Chelsea Stands in Solidarity with East Boston over Proposed Eversource Substation

Chelsea Stands in Solidarity with East Boston over Proposed Eversource Substation

Environmentalists, activists, residents and elected officials on both sides of the Chelsea Creek are standing in solidarity with one another in firm opposition to Eversources plan to place a substation at the City Yards in East Boston along the Chelsea Creek.

On Tuesday night in Eastie the the state’s Energy Facility Siting Board (EFSB) held a public meeting to discuss Eversource’s Notice of Project Change that moves the proposed substation from the eastern corner of the City Yards in East Eagle Square to the western corner. The original location on the eastern portion of the city-owned parcel was approved by the EFSB last year.

In its Notice of Project Change Eversource seeks approval to move the Substation 190 feet to the western side of the City Yards lot. The scope of the upcoming meeting is limited to Eversource’s proposed relocation of the substation from its current site on the eastern side of the city parcel to its new proposed location.

Eversource said the two 115-kV transmission lines that would connect to the substation would no longer be routed along Condor and East Eagle Streets if the substation is placed in the western portion of the parcel.

Local environmentalists from Eastie and Chelsea have called on the EFSB explore alternatives to placing Eversource’s proposed substation along the Chelsea Creek.

For two years local environmentalists on the Eastie and Chelsea sides of the Creek have launched a visual, media and talking campaign against Eversource’s plans to place the substation at the City Yards in Eagle Square.

At Tuesday night’s meeting Chelsea City Council President Damali Vidot attended the meeting and gave testimony in opposition to the substation.

“I’m here tonight to express my opposition,” said Vidot. “Although I represent Chelsea, a community of 40,000 low income, hardworking immigrants and people of color who are always the afterthoughts of corporate greed and irresponsible planning, I am here today as an ally with my brothers and sisters of the Eagle Hill East Boston neighborhood whose demographics are reminiscent of home. Planes, a salt bile, fuel and now a high voltage electrical substation–I am tired of communities like Chelsea and East Boston forced to bear the burden of environmental injustice at the hands of greedy corporations. We are environmental justice communities and the civic engagement in this neighborhood, or lack thereof, is a blatant disregard and inconsideration of the densely populated areas of hardworking men and women forced to bear the environmental ignorance of others for the sake of protecting profits.”

Vidot called for an independent study to see whether or not a substation is even needed in the area and, if so, does it need to be placed an area susceptible to future climate change issues and sea level rise.

U.S. Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, who represents both East Boston and Chelsea, sent a video testimony from her office in Washington D.C.

“I’m your sister in solidarity,” said Pressley. “This at its best is boor urban planning and at its worst and injustice. It is unconscionable that a community already overburdened with environmental injustices would be put in harm’s way and have those existing health hazards exacerbated. The community should be a part of planning and I know when we organize we win and this is a fight like so many others we are taking on and I stand with you.”

Last year the EFSB ruled in favor of placing the substation at the City Yards. However, the final ruling came with some provisos. According to the state board the EFSB vote to approve the substations and 115 kV underground cables in Eastie, Chelsea and Everett came with some conditions. The EFSB directed Eversource to enter into discussions with the City of Boston regarding the possible relocation of the new substation and the related cable on the Chelsea Creek site.

Local activist John Walkey, who lives in Eastie and works with Greenroots Chelsea argues that the project represents an increased risk in both communities already bearing a huge environmental burden in the region by playing host to Logan International Airport, highways and jet fuel storage tanks along the Chelsea Creek.

Walkey made a push for the EFSB to see a more logical place to site the substation.

“If only there was a place in East Boston with restricted access that would a more appropriate location. Maybe a place that already had millions of dollars invested in raising the ground level so it is more flood resilient. Maybe a place that already much more secure with state police oversight and very limited access. Maybe a place that takes up over a third of the land mass in East Boston. And just maybe a place that is going to be a consumer of over half the electricity that goes through the substation anyway. Obviously the (Logan) Airport is a far more logical place,” said Walkey.

