Community Real Estate Transportation

NEWRA Sends HazMat Letter, Hears About Bike Lanes & Zoning for Tecce’s Building

The North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) took up three community issues at its July 14, 2011 meeting.

  1. Zoning Variance – 55-57 N. Washington St., Michelle Holdings, LLC
  2. Letter on Hazardous Cargo Truck Route Change
  3. Boston Bikes Program – North End/Waterfront Bike Lane Proposal

A summary of each item follows:

Zoning Variance – 55-57 N. Washington St., Michelle Holdings, LLC
This property has Joe Tecce’s Ristorante on the ground floor and filed for zoning relief to convert the second floor function room/kitchen into four residential units, bringing the total to 16 residential units.

On July 13, 2011, the City’s Zoning Board of Appeal (ZBA) unanimously approved this variance. As a result, NEWRA decided not to take a vote to support or oppose the application. (The Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) voted 5-4 to support on Monday, July 11, 2011.) The ZBA is requiring the applicant to consolidate a dozen compressors on the roof.

Regarding complaints of filth around the dumpster area, Bill Anderson, VP of Michelle Holdings, said they have hired a cleaning company. “We want an orderly dumpster area. We want to clean up the sidewalk,” said Anderson. In answer to a question from this editor, the applicant said he did not know how often the trash was picked up at the restaurant. Trash and rat pundit, Anne Pistorio, commented on the situation, “In the morning, it’s a seagull convention.”

NEWRA Letter on Hazardous Cargo Truck Route Change

In response to the City’s request that concerned citizens contact the Federal Motor Carrier Administration and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, NEWRA drafted and unanimously approved a brief letter urging the swift implementation of the Hazardous Materials Routing Study’s recommendation to remove pass-through hazardous cargo trucks from City of Boston streets.

Click to view the NEWRA Letter on Hazardous Cargo Truck Route Change (pdf)

Given the recent announcement of MassDOT Secretary Mullan’s resignation in the Fall 2011, residents should urge the Secretary to take action before the end of his term.

Boston Bikes Program – North End / Waterfront Bike Lane Proposal

The City’s Boston Bikes Program presented its current proposal for a bike lane along Atlantic Avenue and Commercial Street, consisting of a buffered “cycle track” on the harbor-side of the street and a regular painted lane on the opposite side. The proposal would remove 15-20 parking spaces from the neighborhood. The presentation was similar to the one previously presented earlier in the week at NEWNC. (View the video here.)

Although there were vocal supporters of the bike lane proposal, many were concerned about the impacts of the bike lane; most notably the reduction of 15-20 parking spaces. An extended discussion centered around various parking issues and concepts.

City representatives said they will follow-up with a formal, foot-by-foot analysis of the proposed bike lane route to research the exact number of parking spaces that would be removed. A 2-week comment period will start on Tuesday, July 19, 2011. Comments can be submitted to nicole.freedman@cityofboston.gov.

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