What a doozy of a meeting
More than 100 people filled the cafeteria of the Condon School to “discuss” the temporary one-ways becoming permanent. To say the meeting was heated would be an understatement. The crowd was in fact angry and judging by the tone, the majority was anti one-way. This was the first of two community meetings. The second one will be held May 6th at the Tynan School at 6:30pm.
The meeting’s moderators were Dan Manning of Neighborhood Services for the City of Boston and Kevin Donahue from the City of Boston’s Transportation Department. We give these guys credit for standing up there for the hour and half-long meeting and not blowing up or breaking down. The meeting was jammed packed with outrage, frustration and intensity.
The residents’ complaints ranged from public safety to the inconvenience of driving around several blocks to get to their destination to added traffic thanks to the one-ways. The City stated that a survey would be sent out to residents about one-ways to help determine whether they will become permanent or not. They tried to assure the crowd that this was not a done deal.
City Councilor At-Large Michael Flaherty, City Council President Bill Linehan, a representative from the MBTA and Commissioner of Transportation Gina Fiandaca were all in attendance.
Highlights/lowlights from the meetings:
- The majority of the meeting was anti-one-way. When Kevin Donahue asked the crowd who was in support of one-ways becoming permanent a handful of people sheepishly put their hands up.
- The reason the City extended the temporary one-ways from April 1st to June 1st was due to the overwhelming positive response the City received. The crowd boo’d and hissed. Apparently the pro-one-way people stayed home and didn’t attend the meeting.
- Community meeting all-star Bill “Touchie’ McDonough gave us a history of the streets of South Boston and stated the obvious fact that Perkins Square is “a mess.” He is anti one-way and thinks they should go back to two-way.
- Bus battle – People who live on Broadway don’t like the buses on Broadway. People who live on Fourth Street don’t want the buses back on Fourth Street. A bus stalemate.
- Joanne McDevitt from the City Point Neighborhood Association stated that it doesn’t matter if you like or don’t like one-ways, bottom line is it’s a public safety issue. What’s safest for our residents is ultimately what is most important.
- Dan Manning tries his best to control redundant questions and complaints
- City Councilor At-Large Michael Flaherty got up and spoke and was heckled.
- Parking enforcement is discussed. Dan Manning says the BTD just can’t pick and choose what violations they enforce. They must enforce all.
- Kevin Donahue stating, “I love South Boston. I’m advocating for you.” Crowd doesn’t buy it.
- One guy shouting out over and over again, “The signs are up!” referring to the fact the City has put seemingly permanent signs in place. Donahue defends the signs stating they are a neccesity. “You can’t give someone a ticket if they can’t read the signs.”
- Bus issue brought up. People from west side driving to city point & parking to get on bus because buses are so packed.
- The meeting ends after someone in the crowd calls Donahue an “arrogant prick.”
- The tone of the meeting was set right away when the majority of the crowd voiced their frustration and opposition of one-ways.
- Residents seem to be frustrated with overdevlopement in South Boston and believe that they are not being heard.
- The meeting was not very productive
- We believe the next meeting will also be non-productive unless the City has traffic and public safety reports on hand.
- Residents seem angry at our local politicians. One resident asked the crowd, “Why do we keep voting them in?” while pointing to Linehan and Flaherty.
- It’s is still unclear what next steps are in determining whether one-ways will be permanent of not.
- Whether you are pro one-way or anti one-way, you should let you voice be heard.
Reach out to your local City of Boston officials:
- City Councilor Bill Linehan – 617.635.3203 – Bill.Linehan@boston.gov
- City Councilor Michael Flaherty – 617.635.4205 Michael.F.Flaherty@boston.gov
- Dan Manning – Office Of Neighborhood Services for the City of Boston 617.635.3485 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Take our poll: http://www.caughtinsouthie.com/poll/would-you-temporary-winter-2015-implemented-one-ways-stay-permanent