Green New Deal Is a Good Deal

Green New Deal Is  a Good Deal

The growing movement for the federal government to take the lead in effecting policies that will negate the effects of both economic inequality and climate change has been incorporated into what is being referred to as the Green New Deal.

Our U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey, is among those who is spearheading the legislation, along with newly elected Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

The key features of the Green New Deal are both economic and environmental.

Health insurance for all Americans, job creation, and the expansion of the safety net are among the highlights of the economic aspect of the proposal.

On the environmental front, the goal is for the United States to become carbon-neutral within 10 years.

Both aspects of the proposal will face opposition in Congress from Republicans. The economic aspects will require raising taxes on the wealthy, which essentially would repeal the tax cuts approved by the GOP Congress last year.

The environmental goals will face a fierce fight from the energy industry and other business groups.

The Green New Deal seeks to address what we believe are the two great existential threats both to the American way of life and America itself :

First, that we are becoming a plutocracy — a government of the rich, for the rich, and by the rich.

Second, that climate change will wreak environmental and economic havoc on our nation with catastrophic consequences unless we take immediate steps to reverse its effects before they reach a tipping point from which we cannot escape.

Some may call the Green New Deal a pie-in-the-sky idea. But the reality is that unless we do something — and soon — about the growing concentration of wealth in the hands of a few and the imminent threat of climate change, the future of America (and the world) is grim.

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That Makes 6

That Makes 6

With trophy in hand, Patriots Owner Bob Kraft, along with his sons Josh Kraft and Dan Kraft, are exuberant in the Super Bowl LIII victory during Tuesday’s rolling rally in the Back Bay. Meanwhile, Defensive Lineman Trey Flowers gives a parting kiss to the Super Bowl LIII trophy as players descend on City Hall Plaza in Boston.

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Women’s Sports Pioneer: Chelsea Native Lee-Nieves Receives MIAA Distinguished Service Award

Women’s Sports Pioneer: Chelsea Native Lee-Nieves Receives MIAA Distinguished Service Award

Johanna DiCarlo (right) presents the Massachusetts Women in Athletics Distinguished Service Award to JoAnne Lee-Nieves at the 2019 Girls and Women in Sports Day program Feb. 1 at Faneuil Hall, Boston.

When the Title IX law was first enacted, leading to increased athletic opportunities for females in the mid-to-late 1970s and setting the foundation for the explosion of high school girls’ sports that exists today, there was a Chelsea woman just getting started in coaching.

She was a pioneer in every sense, introducing the joy of organized sports participation to Boston girls, teaching them about teamwork and sportsmanship, instilling self-confidence in her student-athletes, and providing lessons about life that they would carry beyond the basketball court.

JoAnne Lee-Nieves was a woman ahead of her time, recognizing right away the importance of athletics for girls as an extension of the classroom. Her players at Jeremiah Burke would achieve phenomenal success on the court. Long before ESPN started bringing attention to women’s sports, Lee-Nieves was building a program and sending her athletes on to college.

For four decades, Lee-Nieves earned multiple championship and coach-of-the-year awards. No one did it better in Boston than Lee-Nieves.

Last Friday, in an impressive ceremony at historic Faneuil Hall in the city where Lee-Nieves became a high school coaching giant, she received one of the MIAA’s most prestigious awards.

Before a capacity crowd of female high school athletes, athletic directors and many of her former colleagues in the profession, Lee-Nieves accepted the Massachusetts Women in Athletics Distinguished Service Award.

One could only imagine how very proud her parents, the late Charles Lee and Jeanette Weiner Lee, would have been to see JoAnne’s amazing career recognized so deservedly in such an awesome setting as Fanueil Hall.

Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson understands the magnitude of his cousin JoAnne’s statewide award and the immense contributions that she made to high school sports. His own daughter, Lucia Robinson-Griggs, is a former high school athlete and now a women’s basketball coach at MIT.

“JoAnne is a very outstanding individual who has achieved a lot in teaching and coaching,” said Robinson. “This is very special for me that she was recognized for all the hard work that she has done throughout the years. She is a true pioneer in women’s high school sports in Boston. It’s a tremendous honor and I congratulate Joanne. We in Chelsea are all proud of her.”

In a tribute to JoAnne that appeared in the Girls and Women In Sports Day souvenir booklet, Jeremiah Burke Guidance Counselor Ron Innes said, “JoAnne was a very reliable and dedicated teacher who was well respected by her students as well as faculty and staff. Her knowledge about her chosen discipline (Physical Education) and ability to reach and connect with students made her a truly exceptional teacher. These great qualities carried over to the many sports she coached. Her teams always played the game with great discipline and pride.”

