Hundreds of residents came out on a hot humid July 28 to be part of the future of Washington Street. The BRA hosted an open house to kick off its year long Washington Street corridor planning study.
The house was packed. It was 5:45 pm. It was a hot steamy July evening. But the crowds came out anyway.
The Jamaica Plain News could barely squeeze through the door of the Brookside Neighborhood Health Center community room to attend the open house for what the BRA intends as the start of a year long study for the Future of Washington Street.
Enthusiasm and energy were high. Ideas flowed. Optimism was in the room. Here is a sampling of what the Jamaica Plain News saw last night.
Roxbury real estate broker Sharif Abdul-Khalaq looks over the information table.
Boston Revelopment Authority
The study area. From the BRA Washington St planning study website http://bit.ly/PlanJPRox
Boston redevelopment Authority/
Close up of the planning area at Forest Hills. The map is a tad outdated..
Boston Redelopment Authority
Close up of the study area at Egleston Square The study area line takes a jog down Columbus Avenue and ends at the branch library.
Marie Mercurio. Senior BRA Planner for Jamaica Plain will lead the study
A serious oversight was that all the handout maps and charts were in Spanish only. None were available in English when the JPNews arrived at 5:45. A BRA staffer told the News that the charts were on the BRA website but they could not be located. The only charts in English were on easels.
Marie Mercurio set the tone for the work right off. She stood in the center of the crowded hall for three hours listening, answering questions ,noting suggestions and allaying concerns. She was pleasant, patient and polite.
BRA staff were sprinkled throughout the open house ; stationed at each chart and circulating around. Carolyn Royce listens to Gerald Autler BRA institutional planner
Hughes Montestine senior planner for Roxbury talks with Pam Bender of MACDC.
All the charts were open for anyone to add comments. No one hesitated to express their thoughts and ideas/
Residents wrote their thoughts and added diagrams right on the charts.
Luis Cotto ,director of Egleston Square Main Streets ,talks with a resident.
Renter advocate activist and videographer Helen Matthews talks with Hannah Hastings from Sen Chang Diaz office and Giovanny Valencia of JPNDC
Hughes Montestine and Maria Christina Blanco of City Life
Leslie Bos director of real estate at JPNDC makes a point with her counterpart at Urban Edge director of real estate Jeremy Wilkening (L) Luis Cotto at right.
Liana Poston staff from Rep Liz Malia's office and Hannah Hastings staff from Senator Sonia Chang Diaz. Rep Malia was the only elected official to personally attend the open house.
Shiela Dillon,director of DND. She was one of Mayors Walsh representatives on the Urban Land Institute survey of the Washington Street corridor last March 31- April 2. Its report was the impetus for the Washington Street planning study.