As part of its decision the EFSB directed Eversource to provide an update to the board on the status of discussions between the community and city before construction on the substation commences. This has given additional time for Eversource, the City of Boston, and residents to iron out the alternative locations for the substation. The substation was initially slated to be built on an Eversource-owned parcel on Bremen Street. However, under the former late Mayor Thomas Menino Boston executed a land swap with Eversource. Eversource have the City of Boston the Bremen Street parcel so the city could build the new East Boston Branch Library in return for a city-owned parcel in East Eagle Square.

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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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Police Briefs 01-31-2019

Police Briefs 01-31-2019

MIDDLE SCHOOLER ARRESTED FOR KNIFE ATTACK

On January 14, officers responded to a matter being investigated by the School Resource Officers alleging an assault by means of a dangerous weapon, a knife. Officers spoke to a juvenile male who reported being assaulted by another juvenile male while heading home from the Browne Middle School. As the result of this investigation, an identification was made of a 14-year-old juvenile male suspect that was taken into custody a short time later. No injuries reported, and no weapon was recovered. Officers are continuing to work with the schools for ongoing safety concerns.

A 14-year-old juvenile was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (knife) and assault and battery.

SCREAMING AT BUSES

On Jan. 15, around 11:33 p.m., officers were called to assist an MBTA bus driver for unruly female shouting at passing cars. Officers arrived and encountered said female shouting obscenities at officers. Despite efforts to calm her down, she continued her tirade and was placed into custody for disorderly person without further incident.

Krysten Kulch, 32, of 58 Garfield Ave., was charged with disorderly conduct.

HEROIN DEALER FROM GARFIELD AVE BUSTED

On Thursday, Jan. 17, detectives were conducting an ongoing drug investigation in the Prattville area after complaints were received. Detectives arranged to contact a potential source of narcotics and subsequently arranged a purchase to be made. After the suspect agreed to meet the officers to sell narcotics at a prearranged spot, the officers observed him to arrive. He met the undercover officer to exchange an amount of US currency for what appeared to be Heroin. The suspect was taken into custody without further incident.

Jose Gonzalez, 48, 105 Garfield Ave., was charged with distribution of a Class A drug (heroin) and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

DRUG DEAL WITNESSED

Officers received a call from dispatch regarding a drug transaction that was witnessed by a civilian in Bellingham Square. Based on the phone call and independent observations corroborating this tip, Officers encountered two individuals at the McDonalds in Bellingham Square. Officers then conducted an independent investigation and developed probable cause to arrest one subject for the Distribution of a Class C Substance as well as an outstanding warrant from the Roxbury District Court. The second subject was identified and criminal charges are being sought for the Possession of Class C. William Falasca, 34, of Medford, was charged with distribution of a Class C drug and one warrant.

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City Looks to Residents to Name, Define Neighborhoods

City Looks to Residents to Name, Define Neighborhoods

Ask 100 people where the Mill Hill neighborhood separates from the Mill Creek neighborhood and one would probably get 100 different answers.

Neighborhoods in Chelsea have been loosely defined for decades, with some not even named at all, but now Downtown Coordinator Mimi Graney is looking to residents of Chelsea to define the City’s neighborhoods more precisely.

“It came up because City Planner Karl Allen has been working on a project by the Produce Center and he kept calling it West Chelsea,” she said. “Every time he did that, people would laugh at it. It brought up the question as to what do you call that area. It was the same thing for the Walnut Street Synagogue area. Then you have people talking about Prattville. We decided to try to figure out what you call the various neighborhoods of Chelsea.”

That started with a query of the Chel-Yea group last month, and during that event and with online follow ups, Graney said she got very impassioned responses.

People, she said, took it very seriously.

“Several people said everything was just Chelsea, but others had strong opinions about Admiral’s Hill and Prattville,” she said. “It has solicited a lot of interested conversations.”

Graney has produced a map with suggested boundaries and names. So far, they have included Prattville, Mayor’s Row, Chelsea High, Addison-Orange, Soldiers’ Home/Powderhorn Hill, Cary Square, Mill Creek, Mill Hill, Spencer Avenue, Eastern Ave Industrial Area, Box District, Bellingham Hill, Salt Piles, Waterfront, Downtown (including Chelsea Square and Bellingham Square), Williams School, Carter Park, Mystic Mall, Produce District and Admiral’s Hill.

