By William Tauro
Mayor Curtatone has an illuminated sign that has been stationed at the intersection of McGrath Highway at Highland Avenue that reads ‘Loyal to Local”, yeah right, more like practice what you preach Joe!
These photos are of Union Square today with already closed down and ready to close down businesses that are customer starved due to the mayor’s visions of taking away hundreds of needed parking spaces. The mayor has and still is installing sixteen foot to twenty foot (16’ to 20‘) sidewalks. Why do we need 16’ to 20‘ sidewalks in Union Square, Broadway and on Beacon Street?
When you destroy existing sidewalks and install 16’ to 20‘ sidewalks of course it looks great, but it eliminates hundreds of crucially needed parking spaces.
Instead of increasing on more needed parking spaces for the business owners for their needed customers in which their livelihood desperately depends on,. This need is crucial and depended on for our local businesses, residents and especially for our seniors who depend on the need to park for themselves and their families to do every day simple tasks and necessary things like shopping, laundry, doctor visits and just everyday living which the mayor’s administration has deprived them of over the years.
The mayor is using Chapter 40B which institutes no freedom of movement with automobiles. Chapter 40B is a state statute, which enables local Zoning Boards of Appeals to approve affordable housing developments under flexible rules if at least 20-25% of the units have long-term affordability restrictions like an “Automobile Free Zone!” And by the way the board of appeals members are appointed by the mayor.
Parking is an important part of living in Somerville. As it goes for the discussions on dedicated bus and bike lanes, yes I’m for them, but to an extent. I feel that the bus and bike lanes can share the same lane and in a timely schedule and we must share the roads with a fair balance of needed parking spaces so that the residents and business owners of Somerville can utilize and survive as well.
What was the reasoning for the closures of the McGrath Highway Overpass and the tunnel beneath it? That particular overpass that supplied much needed customer traffic coming from Interstate Route 93 and the tunnel beneath supplied crucially needed customer traffic from Cambridge? Both the ramp and tunnel were routes needed to feed business owners and residents of Somerville and especially in Ward 2 where several businesses were severely affected and forced to shut down. Was the closures part of a politically motivated scheme? We will have to wait and see what the federal government thinks of it.
This administration also was responsible for the closure and doom of all the removed needed and depended on parking spaces along McGrath Highway in Somerville on Medford Street.
My philosophy is simple that if “I can’t drive there, I won’t do business there.” Let us remember that local businesses pay taxes and relieve the burden on the property owners. Its simple math, no business forces the property and homeowners of Somerville to pay more. Let’s use our heads here and wake up.
In the end after the shopkeepers close their businesses, file for bankruptcy and move out of the city the ripple effects of doom ultimately occurs and of course the politically connected/favored developers pick up the properties for pennies on the dollar. Just ask the mayor’s development partner. You know who I’m referring to, the former Ward 5 Alderman/attorney who has been scooping up all the distressed Somerville properties for their own personal gain.
Mayor Joe has been taking away the people’s rights for over a decade now and it’s time for a well needed change here in Somerville.