Hyde Park city councilor comes out against Sprague Street development

City Councilor Tim McCarthy, a Readville native, announced today he opposes a developer's plans for a 492-unit residential development along Sprague Street just south of the Readville train station.

In a statement posted on his Facebook page, McCarthy - who also represents the rest of Hyde Park along with parts of Roslindale and Mattapan - said an Oct. 1 community meeting with developer Jordan Warshaw's team convinced him he could no longer serve as a disinterested third party working just to ensure everybody had a say:

It is clear to me that the development team has failed to make a case to Readville and our Dedham neighbors that this plan would benefit our community. Therefore I will not be supporting this project as it was presented.

Warshaw's current plans for the 6.6-acre site call for four buildings - with one housing 128 condos, the rest apartments. Warshaw has proposed 511 parking spaces.

McCarthy said acknowledged that Readville has something increasingly rare in Boston - lots of land ripe for redevelopment - and that the neighborhood is under increased pressure from developers of both residential and industrial projects.

"As a Readville resident, this project would affect my family as much as anyone reading this today," he wrote. Still, he added that even as he works for "what is best for the neighborhood," he will continue his role as "a steward of a fair and transparent process" for development proposals in the neighborhood.

McCarthy's statement does not address a second proposal near Readville station - a 305-unit proposal for a 2.2-acre site just north of Readville station. That proposal is not as far advanced as Warshaw's - unlike Warshaw, that developer has yet to trigger the formal BPDA review process by filing detailed plans.

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Comments

What exaftly doesn't he like?

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We apparently need 69000 housing units in the next 12 years or so. They gotta go somewhere and we are running out of multimillionaires that want more small boxes in the seaport.

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Sadly

Sadly, 69,000 new homes is probably a gross underestimate of what we need.

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1 million

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Added to what we have would house close to 1 million people at about2.5 people per unit.

Can you link to the post?

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I'm not seeing anything on his FB page or website. I really want to soak up all the 'rationale' behind this magnanimous effort worthy of a Profiles in Courage award.

He has no rationale beyond

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He has no rationale beyond not wanting the neighborhood to change. His Facebook post gives no specific objections *at all*. It's just NIBMY at the City Council level.

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Totally vacuous

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It's just overwrought praise for Readville and then a statement he's against it. No reasons or suggestions at all. At least make an effort, dude.

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Plenty of rational for not

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Plenty of rational for not wanting neighborhoods to change, and so will you when you move out to the suburbs again.

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So then

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Why doesn't he give some of those rationales and explain how this project will impact them?

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Some short-sighted

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Some short-sighted politicians oppose *any* demographic change in their district. They know who elected them, and any new people could potentially support someone else.

Dearth of leadership in this city

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These people are all over the place with progressive talk but painfully scared to upset the old cranky seniors who knew their parents and parents and will keep them in office as long as they put a forcefield around their parking spot and keep everything the same.

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I remember...

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I remember so well that day I magically morphed from a kid living under my parents roof to an adult ready to plunk down tens of thousand dollar down payment on Boston real estate. Well I don’t but you must based on your comment. For me, ages 18-28 meant moving around a lot. Making lots of moves for things like school, finding jobs and better jobs, relationship, and ultimately honing in on where we wanted to live. So yes, people from around here, and those who may put down roots here, benefit from quality apartment housing. In fact, a place to live during the years you no longer want a fleabag college- style situation and being ready to own is a big factor in whether people stay around or decamp for some suburb or cheaper state. The idea that there’s some hard line between locals and “transient people” in a major city is so illogical I’m sure you don’t truly believe it. I grew up outside Boston. I’ve lived in this part of Boston for 13 years and owned my home for ten. My kid goes to school here and we’re staying put. Am I local or transient?

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Excuuuuuse me

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When you live some place for THIRTY YEARS and YOUR KIDS cannot find an affordable place to live, you better fucking believe that cheap apartments will matter to YOUR SORRY FEARFUL ARSE!

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Hate keeps people transient

Even if I was rich enough to afford a place in Southie, I wouldn't move back. The locals didn't welcome anyone. Of course now, none of them are left. The worst part is, for the most part, they thought they were being nice. I love living in Dorchester where (most) people welcome me.

This site is perfect for a dense complex. It is bounded by green space, and train tracks. The only thing it needs is peak hours extension of the 32. There are stupidly underused tracks of warehouses in Hyde Park. These transients that you despise help pay the taxes for schools and services.

I honestly believe that if neighborhoods continue to obstruct housing, the laws will change and we will have no say in what's built.

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No, people deciding to move

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No, people deciding to move around for jobs, or moving to new places and assuming they'll change around them, keeps people transient. A lot of people move to a new neighborhood and are fine adapting, some people aren't and choose to leave.

Ahem...

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People wouldn't need to be transient if they could afford to live here because there was enough housing.

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However

Many more get pushed around by the housing market, landlords looking to renovate or locate relatives in their property, etc.

I find that is much more common, particularly once people hit 30.

seniors

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The cranky seniors show up to meetings and they show up to vote.