It was difficult, she said, to find the real boundaries of the Soldiers’ Home neighborhood versus Cary Square, she said, and many said the Spencer Avenue area should be called Upper Broadway. Mill Creek, on the other hand, has been confused in some ways with the Parkway Plaza.

She said the exercise is one that moves beyond the fun of talking about it, and moving towards making it a place.

“The legacy of the fire in the Mystic Mall area sort of upended most boundaries there,” she said. “People are uncomfortable with the area beyond Carter Park and Chelsea High area. If it doesn’t have a name, it becomes this no man’s land. Naming a place has a power to it. I’m hoping people in these areas claim that power in that naming.”

Graney said they will continue to take input on the neighborhood boundaries, and will likely present something to the community in the near future.

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Developer Looks to Build 33 Units on 7-11 in Cary Square

Developer Looks to Build 33 Units on 7-11 in Cary Square

A Winchester developer has filed with the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) to build a five-story, 33-unit residential apartment building on the site of the closed 7-11 and its parking lot in Cary Square.

Anthony Quiles has filed the project with the City and had an initial hearing on Tuesday night, Jan. 8, with the ZBA, and will proceed to the Planning Board for a meeting later this month.

The project will be sited at 176-178 Washington Ave. and will contain 44 parking spaces (50 are required) for the 33 units. There will be a roof deck and other amenities. The project includes no open space and requires seven pieces of relief, including height variances and parking permits.

The unit breakdown would be nine studios, 15 one-bedrooms, and six two-bedrooms.

The Chelsea Fire Department has already voiced its concerns with the project as they do not believe they can access the building due to the size of the building on the lot.

“I am not in favor of a development of this size…which encompasses the entire lot with no setbacks on both sides and the rear,” wrote Deputy Richard Perisie. “The Fire Department should have access to at least one side for apparatus placement.”

Councillor Leo Robinson said he has called for the development to go down to at least 25 units and to add a retail venture on the first floor, preferably a grocery store/convenience store.

He said he was very disturbed that the purchase and sales agreement by 7-11 with Quiles details that no such retail operations can go there. He said he wants to see about changing that.

“My concern and what bothers me is that 7-11 put in the agreement not to allow a grocery store to go there,” he said. “That is detrimental to that part of the city. It is heavily used by the elderly at 14 Bloomingdale and the people from the neighborhood too. The fact of the matter is I’ve talked with the City Solicitor and the City Manager and I think there is a tool in our tool bag we need to use. I don’t think 7-11 should punish us for their failure not to run a good business. There has always been a grocery store there since I can remember.”

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Police Briefs 01-10-2019

Police Briefs 01-10-2019

STOLEN CAR

On Dec. 11 at 6 p.m., a CPD Detective observed a blue Subaru Impreza make an unsafe lane change coming from Broadway onto City Hall Avenue. The vehicle was a reported stolen motor vehicle out of Revere. The detective continued to follow the car down Chestnut Street. With the assistance from other marked CPD units a car stop was initiated and the operator placed under arrest for being in possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

Katherine Guzman, 36, of 18 Watts St., was charged with being in possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

PULLED KNIFE ON HOTEL EMPLOYEES

On Dec. 21, at 7:11 a.m., units were dispatched to the Hilton Homeward Suites for an individual threatening the employees with a knife.

A description was given out of the suspect as being a short male wearing a black jacket and a scally cap. Officers knew about a previous issue from the day before at the hotel with the same described male. The officers observed the suspect walking on Everett Avenue and placed him under arrest for two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.

Alberto Garcia, 51, of 303 Carter St., was charged with two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.

CROSSWALK VIOLATION, KNIVES

On Dec. 19, at 6:23 p.m., officers observed a motor vehicle that failed to stop for a pedestrian in the crosswalk in front of 589 Broadway.

