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Planning Musings

This category contains 13 posts

NCPC Needs Bolder Vision for DC’s Pennsylvania Avenue

Comments submitted on April 26, 2022 to the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) on The Pennsylvania Avenue Initiative’s Vision and Concepts. NCPC is correct that Pennsylvania Avenue has too much asphalt and space dedicated to cars, but the New Vision is not bold enough to return “America’s Main Street” street to a thriving destination. The … Continue reading

Yes, Boston Should Charge for Outdoor Dining. But Don’t Stop There

North End restaurateurs are furious about having to pay a $7,500 flat fee plus $450 to $500 per month per parking space to setup outdoor dining in the street this year. They are furious that restaurateurs in other neighborhoods will not pay the same fees. They are furious and they are wrong. The city should … Continue reading

BPDA Should Approve Revised Dock Square Garage Project

This is the text of a letter I sent on February 19, 2019 to Michael Sinatra, the BPDA project manager for the Dock Square Garage (20 Clinton Street) project, a proposal to add seven stories with 175+ homes atop the garage plus new ground floor retail. Last April, I criticized the proposal to redevelop the … Continue reading

BPDA Should Approve the Project to Reimagine the Hotel Alexandra

This is the text of a letter I sent on December 12, 2018 to Michael Sinatra, the BPDA project manager for 1767-1769 Washington Street, a proposal to restore the façade of the former Hotel Alexandra and construct a new hotel on the site. The BPDA should approve this project. The proposal balances preserving the ornate … Continue reading

Lower Boston’s Speed Limit and Redesign the Streets

  This is the text of a letter I sent on August 30, 2018 to Boston City Councilors Frank Baker and Ed Flynn. Both Councilors announced earlier that week that they would like to investigate a 20 mph default speed limit in Boston. When a driver struck and killed Colin McGrath a little over a … Continue reading

Baker, Walsh: Take the T Pledge

Yesterday, I attended the Boston March for Science. Understandably, many of the speeches and signs focused on climate change.[1] I wish I had brought a “Fix The T” sign because we need fast, frequent, and reliable MBTA buses, trains, and ferries to decrease the significant greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.[2] We also need our  leaders—our Governor and … Continue reading

Dock Square Garage Redevelopment Must Add Shops

This is the text of the letter I sent on April 9, 2018 to Michael Rooney, Senior Project Manager, Boston Planning and Development Agency regarding the Dock Square Garage redevelopment project. More information about the project is available here. The Dock Square Garage is a 1970s throwback to a time when vacant lots and garages … Continue reading

MassDOT Must Build West Station Now

This is the text of the letter I sent to Matthew Beaton, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, in response to the Draft Environmental Impact Review for the I-90 Allston Interchange project in Boston. Massachusetts must strive to achieve the Commonwealth’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 … Continue reading

Baltimore Council to Consider Alternative to Demolishing Vacant Homes

  Today, the Baltimore City Council will discuss Councillor Mary Pat Clarke’s proposal to revive a $1 home program from the 1980’s designed to rehabilitate long-vacant properties. This proposal contrasts with a nearly $700 million state and city effort to demolish and replace 4,000 such buildings. Unfortunately, Baltimore has a great many empty buildings. The … Continue reading

Solaria Labs Total Home Score Measures Noise and Safe Driving in Greater Boston

Last Saturday at the Hubweek Hub, a map of Boston illuminated a large display. Evoking a figure ground, it showed a variety of colors and the confident name: Total Home Score (THS). I finished waiting in line for the STAT 360° virtual reality experience and then headed to the next shipping container to check out Solaria … Continue reading