It’s back-to-school/work/life and the Fresh Pond Residents Alliance (FPRA) is gearing up for the fall political season. Please join us for a neighborhood meeting on Wed., Sept. 10 at 7 pm at the Tobin School.
We need everyone’s help to protect & improve our neighborhood’s quality of life for current and future residents. Among the big challenges we all must confront are:
· Large-scale, high-impact development in the Fresh Pond/Alewife area without improved transit connections and service to mitigate traffic congestion and parking problems. Housing is needed but we cannot keep adding people without a comprehensive plan to absorb this growth.
· Greater risk to pedestrians and cyclists from increased traffic through our neighborhood without corresponding safety accommodations for pedestrians and cyclists. We cannot put hundreds of units on dead-end streets without good sidewalks — or people will continue to drive everywhere and gridlock will ensue.
· Environmental risks of building on the flood plain and on formerly industrial sites with contaminated soil. The city’s climate change vulnerability study is almost a year overdue. How confident are we that we are building with adequate flood storage capacity? More development of formerly industrial areas like New Street demands close supervision by state and local environmental authorities.
· The luxury housing boom is pushing up rents, displacing families & middle/low income residents. Several affordable housing buildings will be “expiring” soon. What then? The inclusionary housing percentage and the nexus payments must be increased to produce and fund more affordable housing.
Since forming last spring, the FPRA has worked hard to highlight these issues — and planning vacuum they result from. This is not “smart” or sustainable growth. Residents of all areas are demanding better-coordinated planning, more responsive policymaking, follow-through and accountability from city officials.
Among the policy initiatives we have supported are: a comprehensive citywide master plan; the Carlone petition to add an additional layer of Council oversight and accountability for the largest projects; reforms to the planning board’s composition and procedures; the creation of sidewalks along the length of New Street and improvements to the street design before any further developed is permitted; critically needed safety features for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers in the Fresh Pond mall’s “Wild West” parking lot; increased “nexus” payments from commercial development to fund affordable housing.
Now, we need your voice and ongoing participation to make even more of an impact.
Fresh Pond Residents Alliance open meeting
Wednesday, Sept. 10