Zoning Board: 54 Pleasant Street Development To Proceed

According to yesterday’s Dorchester Reporter:

“The Zoning Board of Appeal approved a controversial housing project at the corner of Pleasant and Pearl streets this week, giving the go-ahead to the construction of a 17-condominium building at the site of the Scally & Trayers funeral home.

Giuseppe Arcari’s plans for 54 Pleasant Street has split residents and abutters in the area over the past year. In September, the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) approved the project, which will put a three-story building with the 17 condos and 20 underground parking spaces on the 14,688-square-foot parcel.

At a Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association’s planning meeting, interactions were tense between civic members who had opposed the project and City Councillor Frank Baker, who joined the mayor’s office and Councillors Michelle Wu and Michael Flaherty in supporting the proposal…”

Artist rendering of approved 54 Pleasant Street

Making Morrissey Boulevard All It Can And Should Be

Is Morrissey Boulevard a parkway (featuring a waterfront park with recreational activities), a highway (for commuters living outside the city), or a street (with park access for neighborhood residents)? It matters. The Livable Streets site provided a historical perspective why the highway era is over:

“During the early years of automobile ascendancy, New York’s Robert Moses perfected the strategy of using the public desire for parks as a wedge for the creation of “parkways” that were actually an early version of a regional highway system.  In Massachusetts, the Olmsted-derived Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) — previously solely focused on preserving water-shed forests, beaches, and parks — saw this as an opportunity to turn the narrow corridors between its “reservations” into a similar network of higher-capacity roads… By the 1960s, the state Highway Department was able to tap into the open spigot of federal Interstate funding and eventually usurped the MDC growth strategy… But it has only been in the past few years, as the last of the highway-focused staff fade into retirement, that the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR, the new agency into which the increasingly discredited MDC was merged in 2003) has begun exploring ways to turn its parkways and boulevards back into linear parks that allow leisurely walking, bicycling, and driving while increasing public access and enjoyment of nearby natural resources… In 1953 the MDC widened Morrissey Boulevard into a six-to-ten lane, high-volume, fast-moving highway.  But even though the creation of the Southeast Expressway (today’s I-93) in 1959 eliminated Morrissey’s role as the main gateway to the south shore, nothing was done to restore the adjacent community’s former access to the Harbor or to end the unspeakably unsafe conditions for walkers or bike riders.  This was allowed partly because Massachusetts was still ignoring its rivers and coast…”

Daffodil Planting Events This Weekend

Boston Blooms with Daffodils, a citywide program offered by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, has once again provided 500 daffodil bulbs to be planted this fall in the Columbia-Savin Hill section of Dorchester. There will be two planting locations again this year in the neighborhood:

  1. Ryan Playground at corner of Harborview and Dorchester Ave, and
  2. McConnell Park by the flag pole

We need volunteers to help with this planting project. With plenty of bulbs to be placed in the ground, people should work best in teams of two: a digger and a planter. This can be a fun family event, where youth can participate in the beautification of their neighborhood, and enjoy seeing their efforts rewarded with blooms every spring. These bulbs are available now and help is needed to get them into the ground.

Persons interested in helping to plant these bulbs should meet at 9:15/9:30 am in Ryan Playground and at 10:00/10:30 am in McConnell Park on THIS Saturday, November 4, 2017.

Free Family Films In Dorchester

Today’s post is fifth in a series about free events in Dorchester.

First, Mayor Walsh’s Movie Nights will show “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” on Thursday August 17 in Savin Hill Park. To see the complete schedule of free events and activities around Boston, download the 2017 Summer In The City Guide (Adobe PDF) by the Boston Parks & Recreation Department.

Second, WBZ-TV and the Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) provide free family films throughout the summer. The following films will be shown in Pope John Paul II Park in Dorchester:
August 10: Moana
August 17: Lego Batman
August 24: Doctor Strange
August 31: Star Wars Rogue 1
See the Massachusetts DCR site for the complete schedule (Adobe PDF) for films in other locations.

Free Events For Bicycle Riders In Dorchester

Today’s post is 4th in a series about free events.

The Boston Neighborhood Bike Ride Series has two free events coming soon. The Neighborhood Ride Series (#IBikeBoston) welcomes riders (ages 16+, under 16 with parent present) of all abilities for a group ride exploring Dorchester streets and paths. During the rider you will see and learn about cultural and historical sights, plus parks and other favorite destinations.

The next group ride in Dorchester:
When: Saturday, August 5
Where: Starts in front of Ashmont Cycles in Peabody Square (Directions)
When: 10:00 am to 1:00 pm

Prizes are available for riders who complete 5 or more group rides. For more information, see the Dorchester event page, join the Boston Neighborhood Bike Ride Series group on Facebook, or follow the group on Twitter.

The next group ride scheduled is September 23 in Mattapan. Group riders in other areas of Boston are also planned.

Through its Boston Bikes program, the City of Boston seeks to “make bicycling fun, safe, and accessible.”

McConnell Playground Improvements

The City of Boston is considering a comprehensive renovation to the park, playgrounds, fields, and parking at McConnell Playground. To ensure that the improvements meets residents’ needs, the City invited Savin Hill residents to complete an online survey. The deadline for feedback is July 10, 2017.

Links to the online survey and to related documents are at:

Improvements To McConnell Playground