The car was then pulled over.

It was determined that the operator of the vehicle was not legally able to operate the car and he was placed under arrest. A search of the person and vehicle also recovered knives.

Manuel Alvarez Mejia, 29, of 759 Broadway, was charged with crosswalk violation, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, and two counts of carrying a dangerous weapon.

ALMOST HIT A CRUISER, FLED

On Dec. 23, at 7:25 p.m., a CPD officer stated his cruiser was almost hit by a black motor vehicle in Fay Square. He reported the vehicle fled onto Heard Street when the officer activated his blue lights. Other Chelsea Units were able to stop the car. The driver had no license to operate a motor vehicle and was placed under arrest.

Mark Cassidy, 28, of Quincy, was charged with marked lanes violation, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, failing to stop for police, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, stop sign violation, red light violation and speeding.

PoliceLog

Friday, 12/28

Charles Chafin, 55, 32 Tudor St., Chelsea, was arrested for shoplifting.

Saturday, 12/29

Edward DeSantis, 53, 12 Bates St., Revere, was arrested on warrants and operating motor vehicle with suspended license.

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Chelsea Fire Begins Toys for Tots Collection, Winter Clothing Drive

Chelsea Fire Begins Toys for Tots Collection, Winter Clothing Drive

The Chelsea Fire Department has embarked on another year of collecting toys at the Central Fire Station for needy families, delivering them mid-month to the Toys for Tots campaign.

Capt. Phil Rogers said the fifth year of collections at the Central Fire Station has begun and he urged everyone in the community to bring in a new, non-violent, unwrapped toy if at all possible. They are accepting donations through Dec. 14, and can take them at the Station in Fay Square between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. every day.

“We have started our annual Toys for Tots campaign,” said Rogers. “The toy drive ends a little early this year on Dec. 14, which is a little easier. We need all kinds of new toys and they should be unwrapped. Toys for Tots only accepts new toys. We have really enjoyed doing this over the years, and the people here have been so generous. We’re trying to make this an annual thing and it’s been working very well. If we can put a smile on a kid’s face, that’s a good thing.”

This year, the Fire Department is also sponsoring a winter clothing drive in conjunction with the toy drive to benefit St. Luke’s Food Pantry.

Rogers said several firefighters helped to cook and serve Thanksgiving dinner to those at the Pantry this year, and the needs there, he said, were “eye opening.”

In response, the Department decided to begin collecting winter clothing.

He said they need new or lightly-used gloves, hats, coats, mittens or scarves. For the homeless, he said they are requesting new packages of wool socks.

The Department will continue collecting the winter clothing through December.

Anyone in need of toys from the Toys for Tots campaign should contact their social worker or pastor, who will put them in touch with the proper people.

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Chelsea Prospers, Chamber Ready to Host Tree Lighting November 29

Chelsea Prospers, Chamber Ready to Host Tree Lighting November 29

All are invited to attend the Chelsea Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration on Thursday, Nov. 29, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Chelsea Square.

Presented by the City of Chelsea and the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, the celebration brings two hours of family-friendly activities including music, dance, and crafts to Chelsea Square.

“The Tree Lighting has been a long standing tradition in Chelsea,” said City Manager Thomas Ambrosino. “Last year’s event was a great success and we’re looking forward to bringing the community together again. Positive momentum is building and I’m pleased at this latest opportunity to draw more people to the area to shop, dine and gather with their neighbors.”

This year’s program includes performances by a choir from the Chelsea High School, Off Broadway Dance Studio, and the Back Bay Bell Ringers.  Everyone will have a chance to support a good cause with crafts for sale from Empty Bowls. Decorate a gingerbread person to eat right away or bring home. Free refreshments will be provided by Chelsea Chamber of Commerce businesses. Bringing back a tradition of years past, Santa is scheduled to make a dramatic entrance courtesy of the Chelsea Fire Department.

“The Chamber is excited for this time of year,” said Chamber Acting President Joe Mahoney.  “In addition to serving our member organizations and supporting the general commerce of Chelsea, we strive to bring positive programming the whole community can enjoy.”

