From the Councilor: Clean Streets Proposal, BuildBPS Plans, Ordinance on Back Taxes, Public Transit Woes and More

December Newsletter from Lydia Edwards, City Councilor for District One (North End, Charlestown and East Boston):

I’m deeply grateful to District One residents this season for your continued engagement. From public schools, to housing and the MBTA, residents are vocal and willing to act to improve their communities – and I am grateful for your advocacy, which gives me fuel to keep pushing forward.

Boston Public Schools recently announced updates to the BuildBPS plans regarding the future of school buildings. I have received a huge number of calls regarding BuildBPS and wanted to encourage constituents to also make your voices heard at upcoming school committee meetings – the next two are December 5 and December 19 – about components you support or changes you would like to see. Investment in school facilities is critical, but I join with parents across Boston in the call to Build BPS Right. 

Zoning is moving forward for Suffolk Downs. I’ve been speaking frequently with constituents and with HYM, the proponent, and recently testified to the BPDA board about the need to promote fair housing in our planning for Suffolk Downs. I appreciate HYM’s willingness to engage. To clarify the process a little, Suffolk Downs has two major zoning updates. The first zoning change makes some modifications to the maximum allowable heights and density, but the upcoming, second change will be much more detailed and set guidelines for development in the area.  

Data from the MBTA shows that subway ridership is dropping, except on the Blue Line. While I’m proud that Blue Line ridership remains strong, service quality on all trains and buses needs to massively improve, we need to expand subway lines and fix massive traffic congestion issues through new interventions. I’ll be speaking with other municipal leaders on transportation issues in mid-December, and I hope we can collectively build support for state-level action.

I’m proud that, exactly one year after my colleague Councilor Flynn and I were elected, the Council voted to pass an ordinance we filed to help seniors repay back taxes. We’re now reaching out to the Mayor’s office about how this will be rolled out, but it’s likely a first round of notifications will appear as an insert in tax notices. Stay tuned!

Topics in this month’s newsletter include:

  • Councilor Edwards’ new website with District One news and updates.
  • Clean Streets non-profit proposed for North End.
  • Ordinance on repaying back taxes passes.
  • Limiting housing speculation.
  • Height allowance at Hood Park in Charlestown.
  • Charlestown bus to Boston Latin Academy.

Read more about these topics and see upcoming community meetings in the full newsletter.