Burke Athletic Coordinator Sean Ryan had nominated Lee-Nieves for the award. Said Ryan, “Her ability to engage a veteran or a newcomer to the sport make her special. We evaluate a coach by how their team progresses during the year, and JoAnne’s team each year plays their best toward the end of the season. She truly provides each student-athlete with a memorable experience.”

In her acceptance speech, Lee-Nieves was humble and gracious. She thanked the MIAA for the recognition, but focused her remarks on encouraging the young ladies in the audience to work hard and pursue their dreams.

As she left the stage and walked to the VIP area where she and husband Juan Nieves were seated, you could sense that JoAnne Lee-Nieves was touched by this lifetime-achievement recognition from the state’s official governing organization for high school sports.

It was indeed a special day for a special teacher, coach, and role model.

CUTLINE

Johanna DiCarlo (right) presents the Massachusetts Women in Athletics Distinguished Service Award to JoAnne Lee-Nieves at the 2019 Girls and Women in Sports Day program Feb. 1 at Faneuil Hall, Boston. JoAnne Lee-Nieves and her husband, Juan Nieves, are pictured following the presentation of the Distinguished Service Award.

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Community Preservation Projects Ready to Get Underway

Community Preservation Projects Ready to Get Underway

The deadline to apply for the pilot round of grant funding for Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds is fast approaching, with eligibility forms for potential projects due to City Hall by Wednesday, Feb. 13.

On Thursday, Jan. 31, the Community Preservation Committee held the first in a series of public informational sessions and application workshops centered around the draft Community Preservation Plan and the pilot round of funding. A public hearing on the plan itself is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 21 at the Chelsea Senior Center at 7 p.m.

For the pilot round only, applications will be limited to $50,000.

“We are doing this pilot program so we can get a better understanding of how the process will work and not having the committee approve huge amounts of money until we streamline the process,” said Karl Allen of the city’s Planning and Development Office.

Chelsea voters approved the adoption of the CPA in November 2016. It will provide hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to be used for the creation and acquisition of affordable housing, historic preservation, open space and recreation. The CPA trust fund currently has a balance of just over $2.2 million.

“Part of our mission is to build our capacity in the community and to build the funds,” said Allen. “We have a low bar of entry for anyone who wants to apply.”

Last week’s workshop was geared toward helping pave the way for individuals or groups who want to apply for CPA funds, or who simply are interested in seeing what types of projects are eligible for the funds.

“We want to use the taxpayer’s money in a thoughtful way,” said Anna Callahan, a community planner at JM Goldson, the City’s consultant for the Community Preservation Plan.

In addition to limiting the grants to $50,000 in the pilot program, Callahan said the CPC is looking for projects that are shovel ready by the summer or fall of this year.

The first step for anyone interested in the pilot program is to complete a one-page project eligibility form by Feb. 13. Those eligibility forms will help determine if the proposed projects could be allowed under the CPA.

The next step is a more involved application due to Allen by Wednesday, April 3.

The CPA prioritizes projects where the applicant has control over the property or land for a proposal, Callahan said.

The best tactic with those with potential project ideas is to work with Allen and the CPC, Allen said.

“Ideally, if you have an idea, you can write it up quickly on the eligibility form and you can bring it to a workshop,” Allen said.

The last informational CPA information session before the eligibility forms are due is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Chelsea Senior Center at 1 p.m.

There are also application workshops for the longer process scheduled to take place at the Chelsea Public Library on Wednesday, March 13 at 6 p.m. and on Saturday, March 23 at 1 p.m.

CPA funds can be used for community housing, historic preservation, or open space and recreation needs.

The CPC is broadly recommending that 40 percent of the funds be allocated to community housing, 15 percent to historic preservation, 25 percent to open space and recreation and 15 percent as undesignated and available for any type of project, according to CPC Chairman Jose Iraheta.

The remaining 5 percent is reserved for administrative expenses.

In addition to groups and individuals, the City is also eligible to apply for CPA funding.

The CPC must present any and all ideas before City Council for approval after creating a Community Development Plan. The City Council retains the power to approve, deny or lower the allotted funds for project ideas.

Callahan said the CPC favors projects where there is site control, demonstrated community support, an ability to implement the project, and a focus on public accessibility.

“The CPA really reflects the community’s needs,” she said.

