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Stalled Vote Could Delay Charlestown Hubway Installation

Subcommittee deadlocks on proposed location at Chelsea and Warren.

, it may bring only one location to Charlestown—at the Bunker Hill Mall. Or it may not come to Charlestown at all.

The Charlestown Neighborhood Council held a meeting Thursday night to discuss a proposed second location near the intersection of Chelsea Street and Warren Street, but closed the meeting without an up-or-down vote.

Councilor David Whelan told Charlestown Patch Friday that the four members of the council present couldn’t agree on whether or not the support the measure and deadlocked 2-2.

The subcommittee opted to table the vote until September, when the full council will next meet—but that could be after Hubway has completed its next round of kiosk installations.

Kristopher Carter, the interim director of Boston Bikes, said that the delayed vote could push back the isntallation of any Charlestown Hubway stations until next spring.

it could also lead the department to install only the kiosk at the already-approved location near the intersection of Main Street and Austin Street, but Carter said he was unsure if the network would adequately support that station alone.

"Sometimes things don't go the way they're planned to go," Carter said.

Whelan said that he and others worried that the second location would not suitably serve the neighborhood, and added that he would prefer something in the Navy Yard.

“We were looking more holistically from the town’s perspective at what’s going to benefit the community,” Whelan said. “Let’s get one in and see how it works.”

Whelan added that Hubway should have come to the council months ago if it wanted to install the second location by the end of summer.

