I am writing on behalf of the Boston Transportation Department and the Boston Redevelopment Authority to thank the JP Gazette for your coverage of the ongoing Centre/South Streets Transportation Action Plan process. In part, our intent is to respond to your August 13, 2010 editorial titled “Community meeting needed about Centre/South Street proposals.”
The Jamaica Plain community has benefited greatly from the Gazette’s exhaustive reporting on the proposals for Hyde and Monument Squares and for a plan to accommodate bicycles in the corridor. Your coverage has been fair, detailed and, by publishing illustrations of the designs, has exponentially increased community awareness of the process. The design proposals that have emerged are a direct response to the suggestions and comments made by the community at large at well-attended public meetings. As such, the proposals will transform the Centre and South corridor in a direction that reflects the aspirations and needs of the Jamaica Plain community.
We would, however, like to comment on your editorial. You state that community-wide input is missing as there have been no full-scale public meetings. In fact, all the meetings were widely advertised (including through ads in the Gazette), held at community facilities spread at different locations along the corridor and, most importantly, extremely well attended. In addition, special outreach efforts were made to small businesses, which are key to the vitality of the corridor. At their invitation, a special presentation on Monument Square was made to the JP Business and Professional Association executive committee and comments made by members were incorporated in the design.
The City has received kudos for a well organized and open public process. We will continue to maintain our high standards of an open and transparent process as two additional community meetings are held later this fall.
Thomas J. Tinlin, Commissioner
Boston Transportation Department