By Phil Orlandella
Seven North End/Waterfront groups are upset at the City for community engagement for projects in their neighborhood and sent a letter to the Mayor and City Council expressing that “Too often residents are ignored or not completely informed about projects in the North End.”
The most recent example, the letter noted, relates to the brick sidewalks being removed from Atlantic Avenue and Commercial Street with absolutely no public notification or input to replace them with concrete.
The rest of the letter reads:
“In the numerous briefings that our neighborhood attended between 2014 and 2016, plans to downgrade our sidewalks to concrete were never disclosed. It is unacceptable that the City, which claims to value community input, didn’t notify us of this significant downgrade. As your constituents, we are left wondering why officials would not keep as fully informed about plans and seek our views and counsel.
The City claims to value community import, but just over a year ago a similar “process” occurred around residential parking spots in the North End. Without telling our neighborhood, Zipcar was permitted to take over residential parking spots.
“Laser-cut” bricks, which are ADA compliant, were used all around the Government Center T Station, The Armenian Park at the Greenway, at Faneuil Hall by the new Sephora building and many other sites throughout downtown. We respectfully request that you schedule a meeting with our neighborhood to truly engage in a discussion about restoring our historic sidewalks.”
Neighborhood groups sending the letter were: Prince Condominium Associates, Union Wharf Condominium, The Mariner Condominium, Lewis Wharf Condominium, The Bulfinch Condominium, Battery Wharf Residential Association, Howe and Bainbridge Condominium Association.
At a North End/Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) monthly public meeting city officials claim they did respond to the letter.