Friends of the
Community Path -- meeting -- Minutes August 7, 2001
New members: Tim Maher, Philip Chonacky, Michael and Maureen Johnston, Gabriel Ostriker
Other members attending:
Joel Bennett, Lynn Weissman, John Mann, Bob Kindel, Jessie
Strickgold-Sarah, Turil Cronburg, Bill Lanford, Kindra Crick, Andy Oakland
1. Art Beat was a
great success. We have 500 postcards for 3 politicians; 70 people signed in,
with 50 revealing e-mail addresses [indicating willingness to be recruited]
Suggestion was made to produce a superset list. A cover
letter could say: "Here's all the people who signed at least one postcard
- we had too many people waiting in line to insist that they fill out 3
identical cards each." However (according to another view), we don't have
a right to assume every signer would approve our distributing their names to
people for whom they did not actually address a card. So we agreed to tell the
recipients, via the same letter [above], just the total number of unique
signers. No one was assigned this action directly, although it falls into Item
5 under heading "unnamed group to approach political leaders."
Suggestions were made to extend the publicity: posters in
shop windows, photo of a couple of kids in front of a wall of postcards,
color-copy scrapbook to alderman showing all the kids' postcards.
2. Spice of Life,
Union Square, September 23 (raindate Sept. 30) is somewhat similar to Art
Beat although its focus is ethnic diversity and it is a younger event (just 2
years). Joel registered our group to have a booth, which we approved at tonight’s meeting. This year's
special event at Spice of Life is a bike parade. Details will be addressed next
3. Should we
cooperate (exchange support) with other groups such as the MetroWest people
trying to get the Cochichuate Trail built? Consensus is yes, because we can
exchange useful information, names of useful and important contacts, increase
our perceived presence in mind of state representatives, and so on. (Joel
Bennett will email us information about the Cochichuate Trail.)
(Somerville chapter) mission is to promote green space acquisition and use.
They nterested in distributing our materials at a booth that they plan to set
up on the existing Path. They are doing
significant plantings at the existing Path on October 18-20; other events
planned. Contact name is Jennifer Hill. Consensus is agreement to work with
them, non-specifically. Lisa Brukilacchio is as always a knowledgeable
contact.(FYI, she no longer works for the city)
were named and several people volunteered:
- Publicity: Tim Maher, Turil Cronburg, Lynn Weissman
- Website: Jessie Stickgold, Kindra Crick, Phillip Chonacky, Turil Cronburg,
- Spokesperson: Lynn Weissman
- Research: John Mann, Andy Oakland, Phillip Chonacky
- Coordinator: Joel Bennett
- A group will approach political leaders (e.g., Birmingham, Shannon,
Capuano), draft postcards cover letter.
- John Mann (chair of this group), Maureen Johnston, Tim Maher will find out from leaders' aides how best to approach making contact, call Pat Jehlen, etc.
The suggestion was made that we create an Outreach
Committee, notably to contact and recruit East Somerville people. (Possibly the
Spice of Life festival will suffice??)
6. Miscellaneous Contacts,
Information and Discussion:
- Steve Mackey, Somerville Chamber of Commerce
- (find some people / groups in East Somerville)
- The first 25% of design costs are typically used / earmarked for discovering the real problems (which the feasibility study does not necessarily uncover). For a $130K design this means $32.5K. The City's pledge of $30K for design is a state block grant and must be used for benefit of East Somerville. A suggestion was made to raise some funds (say, $20K) for benefit of West Somerville and thereby apply both to the path.
- Perhaps design firms know where to go for funding, since they depend on those sources.
- Is there a deadline by which the City must use the $30K
earmarked for East Somerville?
7. MBTA Green Line
relationship with Path is a key point of interest. Andy talked to a Laurie
Siegall [sp?] who indicated (based on knowledge of some kind--?) that the MBTA
route to Tufts was hypothetical only, no money even to study. A member expressed
fear that MBTA could hold off bike path for years by simply holding out
possibility, without taking any action, of the Green Line extension.
8. Cambridge Health
Alliance (CHA) owns land between VNA's Assisted Living place off Lowell
Street and Central Street, along the south side of the MBTA Lowell commuter
Right of Way. The planned CHA meeting has been postponed and a new date is not
assigned. CHA is expected to request permission to cover the entire lot with
parking, to which FCP will assert its need for reserved portion for Community
Materials could include buttons, sticky labels, bumper stickers, icons for
others' Web sites, and so on. Turil Cronburg will provide a rendition for these
10. City of
Somerville does not meet requirements to apply for the DEM grant of $50K.
design is our main and most important objective at the moment. Joel has
obtained information from Tim Baldwin, Executive Director of MassBike, who has
a very large folder of potential grants. There are $10K grants available from
BikesBelong . We discussed whether to go for state or private funding,
consensus = "both" or more accurately "all." Research
Committee will seek information from political leaders about State sources. One
option is simply a budget line item in the annual state budget. It is believed
that State funding is "very hard to get" and that local community
must ante 25% in any case. Private funding can help (must help) provide this
25%. Everett and Malden are developing a "Bike to the Sea" initiative
based wholly on private funding, apparently for plaques and other publicity.
A suggestion was made that since Somerville's $30K is
earmarked for East Somerville, that a segment of the path be begun at that end.
There was some support for this, as well as for, more generally, attempting to
recruit East Somerville supporters and members, and discover East Somerville's
needs and priorities.
A point was made that for private grants we need to be
non-profit, a 501c3. We can link under another 501c3 to make it easy on
ourselves, although not everyone finds this sort of dependence to their liking,
so maybe we'll get our own 501c3 papers.
12. Action items
- Joel Bennett will talk with Cambridge Bicycle Committee to encourage them to start planning there path where ours ends at the Somerville/Cambridge line.
- Joel will get a list of businesses from Steve Mackie at the Chamber of Commerce
- Tim Maher and Gabriel Ostriker will find places to display posters, distribute leaflets, etc. and create a list suitable for long-term use (e.g. City Hall, Library, coffee shops, bike shops…)
- Committees will meet as needed
- Kindra will bring her letter of
reply from Senatot Birmingham re: funding to our our next meeting
13. Next Meeting
Thursday, September 13, 7 pm. Place TBA.
- Joel Bennett wrote to MassHighway suggesting the $1.5 M for pedestrian crossings of McGrath would be better spent on Community Path
- Assisted Living facility on Lowell Street has offered a
meeting room for our use.