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Lol

Lol at anon calling renters transients when s/he is too transient to come up with a username for this site

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Good for him

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for wanting what's best for his constituents and their quality of life.

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His constituents

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(and I am one of them) also want more housing built so other constituents aren't constantly being displaced or possibly homeless.

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Good politics

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The Councilman going on record as being in the opposition is just good politics. A sizable chunk of the people who put him in office, people whom it’s his job to represent, are vehemently opposed to this - or any development in Readville. If I were him I wouldn’t like my chances for re-election saying anything other than this, and whether it is approved by BPDA or not, he can always point back to saying he fought it.

The Councilman knows change is coming to the neighborhood. He’s said it in these public meetings. He’d also warned people to consider the possible alternative uses to these sites; office space, last-mile distribution, that flood the roads with worse traffic than TOD residential.

I’m glad he took a position and I respect him standing with the NIMBY voter base, though I suspect if you were to catch him ina candid conversation, he would admit this Sprague Street project is probably the best option for this site and the future of the neighborhood. If you agree with this, email BPDA Project Manager Lance Campbell ([email protected]) TODAY and tell him.

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This.

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I suspect this is exactly what this is. You nailed it. He seems to know this is not a bad project or certainly not the worst thing that could go there and has said so, but he can't overcome the NIMBY element in his own neighborhood. He doesn't want to risk his political base walking away from him, so he'll come out against it publicly knowing that the BPDA and Mayor will probably push it through anyway. Hyde Park doesn't seem to have an organized pro-housing contingent like JP and Roslindale do, might be time to form one to counteract the No crowd.

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Joe- There is! At least, we

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Joe- There is! At least, we're trying to get one going...

There's a change.org petition (https://www.change.org/p/hyde-park-residents-keep-readville-residential) to help show there is a sizable YIMBY crowd in Readville.

Not sure if you've already signed, but if you want to, I can add your email to a small correspondence group of a handful of Readville folks that are active in putting things like this together.

Like several others have said here, this project is NOT DEAD. It will come down to the volume of emails/letters that Mr. Campbell ([email protected]) receives in the coming days. I hate to sound like a broken record, but please email him voicing your support.

Is there a way to get onto

Is there a way to get onto your mailing list without signing that petition? I'm for more residential development in Readville, like the proposed apartments on Hyde Park Ave north of the Father Hart bridge, I just don't support the Sprague Street proposal. It's pretty much the worst parcel to put that much housing on.

Good Short-Term Politics

Bad for everyone in the long-term.

If we don't build homes in dense urban areas next to transit, then the demand for housing will not go away. Instead, those homes will be built further from the city in less transit-accessible neighborhoods leading to more people driving further distances.

Transportation is the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions today, and the IPCC says that we have 12 years to get our act together to avoid some of the worst effects of climate change. I'd like to see our elected leaders show some courage instead of pandering to their NIMBY base.

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Not Here

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"are vehemently opposed to this - or any development in Readville" That sums it up, we need more housing just not in our neighborhood.

Wow. 492 units. And still

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Wow. 492 units. And still no plan to lessen traffic congestion which is worse than ever on a daily basis? I realize our streets and ways and main Routes are not the developer's problem, but what about seeing positive results from The Powers That Be in all those campaign ads?

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Want to lessen traffic congestion?

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Stop driving.

It isn't the responsibility of incoming developments to fix problems that you cause with your excessive car use.

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It's also not the

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It's also not the responsibility of cities and towns to let developers make a profit so without dealing with traffic and other issues first.

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Most of these people will hop

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Most of these people will hop on to the train to downtown to work and not drive during rush hour. The people who will want to live there will be attracted to that element. If they drive on the weekends, who cares, since traffic is minimal then. You have to think beyond the traffic you currently see, which is mostly suburban commuters coming into and through your neighborhood. If you don't build this housing in Readville for people to use the train, you will actually see more cars coming in as people are pushed further outside the city. Never mind if this ends up as some large distribution center with huge trucks clogging your streets. You have to think beyond this moment.

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No, they will hop in their cars and drive to Fairmount

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You can't get much more transit-oriented for a development than all the land around the Readville train station.

But there's a major problem: It costs $6.25 (or is it $6.50?) a ride. But drive a mile to the Fairmount stop and it's just $2.25. What do you think people are going to do?

To his credit, McCarthy has been trying to do something about this for a couple years now, but he's only a city councilor and the T doesn't care what he thinks. Maybe it's time for Angelo Scaccia to get involved, snort.

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It's $6.75 one way, IF the

It's $6.75 one way, IF the Franklin train isn't too full to stop for more passengers by the time it gets there, or running 45 minutes behind schedule, or cancelled at the last minute without warning. And IF you can safely navigate the dangerous street crossings on the way to the station.

Transit

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The trains are sporadic and overcrowded. Also there are no schools in walking distance (only one charter school). The is a bus to the grocery store but you would still have to walk 1/2 mile or so to the bus stop.

