December Holiday update
New Year's Resolutions
Police Task Force
Green Gateway to the Garden City Wishing you and your family health, warmth and increasing sunlight as the season moves from the shortest day toward 2021, the inauguration, spring, widespread vaccinations, and so much more to look forward to once the pandemic is under control!
New year’s resolutions: I have been reading Nature’s Best Hope by Douglas Tallamy, which is about how every one of us with a yard can save, not only butterflies, but life in this corner of the earth. If you were looking for a good read (and beautiful pictures) before planning your spring seed orders, this is it.
Shop Local: I am thankful that Mayor Ruthanne Fuller has made it easier for restaurants and shops to provide curbside pickup. If you own a business that needs a 15-minute parking spot in front--the request form is here. Questions? Contact Newton’s Economic Development Director Devra Bailin who is the City’s coordinator for this program at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-796-1122 (office) and 617-831-0103 (cell).
If you still have holiday shopping--check out the local options! Local businesses sustain our economy, our tax base and our non-profits. The Newton-Needham Chamber has a handy directory.
Police task force: If you are interested in the progress of the Newton Police Reform Task Force, there’s a Town Hall Tuesday, Dec. 22, 5:30-7:30 pm (remote) to develop a framework to guide their recommendations. Share your ideas and hopes for the NPD and the community. Register here. To join the email list for Task Force updates, click here.
Meanwhile, the city’s search for the next police chief continues.
Weigh in on Zoning, too: To get a sense of your questions and thoughts on zoning, the Planning Department has generated a presentation (because zoning is complicated) and a survey. Deadline to participate is January 10th, so make this an early resolution. If the survey isn’t enough for you, send questions and ideas to email@example.com.
Green gateway to the Garden City? As part of the bridge work for the Commonwealth Ave/Route 95 area, Newton has the opportunity to have MassDOT rebuild the Auburn St./Comm Ave intersection, which is between the boathouse and the Marriott. Right now the only crosswalk in that section is at Ash St. to the east; westbound traffic is not stopped by the current stoplight at Auburn St. and is fast moving as it approaches the highway entrance ramps so there are no safe crossings for people on foot.
MassDOT has proposed a roundabout, which would improve pedestrian safety, including for those with limited vision, connect the trails coming north from Riverside with the riverside trails coming south from Waltham via Lyons Field, and knit together the Carriageway east-west protected bike boulevard (which eventually will extend west to Natick and east through Boston).
At its presentation to Public Facilities recently, MassDOT representatives indicated that they would build this roundabout, which greatly increases the green space here, or return the intersection to its current, unsafe, design.
Read more about roundabouts and safety for all users (driver, pedestrian, cyclist) at the Federal Highway Administration website which includes a helpful 10 minute educational overview video.
If you are interested in better safety and more greenspace at our western gateway, please plan to attend the meeting on January 14, 7-8:30 pm
Meeting ID: 867 1865 9714
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Please stay safe through the holidays, so we can gather in person again in 2021!
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Almost every month I write constituents about a topic before the city