by @BarryRafkind in Beat Reporter, Civic Action, Environment and Open Space, Schools and Youth, Teele Square, Ward 7
Posted on November 9, 2010 at 2:31 pm
Last Modified on November 11, 2010 at 12:54 pm
Last night, I was the only member of the public to attend a City planning meeting for the renovation of the North Street Playground.
Even Ward 7 Alderman Bob Trane was a no-show in favor of a different meeting the same night. The staff there surmised that perhaps many folks were not aware of the playground, or were confusing it with the play structure inside the SHA complex next door. Of course, it didn’t help that the flyer location had the wrong address for the West Somerville Neighborhood School (117 Powderhouse Blvd instead of 177) and although many of the local residents speak Spanish or Portuguese, the flyers were only in English. There was also the PHCS Focus Group meeting in another room at the school, so perhaps some folks decided to go there instead.
Staff also mentioned residents’ concerns about crime and drugs in the park. Apparently, trouble makers keep opening holes in the fence at the back of the park so they can run out if police come by. Perhaps improved lighting will deter illicit activity and make residents feel safer here.
Renovations will be funded by federal Community Development Block Grant funds due to the demographics of the neighborhood. I hope residents will hear about and attend future meetings because we should not give up our chance to determine how this vital neighborhood asset will be transformed.
[photos above were taken from Google maps]