The Future of Hanover Street

Much has been talked about throughout the neighborhood recently about what exact changes will be coming to Hanover Street before the end of the decade. Important here is that nothing has gone beyond the discussion level so far and should not without all parties who find Hanover Street important to their lives having a full airing of their views.

Several years ago, the Regional Review suggested that during the summer months Hanover Street might best utilize itself as one of this city’s most extraordinary streets by clearing it of traffic and making it more an Italian style outdoor eating venue such as tourists would find in Rome, Naples, or Florence. We stand behind this thought – but it is only a suggestion.

We do not know how such a scenario could be worked out – or even that it could work at all, given the constraints of the mix of residential and business interests which abound and converge on Hanover Street. There would also be public safety concerns, parking concerns, delivery concerns – so many concerns that many North End residents tend to want to leave well-enough alone.

The only problem with such thinking is that more and more visitors come here every month of every year. Traffic is outrageous. Parking is impossible. Hanover Street is in jeopardy of suffocating itself because of its great attraction to people from the city and from all over the world.

What to do?

Talk is what is needed.

The mayor must chime in and all his most experienced city planners, too. The North End Chamber of Commerce must have its ideas expressed. Both neighborhood resident groups need to speak up.

We are not suggesting the kind of useless talk that makes no effort at finding solutions about how to go toward a better future. The last thing we need is the nay sayers just saying no instead of contributing ideas to what kind of Hanover Street we are going to experience by the end of the decade.

To do nothing, would be a crime, as the ancient Romans would have said.

The debate needs to go forward earnestly. Every idea within reason should get an airing.

If there is consensus on some ideas, then Hanover Street will gradually change without ruining its charm or  its success as this city’s safest, hippest, friendliest, most charming neighborhood in which to live, work, play or to visit.

Much is at stake with Hanover Street’s future.

The debate about it must accelerate.

Everyone should be heard.

Let’s move forward.

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