I think this location can work but there needs to be some thought to the infrastructure.

The developments at Forest Hills are transit orientated. This complex is essentially Dedham... and the Acela trains and the Sunday night loading of the freight trains are a big noise nuisance.

Making sure there aren't any

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Making sure there aren't any major traffic problems before building something, some people think that's just NIMBYism, but it's not.

Yep. People may not drive to

Yep. People may not drive to work, but they need a car for pretty much every other reason to leave the house. There is no grocery store, pharmacy, or decent restaurant within walking distance, and the only bar is full of super hostile locals who don't like new faces.

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I Prefer Congestion

I'd rather have congested streets than empty ones. At least congested streets show that our City is growing and worth going to. Check out Brockton for a place with plenty of parking and no congestion. It's downtown is clearly not thriving.

That said, the only way to "solve" congestion without compromising growth is to invest heavily in alternative transportation and make solo driving much more expensive. Fortunately, this proposal is next to a commuter rail station and at least doesn't have much more than 1 parking space allocated per home.

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Before talking about congestion in Readville ...

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It might be worth it to make a field trip there.

I don't live in Readville, but I drive through it a fair amount (I love the crumbling-industrial look and all the trains, also, the curly fries at Olympic Pizza are the bomb, and Meadow Road is a great place to look out at the Great Blue Hill and see some wildlife and even meteorites). And what I know is:

The area where Sprague Street, Neponset Valley Parkway and Hyde Park Avenue come together via the Milton Street (or Father Hart, if you prefer) Bridge is just horrible, a congested and dangerous mess of a bottleneck. It's not just a mess at rush hour, but all throughout the day, courtesy of commuters, trucks going to and from 128, dump trucks going to and from their yard near the train station, Amazon delivery vans (their local distribution center is on, ta da, Sprague Street), Ride cars (their parking lot is at the old Stop & Shop warehouse) school buses (both actually carrying kids and going to and from the city yard near the train station), etc., etc. And if you told me that the intersection of Milton Street and Hyde Park Avenue was one of the most dangerous intersections in the entire state, I'd believe you.

A lot of the problem could be fixed by installing lights at either end of the Milton Street bridge and revamping the lights in Wolcott Square, but city officials have been promising that for years (a couple of years ago, Marty Walsh even said he had $1.4 million for the work) and nothing ever gets done. Again, since part of the problem is overlapping city and state jurisdictions at either end of the bridge, maybe Angelo Scaccia, the dean of the State House, could step in. But don't hold your breath.

I'm not saying this rules out any development near the train station, but it's not like Readville streets have any room for more traffic without something actually being done about the current situation.

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Adam, love you, but why are

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Adam, love you, but why are you assuming people responding here have never been to Readville? I'm sure it's unintended but it comes across as condescending. Yes, it's a pocket neighborhood but it's not on Mars. Traffic is bad everywhere in the city. Stopping a transit-oriented housing development is not going to improve that and would be less detrimental to traffic than most other uses there. That land is not going to stay vacant. If that letter articulated a legitimate reason to oppose this project as constituted, it'd carry more weight. But it does nothing of the sort, it just basically says to leave Readville alone. That doesn't cut it and no neighborhood has the right to cut itself off from the city like that.

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Simple

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Some of the comments read like the sort of thing only somebody who has never tried to turn left onto Hyde Park Avenue from the bridge would write.

Again, I'm not arguing that Readville should be walled off from the rest of the city and that all development there should be blocked. All I'm doing is arguing that anybody who does want development there needs to be realistic about the conditions that already exist there, and I'm not sure some of the people making comments here really know what those conditions are.

But as long as we are talking about development in general, and here I veer sort of off into Nimbyland (as somebody who lives in a single-family house), I think we also need to be careful about making "development everywhere at all costs, this is a city damnit!" arguments:

Boston is a large enough city that it can support both high rises and less dense development.

Downtown is obviously a place that can support the sort of high rises it's getting. But why are some people so intent on completely destroying less dense neighborhoods in the city? Readville in particular and Hyde Park more generally (and some parts of Roslindale) represent some of the last parts of Boston with what passes for affordable non-condo homes. There are ways to increase housing in the area without completely destroying the existing neighborhood - infill housing, for example (not Readville, but Roslindale Square, for example, has a number of one-story buildings that were originally two or three-story buildings - why not add those floors back, like the owner of the building where Redd's used to be, did?).

Readville is unique because it does have large amounts of old industrial land that could be repurposed (imagine what you could do at the Stop & Shop site) and what could be a regional transit hub (how many train lines at least pass through Readville?) . Done right, you could have new apartment/condo complexes clustered around the train station that don't directly affect, oh, the neighborhoods on the other side of Wolcott Square.

But is it being done right? Is anybody looking at how to improve transit in the area (and not just commuter rail, but the already over-capacity 32 bus) to accommodate the thousands of new residents that could potentially be moving to the neighborhood? Heck, what about people who would move there for jobs along 128?

Or are we to never learn the lessons of untrammeled development in South Boston?

