exaggerated – based on assumptions and bias.
The city’s actions on transportation are taking us backwards, and they are not investing in other more sophisticated technologies to reduce single occupancy vehicle traffic as required by the Regional Metropolitan Planning Organization. The Walsh Administration’s 2030 plan for Boston is chalk full of material about how to create greater public transportation systems and community spaces, but in the end, it is all talk. Boston is not acting quickly or decisively towards new models.
ALGORITHM VS. GRIDLOCK
A recent article in the Boston globe was titled, “What Rush Hour?” It seems, anytime of the day or night we are likely to be trapped in traffic.
We, in Charlestown are increasingly feeling and experiencing the pains of gridlock.
But wait, officials at the Traffic Management Center have a solution, an algorithm. “Computers will measure the city’s traffic patterns and systematically adjust the timing of traffic lights throughout the neighborhoods,” according to another report in the Boston Globe.
Over the last year, I have repeatedly asked the Deputy Transportation Commissioner, what’s being done about our traffic situation? He explained that the traffic is constantly being monitored by computers and personnel at an office in City Hall. When traffic backs up, the lights are synchronized to change according to the traffic patterns. Does he really think this is helping the gridlock on Rutherford Avenue, as well as our other entrances and exits to Charlestown?
The computers and monitors are not solving the problem. Just stand on the corner of Chelsea and Rutherford Avenue any time of the day and observe the traffic. The behavior of the drivers going through not only the yellow lights, but red lights as well cause our gridlock. Synchronizing the lights is not the answer. Now the Department of Transportation thinks that algorithms will solve our traffic problems. To me, that is just “magical thinking.”
On the 4th of May as I was exiting the Navy Yard via Chelsea St. the traffic was gridlocked, which is not an unusual occurrence. What alarmed me was that an ambulance exiting Warren St. was also stuck in gridlock. This is unacceptable. Writing to the proper authorities regarding this incident was futile. No response.
We, in Charlestown, have been requesting a meeting for over a year to discuss with the City authorities to help with this traffic gridlock. With input from the residents, perhaps City Hall will recognize and validate that this situation needs immediate consideration. By listening and sharing creative ideas, just maybe something can be accomplished.
Looming in the near future is the repairing of the North Washington Bridge, as well as 20,000 additional vehicles daily heading to the new casino in Everett. Factoring in the building boom creates another level of impact.
For the safety of Charlestown residents, businesses, schools and visitors, this situation needs to be addressed now.