By Jack Connolly
It’s no secret businesses in Davis Square, and throughout the area, are suffering and CLOSING brought on by the chaos caused by the Covid 19 virus.
Look at who are closed now in Davis sq.; Somerville Theatre, the Rosebud Diner, the Painted Burro, Dunkin Donuts, Sligo Pub, Spoke, Au Bon Pain, and the Rite-Aid pharmacy is closed, complete with graffiti tags.
Despite the severe economic disaster caused by Covid, Somerville City Hall transportation folks are touting a program to remove dozens of PARKING Spaces on College Ave and Holland St Where? On College Ave from the T stop to Morrison Avenue, and on Holland Street from the T stop all the way past Orleans to Irving Street.
Why you ask? City planners wan the T to make way for a dedicated bike lane that would take people around Davis Square and eliminate short term parking year-round.
What a slap in the face to the hundreds of residents (myself included), businesses, City and state planners, all united as the Davis Sq. Task Force. These intrepid individuals all spent years trying to bring people and progress to Davis Square; And who also planned and monitored the construction of the Red Line T stop in 1984, and then re-developed the square block by block after the opening of the Red Line T stop.
It defies the bounds of comprehension, what with already overburdened shops and businesses struggling to stay open, and trying to claw their way back to solvency post Covid, would anyone want to make it more difficult for clients, customers, diners, and shoppers to come back to Davis Square?
Let’s hit the pause button on this parking removal madness idea and let’s take care of fixing the neglected problems of the patched and crumbling crosswalks, loose bricks, curbing and tree wells, so that all of us will be safer, especially for elderly and anyone with disabilities’, navigating in and around Davis Square.
Time now for SOMERVILLE to declare a moratorium on this PARKING REMOVAL PROGRAM disguised as what the City calls a Transportation Mobility Improvement Project.
Time also to bring back the Davis Square Task Force, where businesses, residents, AND city officials can meet together and plan how we can both come out of Covid, return Davis Sq.to a day and night destination for people coming to the Square, and NOT around it.
By Jack Connolly
Business/property owner and Davis Sq, resident;
Long-time Somerville Ward Six Alderman and Alderman at Large