Consequences of a Curtatone Plan In Somerville

By Arthur Moore

These are the consequences of what the Winter Hill businesses are going through. Owners have had to take out bank loans just to make payroll, they’ve laid off employees, and just covering the rent is a real challenge. They cannot wait for Curtatone to fix the mess he created — some aren’t sure they can even stay open much longer. This why we need to keep staying after city hall. Keep calling 311, make sure they know. Email traffic, ADA and the council. At some point they just won’t be able to ignore the problem the created any more. The longer this takes the longer it will be to recover. This is also such a hardship on people with disabilities too for the stores and where they live. This plan has failed and does not work. Why do we have to keep dealing with it? It’s time to put this plan out of it’s misery. This has gone on too long now.

9 thoughts on “Consequences of a Curtatone Plan In Somerville”

  1. Arthur, you are doing a great job advocating for those who can’t or won’t speak up. Just know that your work is not wasted. There are many who have taken notice and provided feedback to other local constituents. This problem is complicated. I have gained much of my knowledge of what’s coming from my line of work. I knew this was on its way years ago and tried to sound the alarm bells, paid dearly for it, and glad to no longer be there, but unfortunately many residents are held back by fear of retaliation. This can come in ways most would not see unless they had been previously targeted for speaking out for what is clearly wrong. Jobs created equate to votes and without exaggeration, many locals have lived by the rule of “you can’t fight city hall”. Many are busy working and taking care of their families. Their lives are very different from the elite who have more time to work on taking over a 4 mile stretch that will become their own personal playground and they have outnumbered locals at every meeting I have attended and televised. There is a conflict of interest with the councilors as they all have some form of alliance before constituents imo, and with academic institutions that border our city, and the City of Cambridge which are also benefiting from new development projects. That fact cannot be disputed. Also, some have family members working for city hall. In the age of social media, we have been able to get the word out to others, but it’s not enough. I see things from every angle and have studied what’s going on here for decades while once aligned, that was with the previous administration which they forced out to make way for their other employers and donors. They are now beholden to Cambridge/Kendall Sq., and Harvard Sq., and Professors Row. Orders coming from the biggest investors within academia. Their real estate portfolios would prove it. The politicians are being used as pawns in order to finalize the plans for total occupation by the elite who work within our 4 mile city. Ward 4 is slated for demolition in my opinion, to make way for the 230,000,000 dense housing units planned, regionally. They had help finding ways to extract home and business properties and protected by higher politics. There was a meeting last year about lack of parking for incoming apartment high-rise structures planned for Ward 4. One councilor questioned an administrator of Traffic and Parking Office at a meeting held in the chambers. There was very little clarity provided. My impression is they plan to remove more parking in Ward 4 based on my observations and what’s been discussed at city and neighborhood meetings. My advice to everyone is to be persistent with your efforts in holding onto your investments, but think about your future options. Surround yourselves with like minded friends you can trust and professionals in the community. I assure you, there are still some here who will offer some assistance if they can. Not everyone who runs a business here and is tied to this boondoggle is an enemy. They are listening to many unhappy residents and some are also residents as well.

  2. Adult Education classes in Civics, American History, specifically voting- how to vote and why) need to be offered in this rocking community called Somerville. Until that takes place, keep holding your breath.

  3. Notice since September how many of our elected officials are speaking out for the businesses in Winter Hill? The ones elected to represent us? I even got a meeting at city hall with everyone there and who spoke up? Jesse Clingan? His ward. Silence? All I hear is they have no say. That means they can’t speak up for something that is wrong? If I still have free say in the newspapers I will be making sure everyone remembers this when it get near time for the next election. I am going to make sure no one forgets! And I hope anyone who is undecided on running for office please consider it. We are desperate for representation for the taxpayers and residents. I have been in touch with the only person speaking up for us and that is Stephanie Hirsch. Until this I had no clue what kind of person she was. At least she has the courage to speak up for us. And the rest? Not a word. Disgusting.

    1. I had to move out of somerville, My Daughter can not walk, she couldn’t visit my house more than twice a week or she would get a ticket, they told us let her park down on highland ave. which she couldn’t do.

  4. The issues pertaining to Broadway serve as a reminder of a meeting held by several councilors at the Synagogue on Winter Hill, about 2 years ago. It was well attended and residents voiced many of the same concerns. One of the city planner’s fielded questions if he couldn’t answer them himself. You could feel the tension in the room, residents were not happy. The ward councilors 4 and 5 were in attendance as well as one councilor at large taking notes. Overall, the message was that Ward 4 will have the most new housing than the rest of the city to include new apartment buildings and condos, think mini skyscrapers. Also, one of the former OR nutjobs protested for pot shops on every corner of the city, and “not the medical kind”, as well as complaining why Wards 6 and 7 will not have as much multi-unit and dense housing than Ward 4. That question was not answered to anyone’s satisfaction. Hopefully, she remains out of state–the bohemian shill was a menace to our community. My point is– the city administration in my opinion, is not going to do anything to help small business owners operating in this city who are not making hefty donations like the ruling class (condo and lucrative business owners) and their spawn. In fact, I will go so far as to say it just might be an experiment to see when those areas get more customer traction. They will play the game until business owners give up. Look at Davis Sq., as an example. How many businesses have lasted over the past 10 years? It’s been run like a hotel–vacancy signs are frequent and no one stays. If you were living here from 1970- 2000, you would have seen businesses that never left. That’s because the politicians at the time were on the side of the working class constituents– not big business development. That’s how they make so much more money. Think about it from a business perspective. If your costs rise, you need to attract clientele who are willing pay your financial obligations. This is not rocket science folks. The single home landlords are struggling in the same way as business owners and it’s the same diabolical plot that has been going on for years. The devil is in the details. They are not going to admit it to your face, instead they use traffic obstacles to do their dirty work. I wish I had an answer, but hopefully it’s coming in the next election.

    1. W.Worthy That is about what I got maybe ten years ago from someone in the city. Any building was not going to pass unless unless it was part of the city vision. The stupid part is the businesses with those dumb poles for the unused bike lane are in front of a building that is what the city envisions in that corridor. I had come on here to post on this when I saw your post. And you are 100% correct on your post. I know things will change but we could transition much better than this.

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