scott July 27, 2012 at 06:01 PM
I really think we are missing out in our community if we dont have this service available to us. The MBTA is cutting service and raising fares. Every morning the busses are completely packed. Since we are so close to downtown, i bet a lot of people would consider hoping on a bike for 10 minutes instead of waiting for an empty bus to come along. The bus service in Charlestown is very unreliable and can sometimes sit in traffic for 30/45 minutes during rush hour. I tend to bike to work to avoid this situation and it usually does not take me more than 15 minutes to get from my house on Bunker Hill to the Boston Commons.
Julia Gaynor July 27, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Why is the CNC saying they don't want to support the second Hubway location? Is there an expense to the town or some other reason? I don't understand why they wouldn't approve that. We've been waiting for a long time to have kiosks here, and not only would it be good for the residents, it would give Hubway users another reason to visit Charlestown - and spend money here.
Nathan Blanchet July 27, 2012 at 07:02 PM
This is very disappointing and I hope the results suggested by the article can be avoided. Hubway has been a huge success by many measures and many have been awaiting its extension to Charlestown. As Hubway users know, station-to-station proximity is essential because if one rack happens to be full when you go to return a bike, you need a back-up station that is very close by...within a few blocks ideally. Mr. Whelan's suggestion to "get one in and see how it works" is therefore not very viable. Plus, Hubway has shown a willingness to adjust the exact location of a station if it's not working well (the stations are mobile and are removed completely in winter). This should have been an easy decision in my view...harming no one and potentially benefiting many. I hope Mr. Whelan and colleagues can find a way to reconsider, and quickly.
Rob O'Brien July 27, 2012 at 07:10 PM
It's not at all clear why further discussion is needed if Mr. Whelan is really concerned about making sure the "neighborhood is served." Get as many stations in as possible as soon as possible. If they need to be moved, they can and will be. Further talk serves no one.
Sarah Simeone July 27, 2012 at 09:29 PM
This shouldn't even be a debate. I understand that people want to have the "optimal locations" but why not "see how it works" with the two that are really needed to make the subway viable. You can always add a third to expand to other parts of the town ;-) Traffic in and out of Charlestown and the downtown areas is horrendous and the more options we have the better, especially if they are green and healthy! More Hubway less stalling please.
Sarah Simeone July 27, 2012 at 09:30 PM
*hubway, not subway... sorry for the auto correct in that second sentence.
Just a person! July 27, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Hahahaha! Don't mind me but I just have to laugh....... The CNC don't think we need a location at Chelsea and Warren streets,but we need one at the Misfit Mall where nothing works! Let me see... Mmmmm! Warren/Chelsea,- tourists, close to navy yard, hotel, gateway to Charlestown. Bunker Hill Mall, - local residents, people with grocery's, basicily people that have cars and probably live in the town! Really don't have to be a brain surgeon to figure what is the better location! But, then again look who your dealing with the CNC.. Chalk up another loss. Maybe we should get a Dominoes kiosk at warren and Chelsea st!
Marianne Faithfull July 28, 2012 at 12:18 AM
It's not about exigency, it's about pomposity and the CNC has that in abundance.
JG July 28, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Hubway is a commuter system as much as a tourist system, and people who work at McGladrey and in the Navy Yard would no doubt use the Warren St location. Charlestown residents would use the one by the Mall. There's no downside, and the only upside of this vote is that the CNC gets to flex their childish muscles while pretending they know what's right "for the community" (whoever that is). In the end it'll be just like the bike lanes -- the Hubway stations will arrive and the majority of people won't care while many benefit. The CNC will have cost us all time and money but accomplished nothing. When will the city start ignoring these chumps?
Sean Boyle July 28, 2012 at 04:04 PM
We don't need their vote. There should have been 5 council members there anyways to avoid that exact type of scenerio like that. Get these hubway stations here .. I'm tired of going to North Station for it. Secondly, there should be FIVE Locations. One, Bunker Hill Mall. Two, Sullivan Sq. Three, the Oilies (Barry Playground - underneath the Tobin) Four, up the Bunka Five, down the Navy Yard just to meet the needs of everyone in the community .... BUT even just getting one station will make me happy.
Don Jones July 28, 2012 at 06:32 PM
It seems that just the most simple no brainers takes forever in Ctown. Just getting neighborhood parking to match the rest of the navy yard took over a year between 13th and 16th streets. We can do much better. I do understanding Spaulding is going to put a hubway by their new entrance. Or so goes the rumor.
Luis Cardona July 28, 2012 at 07:58 PM
It seems this sort of thing happens in the tonier parts of Boston. The South End initially didn't want any Hubway stations at all, but they relented to getting two stations in the beginning. How did it turn out? They ended up requesting another four stations due to its popularity among their residents. While Cambridge and Somerville recognized the immediate benefits of Hubway, Brookline dragged its feet and requested only four stations -- this despite their miles of excellent bike lanes, and the council is at odds over where to place the stations. Now, add Charlestown to the list of great Boston neighborhoods whose leadership squabbles while its residents remain unserved by this excellent transit system. One can only hope the knuckleheads of the neighborhood council will come to their senses before it's too late. Adding Hubway to Charlestown will only make Charlestown -- and by extension, Boston -- a better place to live and visit.
Penny Weaver July 29, 2012 at 05:53 PM
I would jump on a bike every morning and ride home every night if they were located at the mall. Make it an option- Bring Hubway to Charlestown.
Marissa Velarde July 30, 2012 at 12:49 PM
I'm so happy to see that Charlestown residents are actively enthusiastic about bringing Hubway to the neighborhood, but dismayed with the CNC. This really isn't an issue. If CNC and Hubway really want to do right by the residents and serve the community's needs, just install one (two, preferably) already!
Matt M. Casey (Editor) July 30, 2012 at 02:46 PM
A comment has been removed from this thread because the person posting it was pretending to be someone they weren't.
Ron Newman July 30, 2012 at 03:23 PM
You need one in Sullivan Square, so that Hubway can be brought usefully to East Somerville.
Nathan Blanchet July 31, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Hi everyone. A petition to the CNC, Boston Bikes, and Hubway has been created on the website change.org for those who wish to support the immediate expansion of Hubway into Charlestown. Here's the link to the petition, or just search for Hubway at change.org: http://www.change.org/petitions/charlestown-neighborhood-council-boston-bikes-and-hubway-support-hubway-s-immediate-expansion-into-charlestown.
ger rid of bloat August 04, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Let's face it Cuhna is a bully and bloatmeister. He is the gunk that messes up the works in most everything he does. Community leader or townie narrowmind who has to weigh-in on everything within the green one square mile. GET GREEN in the green square mile. Step aside Tom, the future is here and your pontificating, stonewalling and digging-in just proves you are out for yourself and your opinions and do not represent the majority of the CTown citizenry. Out with bloat and bile, in with Bikes and betterments!!

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