I read the article in the April 2 edition of the JP Gazette about plans for structural changes in JP by the Centre/South Action Plan advisory group. In it, the advisory group talks about a “possibly dramatic redesign of Monument Square, and talked about wider sidewalks, less parking…” No local business person ever wants to hear there will be less parking around their business location. Why? Fewer customers if they can’t park their cars!
My father drove a fire engine for Boston and complained to me years ago when the city made the larger sidewalk curves at the corners of some streets. He said it was very difficult to turn the fire trucks around those curves jutting into the street’s intersections.
Now there are plans to totally change the way Monument Square is currently set up. This is nothing but foolishness! All emergency vehicles must be able to get around to arrive at the emergency. Fire trucks, police vehicles, ambulances, etc., must not be deterred from getting to their destinations in the quickest amount of time. To close off one side of the Monument on Centre Street to connect a walkway to the church is, as John Iappini called out at a meeting, “absurd.”
And absurd it is! There are some parking spaces along one side of the monument. They would be gone. To not be able to continue driving on Centre Street up to the Jamaicaway is absurd! Does this planning committee think that everyone is now going to drive up South Street to Forest Hills in order to get back onto Centre Street and the Jamaicaway? What about the buses? They need to turn there.
The only addition that I think should be placed in front of the church at the monument is a new glass kiosk for the people waiting at the bus stop. We do not need these planners making a big deal out of lots and lots of walking space, plants and outdoor cafes for Jamaica Plain. It is much too small, and we need safety first, not catering to people that travel on bikes. Will bike riders support our economy?