There is general agreement among those who live in the North End and among those, as well, who come to the North End to visit,to deliver goods and services that something soon needs to be done or Hanover Street is going to suffocate on its own success.
The lack of parking spaces, confluence of cabs and limousines, crush of tourists and visitors mixed with residents, is bringing Hanover Street to a halt – to a stunning, nightly tsunami of people and vehicles stuck in a growing mess.
Hanover Street is an enormous, over the top success story.
Compare this to its storied past.
It was so quiet here during the 1950’s it was hardly noticed by the outside world.
During the 1960’s it started to come alive with more restaurants and visitors.
During the 1970’s real estate began to go up in value as longtime Italian families fled to the suburbs.
During the 1980’s – the go go 1980’s – the North End exploded with commerce. A dozen new restaurants opened, shops took over small storefronts, and the North End real estate marketplace exploded as well, with the waterfront taking on new dimensions.
During the 1990’s growth continued unabated with more condominiums being built and more old families leaving and newcomers charging in and the nature of the neighborhood being altered dramatically and on and on and on.
During the first decade of the new Century, meaningful efforts by the well intentioned have led to an effort to limit and control development, to stop everything here from growing as if the neighborhood can return to yesterday or be protected by doing so.
Nevertheless, the business community has grown, the level of commerce and visitation to the neighborhood has never been higher, nor have real estate prices give or take 10%.
Hanover Street, as the signature street in the neighborhood is in need of a change.
It can no longer accommodate the enormous crowds and automobile traffic clogging it nearly shut everyday.
Something has to give. Everyone who cares about the neighborhood must get involved.
Everyone calling this place home needs to get about without being drowned in a crowd.
This means, inevitably, that traffic must be taken off the street, that all deliveries are done at one time in the early morning, and that pedestrian traffic and access becomes paramount, all day everyday.
If this can happen, business can grow, the local economy can expand, property values will rise – and even longtime residents will be pleased.
Change scares nearly everyone all the time.
Unless there is a dramatic change on Hanover Street, it will be strangled by its own success, and that would be a shame.