The Tree Lighting Celebration is one of three events kicking off the winter holiday season.  Saturday, Nov. 24 is Small Business Saturday presented by the Chamber and Chelsea Prospers, the City of Chelsea’s downtown initiative, a day to celebrate and support small, locally-owned businesses. The following Saturday, Dec. 1, is the Chamber’s annual Breakfast with Santa event at the Williams School.

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Focusing on Now :New Mural Looks at ‘Chelsea Right Now’

Focusing on Now :New Mural Looks at ‘Chelsea Right Now’

When Chelsea art teacher Demetrius Fuller focuses on the community he has taught in since 1999, he has come to

Demetrius Fuller and Chris Miranda are currently painting a mural on Cherry Street and Everett Avenue. The title of the piece is ‘Chelsea Right Now’ and hopes to get viewers to think about the present community.

focus on the here and now.

And in a new mural he is painting on Cherry Street off of Everett Avenue, he has proclaimed everyone to see ‘Chelsea Right Now.’

While many focus on what Chelsea was, or lament about what it might become, he said very few, including himself, stop to enjoy what it is right now – which is pretty wonderful.

“It’s a mural for Chelsea,” he said. “That’s why we call it ‘Chelsea Right Now.’ Everyone is always talking about Chelsea in the future or what Chelsea used to be, or what it might not be tomorrow, but we just don’t stop to see there is a tremendous beauty in Chelsea present. This mural is about right now and captures what Chelsea is right now.”

The mural is funded by a Cultural Council grant and Fuller said he has not really ever done a mural. As a director of the art department in the Chelsea Schools, he has done painting in the schools and also for backgrounds at the Apollinaire Theatre, but never on a brick building. Known mostly for his teaching and his puppet show theatre productions, he said he needed help.

That’s why he brought his friend, Chris Miranda, in from Pittsburgh. The two of them have been working on the mural since Oct. 22, and it’s garnered a lot of attention.

Miranda said so many people comment on it that he has to sometimes ignore them so he can get his work done.

“I love the comments,” he said. “I’ve been enjoying getting to know this really wonderful City of Chelsea. It has so much character. So many people come up to me when I’m painting. All of them are excited, and sometimes there are so many that I have to just get back to work and let them watch me.”

Fuller said he often has students or parents stop to encourage him, which he enjoys.

“I do really like seeing the kids while I’m painting and for them to see me outside of school,” he said. “That’s good because many of them think the teacher lives at the school. I’m attempting to make something beautiful for the City of Chelsea and I think people appreciate that.”

The mural is still in the detail stages, but one can clearly see the figure of a woman coming out into the sunlight – something that Fuller said he has observed in the Cherry Street alley many times. He said the sun actually comes right through the alley at certain times and makes everything light.

With the Chelsea Square fountain in the background and the Bellingham Square clock – along with several other things – the mural features the women in a “here and now” moment stepping into the sun. As a reference point for the woman, Councilor Judith Garcia posed for the artists to get a sense of how things should look at the “right moment.”

That idea of the sun shining on Chelsea at a particular moment played into the Chelsea Right Now theme, Fuller said.

He said he hopes the mural, when finished, can serve as a reminder for everyone to not miss the great community that exists now for worries of the future or laments for the past.

“It’s like the City sat down for me to paint its portrait,” he said.

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Split Decision:50/50 Night for Reimagining Broadway as Council Wrestles with Legalities

Split Decision:50/50 Night for Reimagining Broadway as Council Wrestles with Legalities

There’s still time to reimagine Broadway.

Or at least a few stretches of the $5 million traffic project city officials have been working on for close to two years.

Monday night, the City Council delivered a split decision on the Reimagining Broadway downtown traffic proposal following a presentation by Alexander Train, the city’s assistant director of planning and director.

The most controversial aspect of the project, converting the section of Broadway from Bellingham Square to Chelsea Square from a one-way street to a two-way street with increased smart traffic signalization at several intersections, was sent back to the Traffic and Parking Commission for revision.

