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Wharf District Council Updates: Police Report, Greenway News, Workplace Safety and Public Transit

The Wharf District Council (WDC) held its May meeting on Tuesday evening. The following reports and community updates were presented as part of a full agenda.

The WDC welcomed the new North End & West End Liaison John Romano and recognized Councilor Ed Flynn’s volunteer initiative that helped arrange 5,000 phone calls to seniors and persons with disabilities in need of assistance.

A-1 Police Update

Captain Fong provided a brief police report, stating that the majority of criminal activity during the past several weeks in the Wharf District has centered around breaking and entering offenses against commercial properties.

BPD (Boston Police Department) has also been responding to COVID-19 internally, implementing staggered shifts and making use of PPE. One hundred officers have tested positive for the virus; many have recovered and, unfortunately, one officer has passed away.

Focusing on outreach, BPD is stepping up its efforts at mask distribution as a means of educating and empowering residents to comply with safety guidelines. With over 700 homeless individuals testing positive for COVID-19 in the city of Boston out of over 2,000 tested (according to the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program), Captain Fong acknowledged that many challenges are currently being faced by the homeless community.

The City’s curfew advisory (from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.) remains in effect.

Updates from The Greenway

The Greenway Conservancy’s Executive Director Jesse Brackenbury delivered a presentation providing updates on programming, amenities, and events.

Discussions are currently taking place regarding the status of the carousel, Rings Fountain, and outdoor beer garden. Food trucks are able to operate, but many have been hit hard by COVID-19. The farmers’ market may make a return in June.

Visitors are asked to continue practicing physical distancing and wear face coverings. There has been an uptick in dog owners failing to pick up after their pets. There will be two new public art installations debuting this year. The Greenway also recently launched an at-home version of their augmented reality experience.

Workplace Safety and Public Transit

A Better City (ABC)’s President and CEO Rick Dimino led a discussion on making workplace safety and the health of commuters using public transit top priorities.

Concerning workplace safety, ABC has engaged with tenants, building owners, and other stakeholders to gauge the overall sentiment and state of readiness. Conversations are ongoing, with the general assessment being that there will need to be increased attention put toward lobbies, elevators, and other areas of frequent contact.

With the City set to reopen some offices at 25% capacity on June 1st, Dimino estimated an increase in vehicle traffic and potential congestion, but not on as significant a scale due to factors such as staggered shifts being implemented and fewer employees needing to drive in due to work from home options. A Better City continues to monitor these developments closely.

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