City Councillor-At-Large Roy Avellaneda pushed for placing the CPA on the city ballot in 2016 and said he has been closely following the CPC’s progress. “I’m thrilled that we are where we are right now,” he said.

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Council Looking into Keeping Some Marijuana Licenses for Residents

Council Looking into Keeping Some Marijuana Licenses for Residents

Chelsea city councillors are looking at ways in which they can legally find a way to reserve some of the recreation marijuana licenses for Chelsea residents.

Councillor Roy Avellaneda forwarded an order recently to reserve at least two of the four recreational licenses for Chelsea residents, as so many residents have been impacted by the War on Drugs and the prosecution of marijuana possession crimes.

Avellaneda said his order is to amend the current retail marijuana ordinance in similar fashion to Somerville and Boston. At the state level, the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) signaled early on that it would approve licenses quicker in communities like Chelsea that historically have been heavily impacted by drug prosecution.

However, Avellaneda and other councillors said they have only seen well-heeled investors from out of town turning up to take advantage of that designation in Chelsea.

“The recent rush we have seen by well-funded and politically connected individuals and groups to apply for the available licenses puts those living in communities like Chelsea at a serious disadvantage,” he said. “The goal of the legislation I have introduced is to provide a two-year window for two of the four licenses just for Chelsea residents or a business entity comprised of 60 percent Chelsea residents…I think we would have better host agreements and community benefits offered by an individual or group based from Chelsea than from someone with no connections to this city. Should we allow the money made from these lucrative licenses leave the city? Or should we try to keep that revenue here?”

The Council held a Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday night, Feb. 4, to discuss the matter and try to find a solution.

Council President Damali Vidot said she and Avellaneda and the rest of the Council seem to be on the same page with the idea, but may differ on how to accomplish it.

“My concern at Monday’s meeting and a couopld of other councillor’s concerns were that we could be interfering with a business’s right ot commerce,” she said. “If I own an adult-use shop and want to sell it, I don’t know if we can limit who you sell it to. We don’t want to cut people off at the knees. That will effect investors because they may not want to enter into a place where there are so many limits on their investment…Also, we’re only allowing the rich to get richer. If you live in Chelsea and have the money to buy one of these, you’re obviously already rich.”

She said the marijuana licenses mimic the regulations for liquor stores, and there are no such limits on liquor licenses.

That said, she agreed that Avellaneda has a good idea that needs to be explored and hopefully implemented in some fashion to help Chelsea residents – to empower those economically who have been affected in the past.

Avellaneda said the idea is consistent with the recent 100 percent residency requirement for all new police and fire hires, as well as the affordable housing requirement for Chelsea residents.

“It asks that any new jobs created in Chelsea have a priority for Chelsea residents,” he said. “I doubt Chelsea would lose any opportunities or see a delay in applications because any outsider looking to open in Chelsea would look to partner with a Chelsea resident rather than risk losing a chance at a license by waiting two years.”

Western Front Moving Quickly on Webster

The Economic Empowerment marijuana proposal on Webster Avenue is moving quickly through the local process for a marijuana dispensary at 121 Webster Ave.

Western Front is a minority-owned firm that received the Economic Empowerment designation from the state last spring, and had its community meeting shortly after. The firm plans to open a dispensary and also employ those who have been adversely affected by the War on Drugs – particularly people from the Chelsea. The ownership of the company comes from Boston and Cambridge though. Western Front is scheduled to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) on Feb. 12 at 6 p.m. It is the first ZBA hearing in Chelsea for a marijuana proposal.

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Fire at Pollo Campero treacherous, but controlled quickly

Fire at Pollo Campero  treacherous, but controlled quickly

A Chelsea firefighter fighting the stunning blaze created by Pollo Campero in Park Square on Sunday
night. The popular restaurant was a total loss, but owners said they intend to re-build.

Heavy smoke poured from the popular Pollo Campero restaurant in Park Square on Sunday night, with firefighters facing treacherous conditions that forced their evacuation numerous times as they tried to put out the stunning fire.

In the end, crews battled and made quick work of it – getting it out within an hour.

Chief Len Albanese said it is still under investigation this week, and that it was a total loss.

“The fire is still under investigation; however, I can report at this time that it appears that the fire started in a concealed space within a wall, then traveled to the loft space above the ceiling where the fire was allowed to burn for some time before breaking out and activating the Fire Alarm system,” he said. “This would account for the major fire condition on arrival even though the building had a working fire alarm system. Also, there were no sprinklers within the structure. The fire remains under investigation for a definitive cause that will be reported upon completion.”

