The following letter was sent to the Jamaica Hills Association and Jamaica Pond Association
I was shocked to learn that you sent a letter to the DCR commissioner regarding the Arborway redesign project. Upon reading the letter I was disappointed (but not surprised) to learn that it espouses exclusionary, anti-pedestrian, anti-cyclist agendas alongside other generic NIMBY tropes.
What's more, this letter and its signatories purport to represent the public at large in some way, citing a "jurisdiction" and some official mandate. This could not be further from the truth, given the tenuous ad hoc nature of your groups and their self-appointed authority over arbitrary and sometimes overlapping areas.
The Arborway redesign project went through a rigorous, years-long, highly involved, and well attended community process, in which voices of the entire community were heard. You were part of this process and had ample opportunity to have your voice heard.
Your voice was, in fact, heard, yet the community at large decided to go another way that was more equitable and environmentally aware. The choice of the alternative design at the end of this process represents the voice of the community at large. We sometimes call this "democracy."
The fact that you now aim to undermine this community process is despicable. It is even more abhorrent that you should have such a lack of respect for the community process itself.
I urge you to recall your letter to the DCR commissioner and publish a direct apology to the JP community, expressing your respect for the voice of the community at large, which, after a long and arduous process, has chosen alternative No. 4, a forward thinking, environmentally aware, and equitable design that benefits all members of the community.
Omer Hecht is a member of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council