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This is vacant, old

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This is vacant, old industrial land. No one is bulldozing single family homes to build this, that's a red herring. Sorry, but your argument does sound like a trip into NIMBYland as you noted. I respect you and think you're better than that considering how thoughtful and knowledgeable you always are. Mentioning Roslindale Square is especially ironic considering the opposition present there to the very thing you describe as a better plan. You mention the prior proposal to build on top of Redd's and Tony's Market at the time. I'm sure you remember the meeting where nearby residents opposed it due to traffic and parking. I read about it on UHub. People are always opposed no matter what or where they live and honestly I don't blame them. No one likes change to their specific core interests. That's why we need elected officials that are honest and consider the larger implications of things, and are not afraid to explain their rationale to voters. And yes, people are looking at ways to improve transit. Look at the Roslindale bus lane and the improvement that had made to Washington St. Do that with the 32 for Hyde Park Ave. There's a great solution to ease congestion. Making the commuter rail from Readville the same cost as the Fairmount line is also necessary. Those things should happen but are not reasons to prevent new housing that is desperately needed.

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No, it wasn't vacant land

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There were several concerns operating on the land, at least before Warshaw proposed his complex (I haven't been done there in awhile, so don't know if they're still there). Whether a truck wash and a dance studio are the best, highest uses for the land is another question, but let's not pretend the land was just sitting there doing nothing (as opposed to the parcel on the other side of the train station where whatever company had been there had closed up shop long ago). And have you taken a look at the other side of Sprague Street? There are quite a few ongoing concerns there, in addition to the Amazon warehouse.

As for Redd's, yes, people made parking arguments. But the landlord still won permission to add those two floors.

Look at the Roslindale bus lane and the improvement that had made to Washington St. Do that with the 32 for Hyde Park Ave. There's a great solution to ease congestion. Making the commuter rail from Readville the same cost as the Fairmount line is also necessary. Those things should happen but are not reasons to prevent new housing that is desperately needed.

And there's the rub: Those are good ideas, but nobody's actually doing them. It would make sense to have them in place at least when the new units come online, but who is doing the work to make them actually happen? Yes, the city came out with a 2030 plan that calls for improvements along Hyde Park Avenue, but that gets us back to the Readville fare problem - is there evidence anybody at the state is listening to the city? And it certainly gets us back to the Milton Street bridge problem, which raises the same question.

Having 700 new residents

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Having 700 new residents (give or take) living adjacent to a commuter rail line and using it will definitely put pressure on elected officials to wake up and do something then. Maybe that will even be the number that finally votes Scaccia out. It'd be nice to get that dog park finally as an added bonus. And a reminder that the Roslindale bus lane happened because residents pushed it hard and then supported it overwhelmingly. Even McCarthy didn't support it at first until he saw the overwhelming push from residents and decided to get behind it. It's a model for what is possible on Hyde Park Ave if people get organized.

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Why would small apartment

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Why would small apartment buildings destroy the neighborhood?

Look at places like Coolidge Corner and the fringes of Harvard Square. They're some of the most pleasant (and expensive) parts of the city, yet they have apartment buildings right next to single-family homes.

Putting traffic lights up on the bridge is an easy fix. So is reducing the obscene commuter rail fares. (Moving Readville to a lower zone doesn't fully fix the problem. No train ticket should cost 79 cents per mile when the IRS rate for cars is 54 cents per mile.)

Adding service to Route 32 is a little harder, but still possible. Giving it bus lanes should come after that.

But the real solution would be running small trains frequently on the commuter rail. DMUs use less fuel, require fewer employees, accelerate faster, are faster to board, and are way more reliable than loco-hauled trains. It's no wonder Europe has embraced them. Tiny rural villages can support hourly train service, while our dense neighborhoods are stuck with 3 hour gaps (or no service at all).

This isn't Brookline

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But you know what? Not even all of Brookline meets your definition of Brookline. Propose something like this south of Rte. 9, say, in Hancock Village, and see what sort of reaction you get. No, wait, you don't even have to do that. Just follow the news out of Hancock Village.

Seven and six-story buildings may be small along Beacon Street, but they are not small for Readville, a neighborhood of single-family homes - even without the READVILLE tower the developer agreed not to put up.

Drive around Readville's residential areas (it's pretty small, once you get there, you can probably see most of the neighborhood in 20 minutes or less). It's completely not urban, unlike, say, Brookline north of Rte. 9.

Putting traffic lights up on the bridge is an easy fix.

If it's such an easy fix, why hasn't it been done? It's not like people haven't been complaining about the bridge for, oh, two decades or more.

Tim McCarthy commenting on

Tim McCarthy commenting on installing traffic signals on either end of the Father Hart Bridge on April 30, 2018:

The $1.8 million City Of Boston investment in signals are being designed as I type. Shovels in the ground this spring!

Spring has come and gone and autumn is well under way. Wonder why people in the neighborhood don't believe anyone is working on our gridlock problem?

