The Jamaica Pond Association (JPA) met virtually on December 7, where members discussed various issues affecting the neighborhood.
JP BAPA Update
JPA Michael Reiskind provided an update on the Jamaica Plain Business and Professional Association (BAPA), which talked about decorating for the holiday season at its last meeting.
This year, the holiday light show using the projector purchased last year will be projected onto the tower of the First Baptist Church on Centre St., and Centre/South Main Streets has received a grant that will allow them to offer “free delivery for all retail stores in the Centre/South district,” Reiskind said.
The JPA has previously spoken out against the proposed MBTA cuts, and member Franklyn Salimbene said he attended the rally on Veterans Day at the Health St. stop, where City Councilors Kenzie Bok, Matt O’Malley, and Michelle Wu, along with State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz and Rep. Ayanna Pressley spoke against the cuts. The JPA has been particularly utspoken against the E line ending at Brigham Circle.
Salimbene said that the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board has been holding a series of community hearings for people to hear about the plan and make comments or ask questions. The vote on the cuts was supposed to take place in early December, but has since been postponed to February.
Salimbene said that he thinks a vaccine will “begin to turn around the loss of ridership as people begin to move around again…”
JPA Chair Rosemary Jones said that as a retired social worker, she wrote a two page letter about “who can get transportation outside of the MBTA system,” and how difficult it is to board a crowded 39 bus for service past Brigham Circle, particularly for veterans who receive care at the VA medical center by the Health St. station.
Bynner St. Traffic Calming
The JPA has been working towards several traffic calming measures on Bynner St. to alleviate some of the issues that have been going on in the area. Bruce Fleischer reported that the City has “okayed” resident parking on Bynner St. and several other streets in the area.
There was a recent meeting concerning traffic calming in the area, and Fleischer said that a representative from the Boston Transportation Department proposed the elimination of three parking spaces “going down to the Jamaicaway so people could make a right turn and kind of form another lane,” he said. “It was a solution in search of a problem.”
He said that turning right was not the problem, and said that the “lights are way too short on Bynner St.” He said that Bynner St. and the Jamaicaway are regulated by different entities, so he hopes that the timing of the lights could be revisited again.
He said this is “clearly not where we want to be…why did they come up with this solution that nobody asked for and doesn’t really help?”
He said that “we’re far from done around this,” and there was a decent amount of participation from neighbors on this issue.
Lindsey Santana from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services said that signage indicating resident parking will be put up this month, and she will be flyering Bynner St. a week before. After the signage goes up, there will be a 90 day trial. She said she wanted ‘to make it clear that it is a trial, because people have issues with the left turn signal.” She said she has also talked to the Boston Transportation Department and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (which is responsible for the Jamaicaway) about the timing of the lights.
Another part of the discussion revolved around speed bumps, which some said the City gave “excuses” like that dire trucks and snow plows have issues getting over them. But members said that they exist on other streets in the neighborhood, and JPA member Kevin Moloney said that that reasoning is “baloney.”
Councilor O’malley Not Seeking Re-Election
Councilor Matt O’Malley announced at the end of the month that he would not be seeking re-election, and the JPA voted to send a letter to O’Malley thanking him for his “various good works over his ten year term,” drafted by Franklyn Salimbene and Kevin Moloney.
Moloney said that O’Malley’s work on pond improvements, the library, and other issues throughout the city have been commendable.
“He’s been helpful in discussions of extending the green line beyond Heath St. to Hyde Square…” Salimbene said,, and “I appreciate his leadership on banning plastic bags,” Rosemary Jones added.