Community meeting needed about Centre/South proposals

Sandra Storey

The Centre/South Street Corridor Advisory Group, along with Boston Redevelopment Authority and Boston Transportation Department staff and consultants McMahon Associates, have worked very hard for a year to develop design proposals for the corridor and several “nodes” along it. The public meetings, which are set to end soon, have been well attended. The plans the group devised for the streets between Forest Hills and Jackson Square are creative and interesting. The Gazette has announced the meetings and covered the entire process and plans thoroughly.

All of that said, there is a missing piece: community-wide input. After seeing a drawing of the advisory group’s vision of a drastically redesigned monument area at their last meeting, many members of the Jamaica Plain Business and Professional Association board of directors, voiced surprise. Who knows how others might react or are privately reacting to various proposals for the long corridor right now?

Lots of people—residents and business people—want and deserve a voice in how the “living room” of the neighborhood functions and looks. Some elements of design have been controversial even at the smaller meetings. All the work of the advisory group is in danger of becoming useless without showing it to the entire community, taking questions and asking for some consensus that they should be pursued. At least one full-scale community meeting needs to be held to discuss the results of the process-so-far before this phase of the process comes to a successful end.

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