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Thursday, June 9, 2011

ResiStat Makes It's Way To Ward 5...

June 6th marked Ward 5's ResiStat Meeting at Lowell Street's VNA where Denise Taylor walked attendees through an hour and a half presentation on everything Ward 5, data-wise.

Unlike other presentations, Ward 5 did not experience a personal delivery from Mayor Curtatone who was scheduled to be at Somerville High School's graduation, but was then called up to a Finance Committee meeting and was unable to attend the ResiStat meeting. Alderman Sean O'Donovan was also called away on personal business and was unable to attend, as well.

One of the hot topics of the evening was single-stream recycling moving beyond the pilot area of Ward 5 and across the whole city. From the reaction of some residents, The Office of Sustainability and Environment may want to plan plenty of community meetings as the room was split on whether the program was worth the effort and money. Complaints included the difficulty of moving the bin for the elderly community and if the program was financially responsible. The representative from the Office of Sustainability and Environment did not want to put emphasis on the possible revenue the city would get from increased recycling-very different from the initial meetings in Ward 5 in which this possibility was touted as one of the top reasons why the city was moving in the single-stream direction.

Residents also brought up on-going traffic issues on both Lowell and Clyde Street. This is a repeat of last fall's meeting where the danger of crossing on the south side of the Lowell Street bridge prompted Alderman Sean O'Donovan to submit orders on the topic to the Board of Alderman which resulted in a recent inclusion of the area in a a traffic calming pilot program in which radar feedback signs were installed and registered speeds were measured to determine the effectiveness of the signs in slowing vehicular traffic. This program has since been expanded to Wards 3 and 7. An example of the sign can be seen below.

Speed of cars and traffic backup was also brought up by Cedar Street users with one resident describing the difficulty of exiting Albion Street in the morning due to out-of-sync traffic lights coming up from Somerville Avenue and over Highland. Traffic and Parking Director, Matt Dias, took notes and promised to enlist the help of the Traffic Engineer to research the problem.

Clyde Street residents also inquired about the results of their meetings and whether or not a chicane would be coming to Cedar Street. According to its Wikipedia definition, a Chicane is an artificial feature creating extra turns in a roadway, used in motor racing and on city streets to slow cars.

For the past nine years, Clyde Street residents exiting the street have experienced almost-collisions due to the parking on each corner. After speaking with the traffic engineer, however, parking could be switched from one side to another at certain points along Cedar Street creating a chicane which would also serve as a traffic calmer. A previous idea involving a mounted mirror was shot down by city officials citing liability and costly repair or replacement if the apparatus was to be broken.

The idea of a chicane came on the heels of an order submitted by Alderman Sean O’Donovan (190370: Discuss in Committee That the Director of Traffic and Parking appear before this Board’s Committee on Traffic and Parking regarding vehicles exiting from Clyde Street onto Cedar Street) in response to numerous complaints by constituents that included both the parking situation and the speed of which cars travel down Cedar Street. Dias also noted that and promised an update will be posted on the ResiStat website.

ResiStat's always included crime stats came as a surprise for Ward 5 residents as spikes in rapes and crime hotspots got their attention. Police Chief, Pasquerello, however eased minds by explaining that the rapes were "known" and were not the result of random attacks. Crime, overall, is down and police continue to make numerous drug arrests, much to the relief of one Wilton Street resident.

A full report of recent research conducted on Magoun Square rounded out the evening with a June reconvene of the May 25th discussion being announced by OSPCD's, Brad Rawson.

1 comment:

Teddy S. said...

The previous mayor made the mistake of disregarding Ward 5 and, subsequently, the ward's voters were instrumental in booting her out of office. The current Mayor would do well to start paying attention to the area and to history.