Minutes from 10 July 2001

 

Attending: Joel, MaryAnn, Jessie, Kindra, Bill, Turil, John, Karen, Ron

 

1. Update: Cambridge Health Alliance lot on Central Street

 

Joel reports that Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) wishes to expand its parking lot at Central Street, on part of the route of the proposed Community Path. Here is what Jeff Levine wrote:

 

On July 19, 2001 at 6:30 pm. in the Third Floor Conference Room at City Hall, the Planning Board will hear a proposal by the Cambridge Health Alliance to expand their parking lot at 112A Central Street.

 

As you may know, that parcel includes a key section of the Community Path and would allow the existing path to be extended to Central Street. Planning Staff has asked the Cambridge Health Alliance to look at providing that segment of the path that is on their land as mitigation for the expansion of the parking lot.

 

If anyone is interested in testifying at this meeting please come. If you can't make it, written testimony is also welcome up to the date of the meeting. Note that the Planning Board is not the final permit-granting authority in this case; the Zoning Board of Appeals is. However, the Planning Board and Planning staff opinions figure strongly into the Zoning Board's decisions.

 

The 'good news' is that we can thereby finalize getting the path segment committed.

 

Ron mentioned that we can also attend the Planning Board meeting no one assigned to determine place and time.

 

Some discussion about whether any aspect of the parking lot expansion is appropriate, given the loss of green space and the additional auto traffic into the interior of Somerville why would CHA not run the shuttle to MBTA stops instead (or in addition)?

- It was decided that Friends of the Community Path should focus on path acquisition, and let others engage on the other issues.

- Turil suggested that a letter (as Jeff invited) should be sent to the Planning Board, in addition to our attendance.

 

2. Review of Action Items from prior meeting(s):

 

         Andy cannot make the Art Beat sign after all. Determined that John will provide support structure and Kindra will paint the sign on cloth. Joel will provide grommeting materials/tools and John will supply ropes, twine, etc., to mount sign on structure. Sign will be overhead and resemble "fonts" as on brochure prepared by Turil.

         John (in terms of making contact with Mass Highway) has engaged in phone tag with Bill Lyons, no further progress.

         Brochure is coming along very well, both graphics and text. Some discussion of MAP for brochure and/or for Art Beat suggestions to highlight key points such as Library, East Somerville, Galleria Mall (!) Discussion of Assabet Valley's reportedly excellent work on their trail project (signs, advertisements, etc.).

         A URL "pathfriends.org" has been reserved and there is commitment of space for containing the Web site. Jessie will continue and create the site, getting help as needed. Desirable to have a minimal site by Art Beat, with improvements possible thereafter.

         Charter School: No contact, the school is closed for the summer, Joel will provide contact information for Jessie to continue.

         Postcard: Discussion of Who Is The Addressee? This can be postponed since we will collect and hand-deliver them. But we decided the City of Somerville and an appropriate Massachusetts legislator are good destinations. Idea is to arm our allies with numbers / weight of paper that they can present, rather than leave them without concrete, factual "ammo" in their debates.

With respect to Letters to Massachusetts legislators: Kindra reports that Senator Birmingham replied with a significant reply, to wit: "Great! I am an avid biker myself! The State has earmarked $2-$3M for this KIND of project get in there and compete for your share lobby your cause! Mayor must be one of the lobbyists.

 

We concluded that it is time to quickly find out how / who to lobby, but there was no action item established. City is applying for $50K for design. Unlikely to get all or even most of it. Some discussion about using Somerville Journal and Somerville Community News for publicity.

3. Art Beat

 

         Decided not to participate in parade

         Assigned table times: Saturday 11-7, rain date Sunday.

Time

Name

Other

11-1

Joel

Bill, Ron to help setup; Ron; John to set up sign

1-3

John

 

3-5

Karen

 

5-7

Jessie

Ron and John to help take down

         Joel has a pass for one auto to enter Davis Square if needed

         Table is standard 6' x 30" table; will be adjacent to Somerville Bike Committee which will use less than their whole table.

         We will sell bike maps, show a large path map with photos, copies of Rizzo report, Money box, house maps (in book form)

         Materials will be brought by various people organized almost as well as needed

         Jeff Levine suggested not displaying any photo proving trespassing we need to stay squeaky clean in any political situation

         Contributions will be accepted Account to be obtained in a bank, Ron to investigate Wainwright's policies. Account name to be "Friends of Community Path"

         To find our table, see Event management at a table near Somerville Theater

 

4. Assigning key roles tabled until after Art Beat

 

5. Action items: Not reviewed at end. Minutes taker will do better next time. Emails (especially letter from Birmingham) to be shared. Art Beat dominated action items, remainder not firmly addressed.

 

6. Next meeting Tuesday, 7 August.