Councillors also opposed, by a narrow margin, the plans for the improvement of the Bellingham Square portion of the project. However, the Council did give its okay to two portions of the proposal tied to Fay and Chelsea Squares themselves.

The debate over Reimagining Broadway included several short recesses as Councillors debated in smaller groups the legality of how the vote was proceeding, and what a split vote would mean for the overall project. City officials kicked off Reimagining Broadway in the beginning of 2017 as a way to improve the downtown streets for motorists, pedestrians, and public transit.

During one of the breaks, a call was made to the City’s legal counsel to make sure the Council could legally split the vote on Reimagining Broadway into four sections, according to District 5 Councillor Judith Garcia. However, legal counsel drew the line at, and the majority of the councillors agreed, that amendments to the four sections beyond what was presented to the Council were not legally in order.

By the end of the evening, there was still some concern as to what the Council had accomplished.

“I just want to be clear on what the Council voted on,” said District 8 Councillor Calvin Brown as Council President Damali Vidot gaveled the two-hour meeting to a close.

“I’m not diminishing the hard work of the City staff, but I am asking that they go back to the drawing board and come back with options A, B, and C,” said Vidot, who voted ‘no’ on each section of the proposal.

Vidot also said she was uncomfortable passing the Reimagining Broadway plan through piecemeal without knowing what that would mean for the project as a whole.

“I don’t know what it means to approve one part and deny another,” she said.

Going back to the drawing board would provide a better opportunity to reach out to Chelsea’s citizens, Vidot said.

“Let’s reach out and do a better job,” she said. “We can do better, let’s go back to the drawing board.”

But Garcia said the time has come to put the plans in motion, especially when it comes to the safety of her constituents.

“I am excited to bring change to Broadway and hopeful of the possibilities it can create in the downtown,” said Garcia. “But one of the key messages we keep forgetting is safety.”

Garcia pointed to the addition of a traffic signal in front of a senior and handicapped housing building at 272 Broadway as one of the safety benefits of the project.

“That is a dangerous intersection,” she said. “When I ran for election in 2015, I promised to try to make is safer for them. Today, what we are being presented with is a concept. What we are voting on today is not set in stone.”

During his presentation, Train stressed that the Council was only giving its okay on conceptual plans.

“There will be more engineering and design details in preparation for construction,” he said. That process would also include more opportunity for public input, as well as plans on how the project would be phased over time to minimize construction impacts for local businesses and residents.

ONE WAY OR TWO?

The most heated debate on the nuts and bolts of Reimagining Broadway itself was easily the proposal to convert Broadway from a one-way to a two-way street from Bellingham Square to Chelsea Square.

Train presented two versions of the plan.

The one recommended to the Council called for 11-½ foot travel lanes in each direction with sidewalks and parking on each side of the street. The second proposal included just a single travel lane with the sidewalks and parking along with a dedicated bicycle lane.

Several councillors, including Vidot, said they were concerned that converting to a two-way street would make Broadway more, not less, dangerous for pedestrians and motorists.

There was also a difference of opinion among councillors, and long-time Chelsea residents, Leo Robinson and Giovanni Recupero, who couldn’t even come to a consensus on whether the road was safe when it was a two-way street in the 1960s.

Robinson, who supported the two-way proposal, said he grew up on Broadway and there was a good flow of traffic on the street at that time.

But Recupero said going back to the past would only make a bad situation worse.

“My constituents do not want it and say it is crazy with traffic already,” he said. “It didn’t work then and I don’t think it will work now.”

Some of the legal wrangling during the evening centered on Councillor-at-Large Roy Avellaneda attempting to strike out some of the language in the proposal, essentially keeping Broadway one-way, but including the traffic lights and other improvements for the road as presented by Train.

“I do not want to support a two-way Broadway, but the residents need and deserve the traffic lights,” said Avellaneda.

But after the call to the city solicitor, the Council voted that Avellaneda’s move to strike language from the initial proposal was the same as an amendment to the proposal.

The two sections of Reimagining Broadway will now go back to the Traffic and Parking Commission for revision before being brought back to the City Council.

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