Have the neighbors organized

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Have the neighbors organized themselves to 'fix the gridlock?' And if so, what does it look like and what is their proposed solution? I ask this earnestly. If you want politicians to pay attention, then organize behind tangible solutions and demand them. If you just think they can magically make traffic disappear, well, good luck. You act like you're the only neighborhood experiencing congestion....

You take "growth" as a

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You take "growth" as a necessity, plenty of nice places don't have growing populations.

Reality

The reality is that growth is happening.

The reality is that supply is low and demand is high.

Now. If we ran high speed rail to Worcester, Brockton, Lawrence and Leominster we might have a chance to house people in inexpensive digs.

Otherwise? The city needs to build out.

Respect

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Respect to McCarthy for not even trying to mask this as anything but “get off my lawn.” Typical for the old townies he represents. Has this guy done anything positive in office? All I see is him opposing things like this and that Roslindale charter school.

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Broken Process

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The process for new housing in this city is completely broken. Older residents who have the time and economic privilege to attend an evening meeting should not be able to stop a project simply because they don't like change. That's exactly what happened here and he says as much. This has nothing to do with the pros and cons of this development and he provides zero substantive justification for his position. Marty Walsh's best attribute as mayor has been his push for new housing but he has to fix this broken system of "community process" which just favors the NIMBY crowd. We see the same song and dance in every neighborhood, when is this going to stop?

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Residents deserve a say, not just developers

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Anyone can go to a meeting. Complaining that residents want a say in what gets developed is completely irrational, because just letting developers do whatever they want doesn't always lead to good results either.

Read up on concerns beyond

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Read up on concerns beyond your specific interests. This site was identified in city planning documents as prime for housing. There was planning involved with this. This isn't about a developer doing whatever he wants. This site has been thought out. I don't understand why residents would walk away from a new park and cleaned up pond plus restaurants there just because they think traffic sucks.

Of course residents deserve a

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Of course residents deserve a say. But they do not deserve a veto. And that's what you and a lot of abutters want. Where are the needs of people, especially young people, who desperately need cheaper housing considered? Why do existing residents solely get to decide who comes and goes? That's not how cities work. Someone built the home you live in, imagine if existing residents had just said no and political leaders bowed down to them then.

Dedham?

That's a tell I think that his constituency seems to include folks who are from Hyde Park and Rosi who moved on up to Dedham but don't want their old neighborhood to change. Like the South Shore residents of Southie...

I'm all for regional cooperation but I'll be damned if I want to hear my local rep to speak up for the concerns of people in Dedham who don't want more residents in Boston because it will inconvenience them with more traffic.

What?

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The project is located on the Dedham/Hyde Park line. Go back to the burbs!

He works for Boston residents

We literally pay him to represent us - not the fine folks of Dedham. So in this specific case, he's supposed to advocate for us, the residents of his district in Boston (where I live).

He represents the abutters

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Here’s another way to look at it. Say there was a development proposed within a few blocks of your house that would, in your eyes and in the eyes of your neighbors, badly affect the area, but that same development could benefit the city as a whole. What would you think if, after looking at all the facts, McCarthy came out in support of the project?

You want a councilor who advocates for the whole city over the wishes of a neighborhood, get the city charter changed so we only have citywide councilors. McCarthy weighed the issues and supports the neighbors. I might be on the other side of the district, but I am glad McCarthy is looking out for the people who would be most impacted by this.

But we can circle back to this when the next story about aircraft noise “ruining” Roslindale comes out.

WTF are you talking about?

Is Dedham part of Boston?

No, it is not. McCarthy represents the interests of the residents first and foremost so no, I don't want him advocating on behalf of Dedham when it comes to development in Readville. He can defend Readville all he wants but the best interests of Dedham should f_ck all to do with it in this case. See Adam's comment above about Dedhams refusal to let industrial traffic that employ folks from outside the city onto their roads. #thinkofthechildren

If State Rep McMurty wants to weigh in on this as an elected rep for both communities that is totes different.

A quick bit of research does show that McCarthy's second biggest campaign contributor lives in the part of Dedham most likely to be impact by this but I'm sure that's just coincidence.

IMAGE(https://www.universalhub.com/images/2018/3Screen-Shot-2018-10-12-at-11-45-55-AM.jpg)

A quick Google search turns

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A quick Google search turns up that Akiki and Sons is an auto body shop in Hyde Park too. So a contributer in Dedham and business in the district. Looks like you’re on to something here.

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Yes, noted

To be clear, I don't think McCarthy is doing this at the behest of one specific Dedham resident. I also do think it's not his place to argue for the benefit of Dedham residents.

However, I think it's totally believable that McCarthy is sensitive to the pressures from local party donors who live in Dedham and have business interests in his district.

Where is this proposed development?

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I’ll give you a hint. It rhymes with Breedville. And that area is a part of District 5, which is represented by Tim McCarthy.

Are you saying the neighbors in Hyde Park are supporting this while those down the street in Dedham are opposing it?

read the quote?

