Boston Mayor Tom Menino (standing) speaks to the North End Chamber of Commerce.  From left to right sitting: Senator Anthony Petruccelli, NECC Chairman Frank DePasquale,  NECC President Joie Anzalone.
Boston Mayor Tom Menino (standing) speaks to the North End Chamber of Commerce. From left to right sitting: Senator Anthony Petruccelli, NECC Chairman Frank DePasquale, NECC President Joie Anzalone.

Mayor Thomas Menino used a breakfast gathering of the North End Chamber of Commerce (NECC) to propose a new initiative to close Hanover Street to traffic on certain weekends or one day per week, such as Saturdays. Labor Day weekend was suggested by the Mayor as a slow weekend in the City and/or during the feast weekends when the street is already partially closed. The Mayor offered support from the Department of Public Works and other city agencies to keep the street clean, remove garbage and encourage the pedestrian-only concept. Business leaders in attendance generally supported the idea. The Chamber will start a committee to work with the City and further research the initiative.

Frank P., host and owner of Café Pompeii
Frank P., host and owner of Café Pompeii

Joie Anzalone, NECC President, organized and moderated the gathering of over 40 NECC members held at Cafe Pompeii on Hanover Street on Wednesday, June 29th. Attendees enjoyed a gourmet breakfast with mimosas, followed by pastries. In addition to Mayor Menino’s appearance as guest speaker, also attending the breakfast were State Senator Anthony Petruccelli, State Representative Aaron Michlewitz and City Councilor Sal LaMattina.

The Mayor noted the importance of small businesses in the city. Complementing the core North End restaurants and cafes, he is further encouraged by the opening of several apparel and jewelry stores in the neighborhood. He believes that a more pedestrian-friendly Hanover Street would benefit these types of businesses.

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Alison Lavangie of Casa di Stile
Alison Lavangie of Casa di Stile

Regarding development, the Mayor said he was against building skyscrapers in and around the North End and Waterfront areas, referring to his opposition to Don Chiofaro’s proposed 600’ towers on the Harbor Garage site. He noted the burgeoning success of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway in attracting more people and opening the city to the North End. In this period of cutbacks in the City’s budget, he would like to see more lending by the banks and noted the success of green technology businesses in areas such as Fort Point channel. He noted that the City is focused on the South Boston Waterfront as the primary growth area for housing and commercial development in the years ahead.

Joie Anzalone announced that the Hanover Street building formerly occupied by D’Palma’s Restaurant has been sold. After a franchise for a Dunkin’ Donuts fell through, a photography studio is now expected to open there soon.

Chris Y., MSA Mortgage and Andrea, Ernesto’s
Chris Y., MSA Mortgage and Andrea, Ernesto’s

Both Menino and Anzalone emphasized the importance of keeping the neighborhood clean. Chamber member Chris Young works with the Clean Streets Committee on behalf of the NECC. Recently, the NECC has provided smoke pots, trash tip magnets and doggie bags to the neighborhood. Menino cited the expected improvements since the passing of the Green Ticket ordinance that adds trash violation fines to property owner’s tax bills. He was disappointed when a visitor recently complained about overflowing street barrels. Menino emphasized the City’s commitment to emptying the barrels and having a Green Machine in the neighborhood every night. The Mayor also said he would look into street light problems on Salem Street, an issue raised by one business owner.

Fillipo & Phillip Frattaroli
Fillipo & Phillip Frattaroli

Mayor Menino also took the opportunity to publicly oppose the hazardous cargo trucks in the North End, specifically on Commercial Street. Joie Anzalone thanked the business owners for putting signs in their windows and raising awareness of this serious issue. She noted the goal is to eventually stop the hazmat trucks from coming through any of the North End streets. A compromise agreement was recently struck between the City, State and Federal agencies along with the truckers that encourages the use of Cross Street until a safety study is completed this Fall. (See HazMat Trucks Return to North End.)

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4 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t think it is a good idea to block off Hanover Street at any time we have so many important issues going on in the North End, Rodents, Trash, we need Stop Signs on Hanover Street or re-paint the cross walks so cars will STOP. Cross Street is a mess with the cars parked on both sides and cars going through that area. Mayor Menino I really think you should live in the North End and walk around to our dirty streets and attend our meetings in the North End like Street Cleaning that we are looking for help to get out more trash barrels, more dog baggie set-ups; a dog park for our dogs to run in a open area. Closing Hanover Street is this for the Restaurants? or for the North End residents so they can walk home without having to jump off the sidewalk because all the tourists and eatry places are packed and there is no place to walk. Whoever came up with this suggestion hasn’t lived in the North End for over 50 years. This is the North End we don’t need anymore changes I think we had enough. Marie C. Simboli, North End Resident and Vice President of NEWNC

  2. Totally agree on closing Hanover Street….that’s not the anwer. That’s just going to push traffic onto Salem, or the sidestreets around Fulton st. What about banning parking on one side of hanover (or both)? Making it resident (not sure if it is, I don’t have a car) wouldn’t help much, as I never see parking enforcement people on weekend nights (or weekend days for that matter). If you had no parking and possibly put up barriers to allow more room for pedestrians, I think it would be safer for everyone (tourists and residents), while keeping the street open. Just an idea.

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