|It didn't take long. Comments are beginning to come out quietly - concern, confusion, a feeling that something's wrong.
Don Walsh, longterm member of Dorchester Bay, asked recently:
"Why is St. Kevin's being allowed to go forward when an Upham's Corner
Planning Initiative is underway? It needs to be considered as
part of the planning, not as a fete compli."
Larry Fabian wrote into UC News with a response to the St. Kevin's
project that reflects visionary thinking about Upham's Corner first and
St. Kevin's second.
At the St. Kevin's meeting, we all agreed that parking was the number
one problem in Upham's Corner, but that's not true. Cars are the
problem. They create traffic, traffic jams, air pollution and a
need for parking spaces.
The corner of Bird Street and Columbia Road is the quintessential
example of the type of traffic problem you find everywhere in Upham's
Corner. Parents drop their kids off to go to Bird Street and pick
them up. Buses stop there for the afterschool and summer programs. People
come to the Library and the Health Center. There is ABSOLUTELY no
parking for anyone at the Municipal Building.
The funeral home on the other side has NO parking. So patrons park on both sides of
Bird Street preventing two-way traffic from flowing. You can say
the cause is a lack of enforcement (that's what we said at the
meeting), but it's not true! The police could come and disperse
the crowd of mourners, but where would they go? Where would they
park their cars?
St. Kevin's will include 0.6 parking spaces per unit, residents are
concerned that it's not enough, that cars will spill out into Virginia
Street. So we are still thinking "addiction." You have to
provide for the addiction to cars.
Even if the parking spaces are behind the building, it will still be an
additional 40 (!) cars and we can't move around in Upham's Corner as it
Is anybody listening? Are we all lulled into thinking more cars will work? It won't.
Kevin's developers and area residents are sincerely engaged in the concern / intervention
community process. We think that residential
development means buildings, people, cars, more traffic, more density, so we
accept the standard design approaches and hope for minimal damage.
Fabian, urban planner, is thinking differently.
He gives us a refreshing approach, promoting a revolutionary idea - no cars
– a car-free St. Kevin's with transportation support services as part of living
there. Furthermore, he suggests a Green Upham's defined with the use of visionary and creative urban
We need to start now BEFORE St.
Kevin's is cast into irreversible form.
Read Larry's Letter. What are your thoughts?
|LET'S MAKE UPHAMS GREEN!
Fri, Apr 22, 2011 at 5:20 PM
Make St. Kevin's an autofree zone. And certainly no SUVs! Get
Jane Howard a grant to study state-of-the-art zoning guidance on
auto-free urban zones. An early legal check for defense against
AAA-type challenges would be wise.
Only tenants and owners committed to not owning a car. Ample
maintained and secured pedestrian ways are provided. Min. 2 zipcar
spaces and easy membership. In-house ride-sharing assistance. Maybe a
special Uphams Shuttle?
Create a carefully designed and managed drop/off siding on Columbia for
vans, taxis, UPS trucks, etc. Tow for other parkers. This becomes the
primary access point for auto-free Uphams Green.
Consider closing Davern to Columbia. Study fire safety of whole complex
and surroundings because public safety must be optimized.
Does it not make sense to plan jointly with Pilgrim Church? Why not
design a good venue for a "resale" (aka flea) market that seems to
happen there almost naturally and and helps many people. Shouldn't we
provide public space for it and expand with a food/ farmer's market?
The developer's Traffic and Parking analysis area must to enlarged to
include Columbia/Hancock prefreably to Bird and Dudley. And why not the
parking behind the old bowling alley? There and UC's other hidden
parking lots hardly gets used. We should ban parking on these streets
and utilize the extensive lots that exist. And clearly UC needs parking
and traffic management. Where is Main Street's plan of action?