Last night, residents from across the city showed up at the Planning Board to voice concern with the proposed development at 75 New Street.
After a presentation from the developers and their attorney, members of the public testified on a range of issues relating to traffic, bike lanes, and pedestrian access to the Alewife T station. Ultimately, the board decided to postpone deliberation until another meeting, to be announced.
No member of the public spoke in support of the proposal, but thirteen individuals came forward to complain about a lack of infrastructure, including Cambridge City Councilor Dennis Carlone, who serves as the Chairperson of the council's Transportation, Public Utilities, and Infrastructure Committee. Planning Board members heard a litany of complaints about the difficulty of navigating New Street and the increased volume of traffic feeding into the Alewife Brook Parkway and the rotary.
“Making a [new] neighborhood takes a great effort and the public domain is key, but that’s not what’s being discussed here,” Carlone said. He called for widening New Street to accommodate two-way traffic along with bike lanes, wider sidewalks, and larger trees to better screen the bulk of the proposed four-story building that will stretch some three hundred feet.
Carlone also mentioned that seven different neighborhood groups have contacted him to ask for a citywide Master Plan.
In addition to testimony from Councillor Carlone and members of the newly-formed Fresh Pond Residents Alliance, members of the Cambridge Residents Alliance and the Neighborhood Association of East Cambridge were also on hand to support fellow Cantabridgians in their call for better urban planning.
Thank you to Jan Devereux of the Fresh Pond Residents Alliance for contributing to this blog post.