Letter: Too much development

As a 46-year resident of JP and a 16-year resident of Montebello Road until I was summarily evicted by a new property owner who falsely claimed he was moving in in 1999 and who promptly (after putting a lamp and a table in the living room for a few weeks to make it look like there was someone there) raised the rent from my $750 to $1500 dollars, I am once again furious at the incredible amount of gentrification happening along the Washington Street corridor.

The new 5 and 6-story buildings being proposed and constructed to allow for “urban density” are only creating an atmosphere of fear, lost housing opportunities for long-term residents and families and an urban canyon along Washington Street in order to provide the new “tech class” of urban dwellers with convenient, cool JP condos.

Washington Street spent over 60 years covered by the dank, wet, dark Orange Line, which served the community well but was ugly as sin until it was finally torn down and replaced in the hard-fought for Southwest Corridor (although the promises to provide a light rail to Dudley never materialized and they are still having to deal with the heavy traffic of buses and cars).  We have been lucky to have the Orange Line, with all its faults.

However, this new density at Montebello Road (proposed), Green Street (proposed) and the far end of Washington Street at Forest Hills (two huge developments in construction and ground being broken for another), is not for working people, the working poor or people of color or seniors, in general.  It is to serve the needs of the developers and the City of Boston.

The bridge at Forest Hills provided an easy overpass and reduced the traffic burden at Forest Hills, while providing those city residents from Dorchester, Mattapan, Quincy, Milton and many South Shore communities access to their jobs and their sick families in the very busy and important hospital district.

Now, those folks are burdened with having to stop in a part of the city in which they have no business to attend to but would rather find their way home in the most efficient manner, which was to go over a bridge and we in JP are burdened with incredible amounts of idling traffic fumes, long lines on our side streets of McBride, Williams, Brookley Road, Forest Hills Street onto Morton Street, not to mention along South Street, Washington Street and Hyde Park Avenue.

When will this end? When will the greed of the developers and the cheapness of the state of Massachusetts and the willingness of the City of Boston to overcrowd come to an end?

I am not opposed to some new housing density…but let’s keep it to 4-stories that include sizable, really affordable family units for

working people (who still need $15 for a minimum wage) and not cater to the needs of just those who are making higher salaries in the medical, technical, financial fields that are now the new base of the Boston economy, while the people who wait on them, clean their houses, take care of their children are pushed out.

This is my moment to rant as I read online that another project is being proposed on Washington/Montebello Road. Just ridiculous and greedy.

Sara Driscoll

Jamaica Plain resident

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