"it is clear to me that the development team has failed to make a case to Readville and our Dedham neighbors that this plan would benefit our community. Therefore I will not be supporting this project as it was presented."

Why is McCarthy kowtowing to Dedham at all? Not his constituents?

I think you missed the part

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Where he mentioned Readville. It came right before he mentioned Dedham, so I’m surprised you missed it.

This proposal isn’t a bad deal for Dedham. 700 cars heading up Sprague Street to the rotary is easier to handle than 700 cars going over the John Hart Bridge. If they were getting the real estate tax revenue, it would be great for them.

It's actually amazing he said something in defense of Dedham

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There's actually some tension along the Dedham/Readville line - people on either side have accused the other of trying to dump all their problems on them. In fact, at one meeting on the proposed complex on the other side of the train station, McCarthy basically started yelling at somebody from Dedham:

One Dedham resident complained the project would send more traffic into her town, which led to a mini-argument with McCarthy, who said somebody from Dedham is the last person to be talking about slopping traffic onto a neighboring community, given that Readville has to bear the brunt of traffic from industrial buildings on either side of the town line that Dedham won't let onto its roads.

Update

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I posted my comment before seeing what Parkwayne dug up in terms of campaign contributions.

To be fair to McCarthy

I am assuming that donor is probably the owner of Akiki's auto service in HP so does have legit links and concerns to the district McCarthy reps.

This is why Boston is soooo expensive

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Individuals like Tim McCarthy are one of the main reasons homes and apartments are extremely expensive. McCarthy is upset he was NOT PAID for and ENDORSEMENT of this project so he's against it. McCarthy needs to be investigated!

"Change is Coming" to Readville

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https://bit.ly/2EeXeEk

...as the Councilman warned us three years ago about opposing residential development in Readville. The full context of the remark was that change is coming, and we should consider what COULD be there if not a building that's designed to integrate with the surrounding neighborhood. What COULD be there might be much worse.

Whatever the change is he was speaking of, he clearly prefers it to the proposed Sprague Street project. Or he just likes the Ad Meliora guys more than Mr. Warshaw.

The fact that there are some

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The fact that there are some residents that complain about traffic but then say they'd prefer a large Amazon warehouse here says it all. This is just NIMBYism plain and simple. As if Readville has intractable congestion compared to anywhere else in the city. It's no worse than a lot of places. And these are homes for people, not some abstract development. They just want to be isolated like they were under Menino for two decades.

Show of good faith

City councilors, the BPDA, and housing advocates might find a more receptive crowd in Readville if the city would make a concerted effort to fix the gridlock BEFORE pushing through 500 unit developments. Instead, they dangle the possibility of new traffic lights on the Father Hart bridge, or a new location for the bus stop in Wolcott Square as carrots for AFTER development is complete. Take some steps toward making driving less maddening, walking less dangerous, and transit less bankrupting, and maybe Readville residents will believe that new developments can be a net positive for the community, or a net neutral. Otherwise, we'll keep assuming that they will be a negative influence on our quality of life.

Cart Before The Horse

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I think it's really hard, with the costs involved, to get new infrastructure before new density. You need to get dense first, then have tons of problems, and only then can you get new infrastructure. If the problems are occurring in a non-dense area [from through traffic] when planners look at the cost vs. the revenue the area generates [they don't factor in through traffic as revenue] then they are not going to see a benefit.

There's smart growth

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Then there's a lack of planning.

If the city and state are earnest about getting housing built, they need to make sure the infrastructure is there to support it. The transportation infrastructure in Readville is lacking, as Jake notes. Putting hundreds of housing units in with the hopes that "someday" "something" is done to improve the situation, this will be a failure.

"Walking distance"

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You've never been there, have you? Both of those supermarkets are over a mile away from this development, and Hyde Park Ave is a daunting place on foot going between Shaws and the Hart Bridge. I know, as I run down that way (which I did yesterday.) The commuter rail is infrequent (and issues with the trains were discussed on this website earlier last week) and the 32 bus is constantly packed and has the issues that any bus line that goes 5 miles and is well used has.

If you can't walk 2 miles you

If you can't walk 2 miles you are disabled. If it is difficult, you should contact your doctor. It is a reasonable distance for a full grocery store. There are commercial units in the plan, and obviously one of those must be a bodega. I have owned grocery carts and bicycle baskets expressly for this trip. I have been in both stores, btw. I ride my bike through HP, on the weekends.

Your cute poop in the park, analogy actually supports approving this development. If we don't build more housing then people will start living in all of our parks, not just the downtown ones. LA has whole streets lined with tents on the sidewalk. And if you think that young professionals can't be homeless, then you should check out the community that lives in Google's Parking lot.

"Walking distance" is generally considered a quarter mile

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Though research bumps that up to a half mile. And again, I'll note that I probably walk a lot more than you do.

For normal people, given the option of walking several miles in the blazing heat, freezing cold, or perhaps even in good weather since two miles would be a 40 minute walk (and yes, I can walk 2 miles in 28 minutes, but we are talking the average,) people will drive to the grocery store.

