Stop the antenna work without some planning

We were both thankful for and alarmed by John Ruch’s informative article on the profusion of cell phone poles and antennas planned for Centre Street (JP Gazette, Sept. 12, “Dozens of antennas coming to JP streets”).

It’s indicative of the lack of care NextG Networks has put into this project that the company spokesman stated he was confused as to “what constitutes the neighborhood of JP” and that he “did not think utility poles were planned for JP.” As cited in the article, three antenna poles have already been installed. To make matters even worse, the one in front of JP House of Pizza near the Monument on Centre Street is planted right next to an old street lighting fixture and two ancient trolley poles. Are we about to throw more obstacles into our sidewalks without bothering to remove unused relics from 50 years ago?

Clearly, instead of planning and coordination to avoid chaos, the City has simply brokered a deal that puts money in its pocket at the expense of the kind of improved road and walkways that now thankfully grace many business districts in this city, including the mayor’s own neighborhood of Hyde Park. Where is the master design plan for JP’s Centre Street? It is no secret that JP has for many years been requesting the same kind of uniform, architecturally compatible double- acorn lighting fixtures enjoyed by people in Hyde Park, Roslindale and the South End. Now, not only has the City once again thumbed its nose at our request, but has also struck a commercial franchising deal that will bring even more thoughtless ugliness to JP.

We call for an immediate halt to NextGs Network’s project and a review of this gross mismanagement by the City. We further call for a standing committee that will plan with consideration for all factors of safety, commerce and beautification in our neighborhood. The City must commence a legitimate, all-inclusive public process before any further haphazard “improvements” occur on Centre Street. JP deserves better!

Anastasia and Will Lyman
Jamaica Plain

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