I went to the Neighborhood Council meeting on Tuesday night to hear what the city had to say about the plans for Rutherford Avenue. Hmmmm!
In case you might not know this about me, I was a reporter for the Charlestown Patriot for 15 years. That was 20 years ago. I covered many town meetings over those years and filed stories on them that were seen in that wonderful old newspaper of years gone by.
Some of those meetings discussed the redevelopment/reconstruction of Rutherford Avenue. In fact, the same personnel who made the presentations from the Boston Transportation Department (BTD) back then are performing the same duties today. Talk about job security! And many of the faces that attended the meetings back then are the same ones who have been attending the current meetings.
Like me, they have aged, and they still want to change the community to “beautify” it. Words of wisdom to them: the true beauty of any community comes from within its residents.
This time I came to the meeting as a resident. I got there early to get an opportunity to view the city’s plans. There weren’t any. In fact, there haven’t been any available that I know of. The BTD said to go to their web site to view them, although admitting that they weren’t there yet but hoped they would be “soon.”
I’ve checked their web site several times over the summer and nothing has been there. They’ve had over 20 years to produce them. What in the world…?
Back in the 80s and 90s, when the Transportation Department came to the community, they proposed to install a “haul road” behind Bunker Hill Community College to get the truck traffic off our roads. Great!
The only problem with that was they forgot to check with the owners of that road -- the MBTA and state -- who said “no.” Back to the drawing boards they went.
I wonder how much of our tax money was spent on that project?! And, they admitted this week that they have been working on this new plan for over two years and that it will take at least two and a half more years before they will file it with the state for approval and funding. ($$$$$$ Hmmmm!)
I have a personal complaint about this meeting with the Neighborhood Council: Mr. Cunha, I feel your representative who led this meeting is prejudiced against 65 year-old women with white hair. Although I held my hand high to be allowed to speak, it was never acknowledged. Nor was that of another older woman with gray hair who sat near me.
Is a woman of my age considered to be senile and unable to possess a valid thought? I held that hand up for an hour and a half! Ignored, ignored, ignored.
Gerard Doherty was even told to sit down while voicing his opinion. What has this town come to? What kind of representation do we have on this once strong council? I’m so disappointed in what has happened to this once well respected body on representation.
Here are the comments I wanted to make:
- Why hasn’t the BTD produced hand outs for the residents to review, take home and study?
- Why did the schemes presented only reflect Sullivan Square as it played into entering or leaving Somerville or Everett?
- Where were the plans that included the neighborhood of Charlestown?
- Are they so offensive to a residents’ point of view that they are afraid to present them to us?
- How could they come up with a true analysis of traffic patterns with the tunnels currently closed on Rutherford Ave. in front of Hoods?
And, as accused by Mr. Gupta of the BTD, Congressman Capuano never presented any plans on the reconfiguration of Rutherford Ave. These included a scheme that I’ve also seen that John Dillon held in his hands, showing Main Street ending at the fire house in Sullivan Square, just before the entrance to the Schrafft’s Center, and forcing all traffic from Main, Bunker Hill and Medford Sts. onto Mishawum Street to enter Rutherford Ave.
Also included on that plan was the inclusion of an alternate route onto Rutherford Ave. from Main onto Essex St. Are they kidding? BTD denied this scheme although it was included in a packet that came from the office of their boss, Mr. Timlin.
Oh, forgive me. I’m over 65, with white hair and senile!
Finally, I don’t even know why this process is taking place since it was announced at the beginning of the meeting that the council has already voted in favor of the surface option.
Note to Council: I hope you took note that there were many more residents at this meeting who are opposed to the surface option than those who were in favor of it. And that was after a full press effort was put out by those in favor to pack the room.
A sleeping lion was awakened at Congressman Capuano’s town meeting. If you know the history of Charlestown’s past -- be wary. Don’t mess with this “town we love so well!”