Thursday, May 03, 2018

Boston City Council Looks At Grants, Appointments, Bike Lanes, Greenway BID & More

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the following items and more at their April 15 and May 2, 2018 meetings:


Grants: The Council voted to approve Mayor Walsh’s authorization orders for:
  • $99,314 from U.S. Department of Justice to fund Address Verification Program activities mandated by the MA Sex Offender Registry Board. This grant would also fund the FY17 Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Reallocation.
  • The Elderly Commission to accept and expend $130,253 from the Retired Senior Volunteer Program grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service to fund 356 RSVP volunteers who will provide social support to homebound or older adults and individuals with disabilities.
The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture to accept and expend:

  • $5,000 from the MA Cultural Council to fund programming in the Roxbury Cultural District.
  • $5,000 from the Boston Foundation to fund the original creation of contemporary artwork by emerging artists.
Appointments:

  • Tony Barros as a Member of the Boston School Committee Nominating Panel for a term expiring on April 13, 2020.
  • Laurie Ciardi as a Member of the Boston School Committee Nominating Panel for a term expiring on April 13, 2020.
  • Jerry Howland as a Member of the Boston School Committee Nominating Panel for a term expiring on April 20, 2020.
  • Daniel Greene as a Trustee of the Boston Retirement Board for a term expiring on March 13, 2020.
  • Amelia Croteau to serve as an Ex Officio Trustee to the Boston Groundwater Trust.
  • Michael Parker as Chairperson of the Boston Conservation Commission, effective immediately.
  • Alexis Tkachuk, the Director of Emerging Industries, to execute on the Mayor’s behalf to host community agreements with marijuana establishments or medical marijuana treatment centers.
Protected Bike Lanes on the Longfellow Bridge: We voted to adopt the resolution that Councilor Zakim and I filed a resolution to support the implementation of protected bike lanes on the Longfellow Bridge. The Cambridge City Council unanimously passed a similar resolution. The bridge is scheduled to reopen this month after nearly a decade of planning and construction. According to the Boston Transportation Department, the number of Bostonians who “usually” commute by bicycle increased by 180% from 2007 to 2016, cyclists comprised 34.9% of inbound traffic on the bridge during the morning commute in 2017, and the bridge was among the top 10 busiest cycling locations in the entire city of Boston during 2017, despite the lack of a safe bicycle land during construction. More than 3,100 individuals signed a petition calling on the MA Department of Transportation to install protected bike lanes on the Longfellow Bridge, with signatories using terms such as “dangerous,” “death-trip,” and “terrifying” to describe riding on the bridge absent adequate infrastructure.  We support advocates’ requests to reduce the number of vehicular lanes on the inbound side of the Longfellow Bridge from two to one for the uphill portion of the bridge and implementing physically separated bicycle infrastructure on the bridge wide enough to facilitate passing, before it reopens. MassDOT has recently committed to being open to a pilot of this situation after certain baselines are established, but we believe the infrastructure should be safe from the beginning and the current numbers demonstrate a strong baseline for cyclist demand and need. The Council also urges the MA Department of Transportation to make an immediate public commitment to implementing this revised plan, and work with advocates and stakeholders to ensure the new bridge works for commuters of all transit modes.
                 
NSTAR Zoning: NSTAR Electric Company filed a petition with the Department of Public Utilities seeking zoning relief from the Boston Zoning Code. The zoning exemption relief is requested to complete certain proposed modifications to an existing substation, Substation No. 385 (the “K Street Substation”) at 500 East First Street in South Boston.

Greenway Business Improvement District (BID): We voted unanimously to approve the Greenway Business Improvement District, a special assessment district allowed by state law in which property owners vote to initiate, manage and finance supplemental services or enhancements above and beyond the baseline of services already provided by their local governments. At the public hearing on April 12th, we heard from the City, State, Greenway Conservancy and A Better City about this public-private partnership that will generate and estimated $1.5M for maintenance, operations, and programming. The Greenway is a hub of cultural programming, public art, resilient open space management, and place-making. This will help advance a sustainable, long-term stability to the Greenway’s funding in the spirit of shared responsibility between the public and private sectors. This will be the second BID district in Boston (after the Downtown BID) and will contribute $1.5M to The Greenway each year. Councilors emphasized and thanked the Greenway for their commitment at the hearing to pushing further on equity, diversity, and accessibility in all their programming and operations.

Upcoming Hearings (Livestream): 
  • Friday, 5/4 at 11:00 AM: Hearing re: MBTA Assessment (Planning, Development & Transportation) - POSTPONED
  • Friday, 5/4 at 2:00 PM: Working Session re: (Environment, Sustainability & Parks) - CANCELED
  • Monday, 5/7 at 2:00 PM: Working Session re: Authorizing Additional Licenses for the sale of All Alcoholic Beverages to be Drunk on the Premises in Boston (Government Operations)
  • Tuesday, 5/8 at 12:00 PM: Hearing re: An Act Directing the Police Department to waive the maximum age requirement for police officer Hugh Trong Ngo (Government Operations)
  • Friday, 5/11 at 11:00 AM: Hearing re: Amending the City of Boston Code, Ch. VI, Sec. 6-9.5(G), the Solar Renewable Energy Certificates Revolving Fund (Government Operations)
Upcoming Budget Hearings (Livestream)

  • Thursday, 5/3 at 11:00 AM: FY19 Budget: BPS Administrative Budget, Central Office, and Academic and Student Support Services (1)
  • Thursday, 5/3 at 2:00 PM: FY19 Budget: FY19 Budget: BPS Academics and Student Support Services (2)
  • Monday, 5/7 at 11:00 AM: FY19 Budget: Inspectional Services Department
  • Monday, 5/7 at 12:30 PM: FY19 Budget Animal Care and Control Revolving Fund
  • Tuesday, 5/8 at 2:00 PM:  FY19 Budget: BPS School Operations (1)
  • Tuesday, 5/8 at 6:00 PM:  FY19 Budget: BPS School Operations (2)
  • Thursday, 5/10 at 11:00 AM: FY19 Budget: BPS Human Capital and Equity
  • Monday, 5/14 at 11:00 AM: FY19 Budget: Boston Centers for Youth and Families
  • Monday, 5/14 at 12:30 PM: City Hall Child Care Revolving Fund
  • Monday, 5/14 at 2:00 PM: FY19 Budget: Youth Engagement and Employment
  • Tuesday, 5/15 at 11:00 AM: FY19 Budget: Public Works
  • Thursday, 5/17 at 10:00 AM: FY19 Budget: Public Health Commission (1)
  • Thursday, 5/17 at 2:00 PM: FY19 Budget: Public Health Commission (2)
  • Friday, 5/18 at 11:00 AM: FY19 Budget: Emergency Medical Services
  • Monday, 5/21 at 11:00 AM: FY19 Budget: Fire Department
  • Tuesday, 5/22 at 11:00 AM: FY19 Budget: Police Department
  • Tuesday, 5/22 at 12:30 PM: FY19 Budget: BPD Revolving Funds
  • Tuesday, 5/22 at 2:00 PM: FY19 Budget: Boston Planning and Development Agency
  • Tuesday, 5/22 at 5:00 PM: FY19 Budget: Boston Transportation Department
  • Thursday, 5/23 at 11:30 AM: FY19 Budget: Parks and Recreation Department
  • Monday, 6/4 at 11:00 AM: FY19 Budget: Carryover
  • Tuesday, 6/5 at 2:00 PM: FY19 Budget: Public Testimony
For complete notes on Boston City Council meetings, visit MichelleForBoston.com or sign up to receive these notes automatically.

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