Bartlett Place Improvements in the Making

September 18, 2012
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Potential plans to make public use of the City owned section of Bartlett Place was discussed at a recent meeting scheduled by the City of Boston Public Works Department held at the Nazzaro Community Center.

Numerous residents attended the public meeting to hear the City’s plans and to offer suggestions for the estimated $110,000 project which the City plans to do one way or another with input from the neighborhood.

Zackery E. Wassmouth, Principle Engineer for the Boston Public Works Engineering Division presented a slide show and responded to questions and ideas from residents and business owners. He noted that the project will be done on the City of Boston owned part of Bartlett Place not the private area.

Some of the things residents insisted that should not go in the area were moveable and/or permanent tables, chairs and benches. They felt that these things would attract gatherings relating to drinking and possibly drug use and late night loud noise.

Another concern expressed by Bartlett Place residents was water drainage which is already a problem causing flooding in the private access area.

“Drainage has already been taken into consideration in the planning stages,” Wassmouth said. “The issue will be included in the design process and it shouldn’t occur.”

Bartlett Place has become a trash dumping ground for people living in the immediate area, according to residents.

“Trash pickup will continue as normal during the construction phase,” Wassmouth indicated. “Emergency access will be in place for the duration of the project.” he also noted that once the project starts and after it has been completed parking will not be allowed at Bartlett Place.

Clean-up and maintenance were also issues raised by residents. “The City hopes to work something out with the business community and residents to help out with this issue,” Wassmouth said.

Stephen Passacantilli a founding member of the North End Beautification Committee told residents that, “There’s a possibility that the non-profit group may be able to help out.”

“Handicap access will be in place at all times, including when the project is completed,” Wassmouth noted. “Emergency access will not be impeded in any way.”

Other suggestions included better lighting and public art in the project plans which is expected to begin when the City completes the re-paving of Salem Street. No time frame was given.

However, once the project begins it will take about 8-9 months including more community meetings, design plans, awarding of the contract and final completion.

The City plans to take the information and suggestions back to the drawing board and return to the neighborhood with a comparable plan and further discussions if necessary.

Those in attendance appeared to be pleased with the City’s willingness to work with residents on every step of the project and that additional community meetings will be held before any final decision is made.

Nicole Leo of the Mayor’s Office told residents that the neighborhood will be advised of the next public meeting and that before the projects starts the City will make the appropriate announcements using flyers, word of mouth to abutters and advertisement in local newspapers.

Leo along with Passacantilli who also works for Boston City Councilor Sal LaMattina expressed their availability to residents anytime during the process.