Highlights from May’s Keep Worcester Clean Meeting

Obviously, I live for these meeting minutes, and so do you.

Here are the highlights from the May meeting:

page 5:
“PD – Stan said they arrested 2 kids on Harding St for spray painting cars. They are also monitoring for aggressive pan-handling. Rob said that someone is removing sewer grates at Green Hill Park.”
[emphasis added]

“Illegal Dumping – B. Fiore said DEP showed them how to use the surveillance equipment. Jim said we have 4 new cameras that are being used around the city.”

page 4:
Downtown The Commissioner said he’s seen pit bulls on the common and knows dogs aren’t allowed in that area. The downtown assoc wants to put No Dogs Allowed signs up but we’re not sure if that would do any good if it’s not enforced. Stan said PD doesn’t have a dedicated foot beat officer downtown, but if there’s a problem or issue they’d need to be deployed. Joyce and Rob are working on a pamphlet that spells out the rules and regs for dog owners but it hasn’t been finalized. The Commissioner asked if the Animal Control Officer could dedicate a week or even 1 day per month. Amanda said that the city ordinance states that dogs are now [sic; I suspect this should be “not”] allowed downtown even though dogs are allowed at 50 Franklin St. Rob said that the completed dog brochure will be mailed to all registered dog owners and No Dogs Allowed replacement signs are going up at every entrance to the common.”

Commuter Rail Surcharges and Ticketing

I recently noted that the ticketing machines in Union Station had gone unrepaired for some time; these were repaired (finally) late last week.

I also had a question from a reader about the new (for July 1) onboard surcharge, and whether you would be charged $3.00 or $6.00 for purchasing a round-trip ticket on the train.

I asked MBCR customer service to confirm.  If you are purchasing a round-trip ticket onboard, your fare would be increased by one $3.00 charge only.

Burns Bridge Groundbreaking

Ground was broken on the Burns Bridge project today, according to the Commonwealth Connections: Transportation blog (which I recommend following).

The Burns Bridge website has a high-level timeline of the project:

  • Summer 2012: continuing design work, removal of the south sidewalk, Verizon trunk telephone line splicing, and mobilization of marine operations.
  • Fall 2012: beginning of heavy in-water work including driving piles, building piers and abutments for the new eastbound barrel.
  • Spring 2013: arrival of steel for the eastbound barrel and start of steel erection. Roadwork construction starts.
  • Summer 2013: steel work on the eastbound barrel. Roadway construction on Lake Avenue and Belmont Street including sidewalks and retaining walls.
  • Fall 2013: deck construction on the eastbound barrel and moving of all traffic to the new span.
  • Winter 2013: demolition of the existing Burns Bridge. New fiber optic cables shifted from the old span to the new bridge.
  • Spring 2014: beginning of heavy in-water work including driving piles, building piers and abutments for the new westbound barrel.
  • Fall 2014: arrival of steel for the westbound barrel and start of steel erection.
  • Spring 2015: deck construction for the westbound barrel.
  • Summer 2015: eastbound and westbound lanes will be fully open to traffic.

One thing I’ve noticed during the Belmont Street repaving is that some of the cuts that used to exist at certain intersections between Plantation Street and Lake Avenue (for instance, at the intersection of Frank Street) are now permanently closed.

I recall a letter to the editor a couple of years back about how the temporary closure of those intersections cut off folks who live along those side streets.  As someone who tends to be a through commuter along Belmont Street, closing off those intersections has made my commute quicker, but I don’t recall whether permanently closing those intersections was ever discussed in a city meeting.

Does anyone remember whether this was discussed (and I just missed it)?

June Boards and Commissions Vacancies

The next selection meeting for city boards & commissions will be this Wednesday, June 27 in City Hall Room 401.

The list of vacancies can be found on the City website.

There are still some openings.  Some highlights:

  • There are three openings on the Citizen Advisory Council, which is the board that interviews candidates for openings.  If you’d like to encourage people to serve on boards and commissions, and you live in Districts 2 or 5, this is a great board to join.
  • There are openings on some of what I would consider to be the most influential of the city’s boards.  If you live in District 1 or 4, there are openings on the Zoning Board of Appeals.  If you live in D3, there’s (still) an opening on the Planning Board.  If you live in D4, there is an opening on the Community Development Advisory Committee.  There is an opening — for someone in any district — on the Worcester Arts Council and the Historical Commission.  There are two openings on the Conservation Commission, which are open to residents of Districts 1, 2, 4 and 5.
  • There are still openings on lots of the lesser-known boards that could always use people with passion; some examples: Cable Television Advisory Committee, Elder Affairs Commission, and Commission on Disability.

If you’d like to see how the process works, watch Worcester Boards and Commissions 101.

Please consider applying for the boards that look most interesting…and get the word out to those you know.