But again, there's the world you think everyone should live in, and there is the real world. The local residents, their city councilor, and even Adam, are positing for the real world. And in the real world, work needs to be done before this area can handle the number of new residents proposed.

In Iowa, maybe

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Human capacity is well beyond that - most communities in MA are walking distance apart - a couple of miles.

Well ...

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Not everybody can walk that distance, or at all. And even somebody who can might not want to when it's below freezing and snowing (or even if it's just raining heavily).

Maybe they can't

But our little fitness tracker thingies insist that 10,000 steps a day is good for us - which is around 5 miles for many folks.

The recordings from these gizmos are increasingly used to help price health insurance.

The reality is that 2 miles with groceries is a PITA, but a bike trailer can fix that easy. Our nearest grocery store is 2.5 miles away and we can easily shop for 2-3 people with an extra pair of wheels.

Again, not for everyone, but not exactly impossible or even difficult.

Again with the bikes

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And I will start by noting that you did conclude that such a means of transport is not for everyone. And I appreciate that.

All I'm saying is that given that you are roughly the same distance from downtown Boston as this proposed development, though in a much different landscape, you will admit that most of the people who move in there will own cars and drive from time to time, right?

Again with the refrain

Pointing out that bikes work is not a bad thing.

Actually, most of my immediate neighbors use public transportation, but use cars to run errands.

That has more to do with the distance to amenities than it does the neighborhood.

Driving is a choice

These proposed residents don't need to drive, but they can if they like just like all the other residents of Readville.

Human capacity?

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The Walk for Hunger is (or at least was) 20 miles. I would imagine that the Japanese had their POWs make some walks that are longer.

The article, if you cared to read it, mentions how far people walk or are willing to walk under certain circumstances. The reality is that for transportation purposes, "walking distance" is defined as a quarter mile, or a 5 minute walk. That I walk a half mile in the morning to get to the bus and a mile and a half in the afternoon to get home is immaterial. We are talking distances for normal folk.

So a walkable city has a full

So a walkable city has a full service grocery store every half mile? I am very serious about being able to walk at least 2 miles. It is not normal to be unable to walk 2 miles, you should consult your doctor if it is a problem.

https://www.nhs.uk/news/lifestyle-and-exercise/lack-of-exercise-as-deadl...

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4241367/

There are many health problems that can make it difficult to walk, and it is important to provide accommodation, but it is bizarre to act like most people can't walk 2 miles.

http://guide.saferoutesinfo.org/introduction/the_decline_of_walking_and_...

Blame the game, not the player

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In the real world, two miles is a significant distance. According to transportation planners, if the distance is more than a quarter (or according to the study, a half) mile walk from their destination, people will drive. I thought you liked the works of transportation planners.

But sure, let's build a few hundred apartments and magically all of the renters/owners there will think your way of thinking and will not use an automobile to drive places. They'll say "I need to get some milk. I'm going spend the next hour walking to and from the store to buy this milk."

Or, we can be realistic and admit that Readville is not Jamaica Plain. I like living in the real world.

In the real world people walk miles and miles every day.

Since you are too superior to provide any references to your pronouncements, I will continue to doubt them. You continue to ignore the facts. Jamaica Plain does not have a Supermarket every quarter mile.

You seem to be holding me responsible for preventing these people from having cars or driving as a condition for allowing this development. That's ridiculous. These people can live very well without driving, but they have just as much right to drive their cars as anyone. Traffic is a pathetic and selfish reason for blocking this project. No one has to drive in Readville. Readville is not Jamaica Plain because they are a bunch of selfish Nimby's that have been entitled to artificially maintain the lifestyle of upper class gated community at the expense of nearby communities.

Traffic is the necessary stimulus, to get people walking and public transit expanded. It is manipulative to put the cart before the horse.

Did you really just write?

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Since you are too superior to provide any references to your pronouncements, I will continue to doubt them.

I did. I provided a link to research. Research that showed how far people will walk. Research whose introduction explains what "walking distance" is in transportation terms. You countered with research noting how people should be walking more.

I love how you get annoyed when I accuse you of having an agenda. But sure, people will walk a mile and a half each way to get groceries. No one at this development will use cars. In fact, there is no traffic problems in Readville, despite what anyone who goes though the area says. The problem is with the people who live in Readville, and adding more people to Readville will resolve the problem. You win again, if that makes you happy.

By the way, where is the

upper class gated community

you reference? And for that matter where do the upper classes live in Readville? I mean, you've been there, right?

if you bother to link don't

if you bother to link don't hide it.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3377942/

Did you read this? Did you notice that this research was funded by grants from the NIH, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (Grants R21-HL106467 and R01-HL071759)? Did you realize that the goal discovering a way increase people's daily exercise to minimum health targets, rather than promote the acceptance that people don't like to walk?

It is not an upper class gated community, but it seems to feel entitled to live like one at the expense of the rest of boston. The idea that the character of a neighborhood equals an entitlement to zero traffic is fake. The rent situation in Boston is a crisis. If owners prevent new housing then we will all suffer.

