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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Goodbye, 189727!

Upper Portion of Magoun Square
Housing and Community Development Closes out Old Magoun Square Item

The February 26th gathering of the Housing and Community Development saw the closing of an almost 3-year-old legislative item submitted by former Ward 4 Alderman Walter Pero regarding business decline in Magoun Square. Ironically, the committee is now chaired by current Ward 4 Alderman Tony LaFuente and included Alderman At Large/Magoun Square business owner Bill White and Ward 6 Alderwoman Rebekah Gewirtz at the meeting.

Both Mike Glavin and I were given ample time to speak on the matter before Alderman LaFuente marked it as work completed with the blessing of Ward 5 Alderman Sean O'Donovan. I thank Alderwoman Gewirtz for sponsoring me to speak.

Legislative item number 189727 (That the Executive Director of the Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development provide a written report to the Committee on Housing and Community Development after the meeting of OSPCD, the Magoun Square business owners and the Ward Five Alderman, (which will be held to work on specific concerns relating to parking and other issues affecting the decline in business in Magoun Square, detailing the progress and proposed planning for improving the business climate in Magoun Square) has been floating through the Housing and Community Development Committee since its submission at a June 10, 2010 Board of Aldermen meeting and, throughout its journey, has brought Magoun Square patrons, business owners and residents to City Hall to discuss reasons why Magoun struggled economically for years previous and why that struggle was made more difficult with new City policies on parking and constant turnover in storefronts.

This piece of legislation turned out to be a launching pad for focus on Magoun that included in-square meetings and the compilation of report by OSPCD that would eventually lead to the implementation of creative parking changes that increased capacity for business owners.

Properly placed and technologically advanced parking meters, time limits on loading zones, and increased secured bicycle parking have assisted in welcoming motorists and cyclists to the square while visibility through such organizations as the Chamber of Commerce and Somerville Local First have encouraged residents to come frequent their neighborhood business district.

A proposed pilot program of the head out/angled parking along Broadway at Trum Field is also being discussed with a possible Spring or Summer implementation time.

Magoun is turning an economic corner these days, welcoming new businesses with a renewed sense of pride. What's along the road ahead? I don’t know. I’m just happy we can leave this piece of legislation behind us.


Anonymous said...

I think your listserv and website also helped!

Anonymous said...

agree...thanks for shedding light on magoun and keeping the dream alive, dude!