There were no civilian injuries, but one firefighter was injured.

On Sunday evening, at 11:40 p.m. Chelsea Fire Alarm received an alarm of fire from Box 1134 for the Pollo Campero restaurant located at 115 Park St. First arriving companies from Chelsea E2 and L1 under the command of Capt. Phil Rogers reported heavy smoke showing on arrival from the rear of the building. C4 Deputy Wayne Ulwick arrived on scene assuming command and immediately ordered the Working Fire. Due to the heavy smoke and reports of heavy fire within the interior of the building, a Second Alarm was requested bringing companies from Revere, Everett, Boston and MassPort to the scene. Crews were ordered out of the building several times due to conditions rapidly deteriorating from heavy fire conditions within the structure forcing firefighters to attack the fire with defensive operations using blitz guns, hand lines and ladder pipes

The fire was brought under control within an hour.

The Boston Sparks Club under the command of President Paul Boudreau responded to the scene supplying Re-Hab and refreshments for the firefighters. Chelsea Police also provided traffic and crowd control during fire. Crews from Medford and Boston provided mutual aid during the fire.

Chief Albanese said it was a defensive fight for firefighters because the structure was too far along to be saved. Nevertheless, owners are determined to rebuild. “It was determined that the fire was well involved within the structure, and crews were ordered out of the building and proceeded with a defensive fire attack,” he said. “Given the time of day, a closed business and no reports of occupants, this was the safest course of action given that very early on it was apparent that this building could not be saved. Members of Fire Prevention are working with the ownership, who reported to us that they intend to rebuild as soon as possible.”

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MBTA Better Bus Kick-Off

MBTA Better Bus Kick-Off

Steve Poftak, who has been the MBTA General Manager for about a month, expresses his commitment to Chelsea during the inaugural Chelsea Transportation Task Force meeting at City Hall on Thursday, Jan. 24. The Task Force plans to continue meeting for the next six months regarding MBTA issues and the Better Buses program.

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City Manager Gets New, Five-Year Contract

City Manager Gets New, Five-Year Contract

City Manager Thomas Ambrosino got a new five-year contract and a healthy serving of praise from the City Council Monday night.

The council approved the contract with a 10-0 vote. Councilor-at-Large Roy Avellaneda was not present at Monday night’s meeting.

Ambrosino gets a three percent raise with the new deal, from $184,913 annually to $189,945.

Council President Damali Vidot said a sub-committee made up of Councilors Luis Tejada, Giovanni Recupero and Yamir Rodriguez had been evaluating Ambrosino for several months, and agreed that he has done a good job and should be invited back.

“He’s done a great job and he wanted to go five years instead of four years so he would be closer to retirement age at the end of this contract,” she said. “I think he deserved it. I felt he earned five years. He got a really good evaluation and people are very pleased with his performance.”

Vidot said the evaluation showed councilors and the public felt he was a little too hands-off on his management of departments, and wanted to see him be a little more hands-on with them. For Vidot, she said one of his strengths has been treating the City Council with great respect.

“He has really given the City Council the respect it deserves,” she said. “I didn’t see that in the previous administration. Chelsea seems to really be coming together. There seems to be so much more interest in social and civic issues and more unity overall.”

On Monday night, the praises continued at the Council meeting before they voted to extend the contract five more years.

“The city manager has done a great job,” said District 8 Councilor Calvin T. Brown. “He’s committed, a creative thinker, and a very approachable city manager.”

Several councilors commented on Ambrosino’s responsiveness to residents’ concerns.

“Whenever I have had a problem in my district and brought it to his attention, the city manager has been very responsive,” said District 1 Councilor Robert Bishop.

District 5 Councilor Judith Garcia said Ambrosino has been an incredible asset and resource for the community.

“He has invested a lot in the community, and I hear it from my constituents a lot,” said Garcia.

In addition to the three percent pay raise, Ambrosino will get an additional $500 per year for travel, and the former Revere mayor’s new contract will be for five years, compared to his current four-year contract.

“I’m very pleased and very grateful to the city council for giving me a vote of confidence,” Ambrosino said following Monday night’s meeting. “I will do everything I can to continue to make them proud of my work.”

Ambrosino has said since last fall he would like to be asked to return to Chelsea for another contract term. He said he feels like he has more work to do in the city, particularly with his downtown initiatives.

•In other Council news:

A resolution passed by the City Council Monday night recognized February as Black History Month and thanked the Lewis H. Latimer Society, Bunker Hill Community College, and the Chelsea Black Community “Remembering Black Migration, WWI, and the Chelsea Fire” for the contributions to the city.

