Somerville Speakup Line:Ball Square Bridge Bullshit

Dear Billy T and Somerville Speakup Line,

It’s absurb the city is agreeing to implement a plan that shuts down traffic through Ball sq. Keeping ONE lane open would make a world of difference. Someone mentioned a figure of 1M – impeding every commuters work trip for one year will make cost far more than 1M in lost time and labor hours. Imagine what police details alone are going to cost, to direct and manage traffic thru side streets in both the east and west direction??? If one lane of traffic were kept open, one police detail could handle the traffic in both directions and there would be relatively small amounts of traffic electing to take side streets as opposed to being forced into diverting to side streets. In Maine, they took down an entire overpass in the fall, and built a new overpass that was open ‘ahead of schedule’ in the spring. One lane of traffic could handle the morning commuting traffic, and still allow traffic to flow west. The planners really screwed this one up – but the real question is how many ways does the City show total disregard for the residents? The transfer tax? The ludicrious condo conversion guidelines proposed with no exemption for long term owner occupants, no exemption for small property owners who own a 2 family or a 3 family and resides in that property? The 1st right of refusal WITH right to assign. All these measures screw the long term small property owner while taking a huge bite out of your equity. The city is deliberately creating a hostile environment where the pool of buyers for your property is minimized, the value of your real estate damaged, and the city comes in and buys your property at a hugely discounted price. All good for Mayor Joe’s affordable housing campaign. Each measure proposed is strategically orchestrated to help the city buy private properties at a fire sale price. Kiss your equity goodbye – count of getting hundreds of thousands less when the city places such restrictive regulations that potential buyers will be running for the Medford Hillside to buy there and put their real estate dollars into property that they have the freedom to do what they want.

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