Wow

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You’ve never seen a hyperlink before? Amazing.

Good job walking back your description of Readville. You still doubling down on the Star and Stop & Shop being “walking distance” from this location?

But seriously, you should visit the area someday.

ok, you didn't read it

Again, I ride through this area once a month, not that it is valid to exclude any opinion on that basis.

And again, you are moderating the post instead of responding with facts. Are you providing any facts about whether Boston has a full supermarket every .25 to .5 mile? Are still pretending that money isn't budgeted for improving the street? Did you miss the commercial spaces in the project that can contain a bodega?

Stop censoring me

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You don’t like what I wrote, mainly because it is backed by facts, so you try to shut me down.

Again, you’ve never walked in the area, but you are claiming things are walking distance. It’s like arguing with a chair.

What facts?

1. you linked a study without reading it.
2. tried the agenda label again
3. keep attempting to set imaginary qualifications to state an opinion.

First, I've never been there, now its because I have never walked there? I am not shutting you down, I waiting for you to add something relevant.

I read the study

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It begins-

Walking distance is an important concept in the fields of transportation and public health. A distance of 0.25 miles is often used as an acceptable walking distance in U.S. research studies.

As far as my insistence that you really don't know the area, your comments are my proof. You pontificate about how walkable an area is when you have never been in the area on foot. If you had, you never would have made the crack about Shaws and Stop and Shop being walking distance. You drone on (and admittedly retract the statement) about how the area is a gated upper class community when it's been lower to solid middle class since the factories were built. Honestly, I'm just waiting for you to discuss the issue based on the real world, not on what you think the world should look like.

I mean, you could admit that you were wrong about the walkability of the area, or you could keep on doubling down. I think we all know how you think.

Irrelevant personal attacks= you know you are wrong.

So are you purposely misrepresenting that study? Do you understand the point of the study? The sentence you quoted is from the background section of the abstract. It is the problem that this research wants to solve, not the conclusion.

Conclusions

Only a small fraction of respondents walk, but trips longer than 0.25 miles are common. There is substantial variability in the distance and duration of walking trips by purpose and population subgroups. These differences have implications for developing strategies to increase physical activity through walking.

Acknowledgments

This research was funded by grants from the NIH, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (Grants R21-HL106467 and R01-HL071759).

You keep bringing up the quarter mile as an important argument against this development. I agree that both full sized markets are farther than that, I just think that that a mile and half is unreasonable for healthy adult (or teen). This study takes a poll of what people think a walk-able distance is, it does not say that a mile and half is un-walkable.

I used the words upper class and gated, not because Readville is rich, but because this neighborhood (and others) are acting is as if they are entitled to keep people out. You aren't entitled to park your car near your residence unless you own a driveway. You aren't entitled to control the traffic in your neighborhood unless you gate it. That is the dishonest part of Nimbyism. The historical character of this neighborhood is industrial. These under used sites a good place a large apartment complex.

This is america and I respect your right to keep insulting me and pretending you are right.

You think

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A mile and a half is "walking distance," and you are certainly welcome to your opinions. My opinion is that a half mile is walking distance. And at that I wouldn't mind walking a mile, since I do that constantly. I go with a half mile because I know that I am an outlier on what is walkable. In short, I understand that most people won't walk distance I will walk.

That said, you seem uncomfortable with the fact that a quarter mile (or more likely a kilometer) is the standard metric for walking distance, as once again is noted in the article. You are welcome to your opinion, but facts are facts, and the fact is that it is the standard metric.

People are having issues with this development because of transportation issues. Do you seriously think that 450 units of housing in the middle of nowhere will be completely populated with people who think a mile and a half is walking distance?

Exactly. This project is just

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Exactly. This project is just too big and reeks of a money grab by developers. Scale it down if you want support.

It already has been scaled

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It already has been scaled down. There are acres of land there right next to a commuter rail station. If the city doesn't build a good number of housing units there, then forget anything ever being remotely affordable around here.

Here's an analogy

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Everyone poops, but there are good and bad places to do it. You could poop in a park, as long as someone put a port-a-potty there. Without infrastructure improvement, you'll have new housing, but a really shitty situation all around.

If the city and commonwealth were serious about getting housing projects like this one online in a place like Readville, they'd be fixing the problem with the traffic on the Hart Bridge and making the Commuter Rail work. But they're not doing any of that.

If the city and commonwealth

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If the city and commonwealth were serious about getting housing projects like this one online in a place like Readville, they'd be fixing the problem with the traffic on the Hart Bridge and making the Commuter Rail work. But they're not doing any of that.

The city has dedicated $2 million to upgrading the roads and signaling in that area in anticipation of this development and one next to it. As for Commuter Rail, don't disagree but that's an issue in West Roxbury, Roslindale, Needham, etc. Should nothing be built in those communities too? Why is Readville any different than other parts of the city where congestion is an issue? A lot of places would love a couple million dollars dedicated to their transportation needs, will they give that up now since they're saying no to these new homes?