What Your Neighbors Are Saying

A look at the feedback Patch has received over the past week on the Sullivan Square/Rutherford Avenue project.

Editor's note: The ongoing dialogue about the Sullivan Square/Rutherford Avenue redesign has been many things: complex, passionate, respectful, compelling and, in most cases, very informed. In an effort to keep it going, and expose as many readers as possible to a variety of viewpoints, I’m copying and pasting a bunch of the comments left on the story . Please keep the conversation up -- and if there is anything Patch can do to help, please let me know: kristi.ceccarossi@patch.com.

  • Several supporters of the [surface option] plan said they began as skeptics, but when they looked at and studied the plan the became believers in the Surface Option. Of those who spoke in opposition to the surface option, only a handful had actually studied the plan or had been to the earlier meetings on it. What it appeared to me to be is a bunch of folks who are just hearing about the plan objecting to erasing an underpass, without having a chance to look at what would actually replace it. Because it isn't just erasing an underpass, it's rebuilding a new grid of streets well-equipped to handle the traffic present here. -Pete Stidman
  • It is important to realize two things: 1) The plan is not just to eliminate the underpass - it's actually comprehensive effort to redesign the intersection in general and to assuage the effects of the traffic that would otherwise be using the underpass.
    2) The one and only argument against the surface option I heard was "oh no, more traffic". Even if that were true (and it seems like it is not), would that even be enough to outweigh all of the positives that this project would bring? A safer, more useful street for pedestrians, drivers, and bikers? A productive, crossable urban boulevard instead of the no-man's land that it is now? More developable land for more residences and shops? -Chris Baldwin
  • Am I the only one seeing a pattern here? Why are "Life Long Townies" so opposed to change? I really don't get it? I respect that you are proud to be from/live in Charlestown, so am I, that why I've been living here since 1997. However, whenever change is presented, you (LLTs) tend to be against it? I have been reading about the redevelopment of Sullivan Square for a long while. To all those that say that haven't been fully informed, or notice hasn't been properly posted is full of it!!  -Joseph
  • I also studied the plans at length when I was finely able to find them on the web site. So don't try to pigeon hole the people who are not speaking out now as being sticks in the mud. We all want the Rutherford corridor fixed but not at the risk of undoing what we fought long and hard before. I'm willing to listen and be convinced in a different view are you? Lets have a meeting that clearly outlines the whole corridor changes and the two current plans of Sullivan Sq. I also want the the traffic engineers to explain the regional traffic types we will still have to deal with and patterns each of these designs improve as well as how they retard traffic and why they think retarding traffic will be good for C-Town. -Dan
  • I'm not a Townie, having lived here 3 years - and I oppose the surface option. So it's not because I'm nostalgic or because I'm not using my brain or because I haven't looked at the plans carefully and closely. Many many people were not aware of this project, as it was advertised as a renovation. I suspect many people are still unaware. A project of this size and impact should have involved a mailer to every household and an open and transparent planning process - with plans on display someplace public. I have no stake in either option, I just want to see that Charlestown doesn't get overwhelmed with traffic overflow - it will destroy the quality of life here and won't do much for property values. –Kate N.
  • Condescension is not helpful when putting forth an argument. It may be that "long term townies" have a bit more experience with the BRA and are more cautious when looking at projects backed by that authority. Older citizens will remember the West End fiasco and the mess left in this town by "those who knew better". Younger residents may want to take a look around city held properties and question the wisdom of one part this current project. Who will maintain the boulevard? Will the city really keep up the green space? What are the alternatives when the city is unable to live up to its promises? How can we foster cooperation among the private and public sectors to make this happen? There is no doubt that the Rutherford Ave. bypass is ugly. Lanes will go. That is going to happen. Change is here and now. Keep and fix the tunnels, keep traffic away from Main St. and let the digging begin. -MJ Cambell
  • I, like many people, want to make sure that traffic does not back up needlessly and in particular does not start diverting into neighborhood streets. However, the traffic analysis shows that BOTH options will handle the current and projected traffic volumes. Given this, why wouldn't we all want to support the surface option, which unlike the underpass option, allows for a continuous linear park on the east side of the road (similar to the Southwest Corridor)? The surface option also allows for more land to be reclaimed and redeveloped as parkland and as development parcels (housing, retail, offices, etc). (Building on top of the underpasses as they ramp up and down is very expensive and limited in what you can do.) I think it's really important that we not let our fears about traffic backups make our decision for us and limit what our future will look like. Keeping the underpasses severely limits our options for creating a true urban neighborhood that is a pleasure to travel through AND to be in. -Charlie Denison
  • It doesn't take a townie vs. toonie issue to realize that right now the underpasses allow traffic to flow. It is illogical to me to think that bringing all traffic to the surface heading to the same place will not slow traffic down. We (Townies and toonies) will be in that traffic and we will not be happy. In addition to the added traffic lights we will be subjected to...remember that pedestrians will always have the right of way, so when everyone steps off the curb to head to their favorite new green space or park, that they will also be slowing down the traffic. If i hit the powerball tomorrow i would put back the overpass from the tobin to 93n. (who's vote took that down?) I would take out the offramp that dumps onto cambridge street (who put that up?) and move it nearer to assembly mall area...and the Sullivan square T station would be moved back to it's original spot on the other side of road (where they still park their buses overnight) and the current bus station would beturned into a nice park. -PattyK
  • With all due respect, the Congressman's intent was correct. He just got cold feet in front of the townies and toonies. He knows that if you restore the overpass the underpass works!!!! It always has! Plain and simple traffic flows. Perhaps the toonies don't remember but the original design actually worked. Too bad the only one with any gumption to speak up is the Glavin guy from the council. Where prey tell is our rep and senator and City Councilor? I haven't heard from them. -Jason M
nick czech November 29, 2012 at 06:44 PM


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