The Council also recognized Feb. 21 as Dr. Maya Angelou Day in Chelsea.

•The council requested a meeting with Emergency Management Director Keith Vetreno to discuss 911 services.

•Councilor-at-Large Leo Robinson requested that City Manager Tom Ambrosino update the council on all planned development in the city. •District 6 Councilor Giovanni Recupero requested a brighter streetlight on Charles Street, as well as a study for traffic on the Meridian Street Bridge. The brightness of the new LED streetlights has been a problem point for several years, as most of them are on the lowest setting to save money on power. Recupero has routinely asked the City to increase the brightness on the new LED lights.

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Wingin’ It for Super Bowl Liii: Chef Husbands Talks the Perfect Wing

Wingin’ It for Super Bowl Liii: Chef Husbands Talks the Perfect Wing

There is no shortage of Super Bowl parties going on in Chelsea this weekend, but if one wants their party to score high, they better know how to prepare a proper chicken wing.

Chef/Pitmaster Andy Husbands of The Smoke Shop (located in Assembly Row in Somerville) said that if hosts think getting a good wing on the table for the Super Bowl is as easy as popping them in a hot oven, they would be flapping wrong.

In fact, he said, the key to a good Super Bowl spread is preparation and thinking ahead.

“Wings are so subjective,” he said. “Do you like the small ones or the big roaster wings? I go for the big roasting ones. You want the big, roaster wings. I’d also advise everyone to go early. Don’t go to the store to buy your wings on Saturday. They’ll all be sold out and you’ll get stuck with the small wings…Most everything you serve for the Super Bowl except for ribs can be done on Saturday. That makes it so much easier. You want it to be enough food for everybody, but you want it to be easy for you too. You don’t want to be in the kitchen saucing wings when the Pats are scoring.”

Husbands said the centerpiece of a Super Bowl spread always has to be the wings, so getting them right is important.

Husbands suggests doing what is called a confit.

“You want the best wings, and even though it’s a bit complicated, I would look up how to confit wings,” he said.

When he pulls it off, Husbands said he starts by seasoning the raw wings the day before with salt and other flavorings. Many make the mistake, he said, of putting the sauce – whether buffalo or teriyaki sauce – on before cooking the wings. One should not do that, he said.

“That will hamper the wings,” he said. “Sugars burn quickly, and you don’t want that burnt taste on the wings.”

Once seasoned, Husbands coats the wings in oil and chicken or goose fat. Then they go into a 205-degree oven until cooked. Then, take them out, let them cool and remove the fat. The next day, before the big game, take them out of the refrigerator and use the fat from the previous day on a sheet pan. Put the wings in the fat and cook them in an oven at 350 degrees until crispy.

“They become crispy and rich and then you apply the sauce, whether Frank’s Red Hot or Szechuan – whatever you want,” he said. “That’s a fun way to do it.”

There are, of course, other ways to wing it for the big game.

Home frying, however, is not something Husbands recommends. Most people don’t have the right equipment and it uses a ton of fat for just one dish.

Cooking them in the oven after seasoning is another option, but it has to be on low heat. A common mistake, he said, is putting the wings in the oven raw at a high temperature to get them crispy. However, that leads to a dry and bony wing – perhaps even raw.

“You want to put them on very low heat and continuously turning them gets them crispy on the outside and keeps them juicy on the inside,” he said. “After they’re cooked (150 degree temperature inside), you can crank up the oven to 450 degrees and flash them in until really crispy. Then you sauce them up. That way you get them fully cooked and crispy. No one wants raw chicken.”

Yet another way goes to the die-hards, who will take the opportunity to do some arctic grilling. Husbands said the cold weather won’t stop him from grilling wings and smoking ribs for his Super Bowl party.

“I’m absolutely going to be outside,” he said. “My neighbors all know me well. They don’t look at me like I’m crazy. It’s more like they want to know if they can have some. It’s a passion and if you know it love it you want to do it all the time in any weather. I have a Traeger grill and a Big Green Egg grill and they work in all types of weather. I might use both of them this time.”

Beyond the meat of the matter, though, Husbands has some good ideas for buffet style options.

One of those ideas is a chili bar. He usually cooks a pot of chili and leaves it on low in the Crock Pot, setting up a chili fixin’s salad bar next to it.

“What’s cool about chili is you can keep it in the Crock Pot, keep it hot and put out a bunch of toppings – like crushed Fritos, crushed tortilla chips, scallions, sour cream and anything else you like,” he said. “People can come back and forth to that during the entire game.”

