After Tuesday’s election results, we are optimistic for positive changes coming to our streets, and Somerville is about to host several meetings and community input activities that will determine streetscape layouts all over the city for the next generation. These are our neighborhoods and local hangouts, and we want to have a strong showing at these community meetings of Somerville residents and street users who support SASS’s commitment to safe, accessible, and beneficial streetscapes.
Your engagement matters! This fall we can show up and use our voices to support bold changes. Here’s how to get involved:
- If you can, attend community meetings and provide public comment. Speak to your personal experience and why the safe street change matters to you in your life. Be clear that you support (or oppose) the plan/design. If you are speaking in opposition, focus on the design, not the person making the presentation. Include your name and Ward (or address)
- If you can’t attend the meeting, write an email. Follow the same principles as in public comment. Send your email to the Mobility division (firstname.lastname@example.org), the mayor (email@example.com) and the City Council (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please cc: SASS (email@example.com) on your emails. (link for all four email addresses)
- Register for SomerVoice so that you can make comments on that platform.
- Keep your eyes out for additional opportunities to get engaged via SASS!
Together we can make a better Somerville. We’re thrilled to see the improvements that are already happening (if you haven’t checked out the new speed humps on Kidder, Morrison, and Lowell, get yourself over there and enjoy the safer street!). But we’re not resting until everywhere and everyone is safe.
All the best,
The Somerville Alliance for Safe Streets
FALL PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES
EMAIL ACTION – Boynton Yards – Object to Excess Parking at the Land Use Committee Meeting (no public comment) on Nov 8 – send email by Nov 7
There are a lot of plans for future streetscape build-outs in Boynton Yards. Check them out here. However, the developers are requesting a variance to build more parking than is allowed under the zoning. More parking invites more cars to our streets and more pollution in our air. We want the developers to find tenants willing to have a wider range of transportation options that only cars (there will still be cars). Email your city councilors (firstname.lastname@example.org) to support striking the language from the city ordinance that allows developers to request more parking than the parking maximums provided. Read more here and you can listen to the city council meeting discussion on November 8, 6:30pm at this link.
COALITION BUILDING – Alewife Brook Parkway Traffic Calming Coalition-Next meeting Nov 9, 5:30 PM. Zoom
SASS wants to make roads safer in Somerville, and we have set our sights on Alewife Brook Parkway. Managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, this corridor has a lot in common with MassDOT-controlled Mystic Ave and McGrath Highway, because they’re both outside the control of our city government. We need sustained and coordinated pressure to change the streetscape that separates our community from the civic amenity parks and stadium. We are seeking abutters to participate in monthly meetings as we grow our coalition, which also includes residents from Cambridge, Arlington, and Medford. The next meeting is November 9 at 5:30 pm. If you are interested in joining the coalition, send an email to email@example.com.
COMMUNITY MEETING – City Wide Parking and Curb Use Study, 12:30 pm Nov 9 or 6pm Nov 10.
Somerville has initiated a study to understand how we use our curb space. Often streetscape improvements conflict with parking expectations, but if we better understand demand and usage, we can make informed decisions that benefit the widest possible range of stakeholders in the community. Learn more by attending and participating in one of the two upcoming community meetings. Link.
PUBLIC COMMENT ONLINE – Assembly Square Neighborhood Plan. Deadline – Nov 12
This neighborhood also requires that we assess and develop an infrastructure framework suited for the needs and pressures of what is becoming one of Somerville’s major new Regional Centers. Read about the project here and you can comment on the detailed plan here (the section on Mobility starts on page 81, which you can navigate to by typing it into the page display). The deadline for public comments on the plan has been extended to November 12. You can also follow developments on this plan at the Planning Board meeting on Nov 4.
COMMUNITY MEETING – Spring Hill/Highland Ave Design Project – Wednesday, Nov 17, 6:30
We want to support safety, accessibility, traffic calming, bike lanes, and bus transit. The main contention here will be Highland Ave, where parking removal will be necessary to better support more forms of transit. Expect some spirited discussions about this. Find out more about the project here and register for the community meeting here.
COMMUNITY MEETING – Gilman Square Streetscape Redesign – Monday, Nov 22, 6:00pm to 7:30pm
At this meeting, City staff will provide an update on present and future projects in Gilman Square, present the feasibility study for an accessible path from Marshall Street to the Medford Street Bridge and Community Path extension, discuss options for protected bicycle lanes on Medford Street and Pearl Street from the School Street to the Skilton Ave intersections, and gather public feedback. Find more information about the meeting here and register to attend here.