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Letter: Surface Option Would Improve Transportation, Promote Public Health

This letter was submitted by a Charlestown resident.

Since Governor Patrick’s transportation plan was recently announced, discussions on funding for transportation projects seem to dominate the news.

In response to the current discussions on Beacon Hill, The Massachusetts Public Health Association spoke out in a recent letter featured in the Charlestown Patch on Jan. 24, regarding the direct impact of transportation on public health and the importance of investing in projects that promote public health. Charlestown has an opportunity to address both public health and transportation, in the reconstruction of Rutherford Avenue and Sullivan Square.

The surface option, which is a proposal to reconstruct Rutherford Avenue and Sullivan Square at grade level, is a cost effective plan to improve transportation in Charlestown, while also promoting public health within our community. The plan promotes public health by encouraging more physical activity and safety, through the creation of green space, including 5+ acres of parks, a walking/bike path, better routes to our existing parks, and safer access to public transportation. Additionally, it is much less costly to maintain than the alternative plan.

It seems that during this time of budgetary constraints it is more important than ever to use our tax dollars where they will have a lasting impact on our community. The surface option is a wise investment: cheaper to maintain than the alternative, better for public health and better overall for the wellbeing of our community

For more information and to support the surface option, please visit http://www.rcic-charlestown.org/index.html.

Emilé Baker
Rutherford Avenue

Got something to say on this or any other local topic? Email Letters to the Editor to becca.manning@patch.com. Be sure to include your full name and address.

Tom Murphy February 01, 2013 at 08:15 PM
I am supporting a plan that has been reviewed by consultants, city engineers and have attended many meetings when this plan was presented to the community. What if the the Red Sox built Fenway Park at the Hoods Plant as suggested many years ago. What if's flaw progress! Navigating Sullivan Square is hazardous and it is time for change! Support the Surface artery!
Joseph February 01, 2013 at 08:57 PM
Reviewed before talk of a casino coming Tom. Trying to fast track this flawed Surface Option by all your letters makes it clear you and your supporters have no regard for taxpayers dollars. "What Ifs" are a responsible look at huge expenditures. Now that this casino is a potential project, it has to be analyzed. Couple dollars spent now to do a complete analysis of this new information is a LOT cheaper than building something that would have to be changed in 10 years due to inadequate planning. And hey, it may show that it will make no difference! Unfortunately, no matter what I say, or others say, you have blinders on. But I will agree, change is necessary.
Just a person! February 02, 2013 at 01:11 PM
Hey Tom Do you know what is really funny? That back in the 60's when they re-configured Rutherford Ave it was what "you" surface option people want now! Rutherford Ave was designed back then to keep the flow of traffic out of side streets and keep it on the outside of the town, but being a new comer here you and your group probaly don't realize that! There was no tunnel at Austin St. And back then it was a nightmare also. So I guess my point is.... WHY? Are we going backwards! We have already removed part of the solution when we took out the Overpass, NOW you want to remove the underpasses! Makes absolutely no sense to me. If water was flowing freely, why? Would you put a smaller pipe in? In other words, you cannot fit 10 lbs of garbage in a 5lb bag! Oh, and another point to ponder, back then ther also was another road that ran behind the College from Sullivan Sq to City Sq. Yes, I have LIVED HERE, that long!
Ray Stanford. February 02, 2013 at 02:16 PM
Anybody know what's going on now that DiPirro Restaurant supply at 465 Rutherford Ave has closed? Will another business be located here or a new residential development? It looks like they are moving everything out.
Joseph February 07, 2013 at 06:20 PM
@Tom @Emile @ RCIC - You see, it all has to be planned into any potential project. Was money spent to analyze Rutherford Ave, yes. Is further analysis (and money) needed now that this casino may be built, 100% yes! Your refusal to acknowledge this takes away from your credibility. Failing to address this on your site, or update ANY of your presentations contained on your site is a failure to present the truth. Basically, you're selling a bait and switch proposal. Take your blinders off. Start becoming fiscally responsible. Supporting the surface option is one thing. Trying to convince the residents of Charlestown that this is the best option based on erroneous data is egregious at best. http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/02/casino_czar_%E2%80%A8to_wynn_let%E2%80%99s_talk

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