At halftime, he rolls out a hot dog bar too.

Either grilled or boiled, he selects quality hot dogs and two different kinds of buns. From there, the sky is the limit on the kinds of toppings one can offer to guests. Husbands suggests kimchee, several different types of mustard, cheese sauce, unique pickle relishes and even his own favorite, sriracha ketchup.

“Guests can have fun making their own hot dog,” he said. “You can wheel that out at halftime for something new. All of it can be prepared ahead of time too.”

For the beer lovers, Husbands suggests not going all lawnmower and not going all high-brow either. In his ice chest, he said he offers everything from Miller High Life to Trillium Brewery.

“It’s important to have something for everyone,” he said. “I don’t want to push my passion for craft beer on someone who wants a High Life. A High Life can be just as enjoyable as a craft beer.”

Super Bowl LIII official coverage starts at 6 p.m. on CBS. Andy Husbands is an award-winning chef and pitmaster at The Smoke House, which has locations in Assembly Row, the Seaport and Cambridge. Just this year he closed down his long-time South End restaurants Tremont 647 and Sister Sorel – which were neighborhood staples for decades.

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Chelsea Transportation Task Force Inaugural Meeting: Driving the Discussion

Chelsea Transportation Task Force Inaugural Meeting: Driving the Discussion

The people of Chelsea are demanding increased frequency on the Silver Line, more reliability, and additional bus connections from the MBTA. Over the next two years there will be three major construction projects in Chelsea that will adversely impact bus traffic, and City leaders and residents are concerned that the already poor services will worsen.

“There have been big shifts in population and ridership, and the bus routes have stayed largely the same,” admitted Steve Poftak, the newly appointed MBTA General Manager. “The T is playing catch-up.”

On January 24, Poftak sat with locals and members of the City Council during the first inaugural Chelsea Transportation Task Force meeting at City Hall. The goal of the committee is to gather once a month for six months of interactive discussions with the community and Poftak to develop solutions.

“For a lot of us who live on both of the hills, buses are the only means of transportation,” commented a Bellingham Square resident. “Every year or two, they threaten to cut off both of the hills. That would leave us totally stranded, and I’m not having it.”

Many aren’t content with the massive traffic that builds with the 20 minute rising and 20 minute lowering of the Chelsea Street bridge, which slows bus travel. The MBTA noted that active discussions with the Coast Guard regarding the creation of a period of time during peak hours of commuting when the bridge does not open have been hindered by the government shutdown.

“We have limited control over the bridge. Maybe we could have some predictability with windows when we know the bridge will be active and when we know it won’t,” said Poftak.

The Better Bus Project is investigating the quality of the current bus network and working on cost-neutral proposals that will result in more frequent services for customers. Researchers have been speaking with riders to learn more about where people’s trips begin and end, the economic demographics of the area, and where jobs are located.

“We are advocating for fair mitigation,” expressed Council President Damali Vidot. “We’ve needed quality service for years and are working at a sub-par level. Chelsea was an afterthought in the Better Bus Project. We want to make sure we’re getting the service we deserve.”

The Better Bus Project has 47 proposals for changes in the MBTA bus system that will impact 63 out of the 180 routes in 35 of the 50 communities that are served. Proposals include removing bus routes with low ridership, and re-investing resources elsewhere.

The Transportation Task Force is suggesting more inspectors, less cancellations, and easier transfers between Chelsea and Lynn on the Commuter Rail.

“We are re-imagining the infrastructure on Broadway,” said City Manager Tom Ambrosino. “We will be presenting the City Council with alternatives that do away with two fast lanes to make travel safer. One idea is incorporating a dedicated bus lane.”

Gentrification has also forced many Chelsea residents to relocate to Lynn because of the high cost of rent. One Chelsea resident, who works in Lynn, voiced that it takes her up to two hours to commute from Lynn to Chelsea using public transportation. She commented that the only line that directly connects Chelsea to Everett is the 112 bus, and many avoid it due to the lifting of the bridge; and recommended that the 426 bus through Lynn could stop in Chelsea, as it already passes over the Tobin Bridge.

“In the overall bus network redesign, people on the north side of the city are particularly interested in going to Lynn and Malden,” Poftak concluded. Better Bus Project proposals will be available at www.MBTA.com with maps and data. The MBTA will also be providing riders with a warm place to view proposals at Haymarket Station, where they see the most response from Chelsea residents.

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