North End

North End Park: Two ideas, one design
By Sofia Celeste

Long-term effects

North End residents say they look forward to a time when the air pollution and noise of elevated traffic jams that besieged the neighborhood will be replaced by the soothing sights and sounds of a recreational area where people can hear themselves talk and perhaps even hear birds sing.

“When we decide to have children, it is going to be nice area to walk and play with our kids,” said Laura Pala, a 30-year-old North End resident who is getting married this September.

Pala says she and her fiancé, owners of a condo on Salem Street, will also benefit financially as their home is only steps away from the park’s site.

Although the park’s positives outnumber its negatives for Pala, she still worries that with open space will bring loitering.

“I just hope it’s not going to be filled with homeless people,” she says. “I just hope it’s going to be safe.”

Residents like Tony Cecca are also wary of late-night loiterers endangering North End residents and increasing the level of crime in the area.

“Who’s going to protect it?” he asks.

But City Councilor Scapicchio, also a North End native, is confident that the park is going to be a safe place with pedestrians walking through it at all hours.

“I don’t think it’s going to be like Central Park,” he said, referring to New York’s immense expanse that wise urbanites stay out of at night. “It’s going to be a very active place. I don’t see crime as an issue at all.”

Another concern is traffic. DiGangi explained that in an already parking-starved neighborhood, opening up Hanover Street to increased traffic will not only be an inconvenience for residents but could also make valet parking nearly impossible.

“People want to make Hanover Street run from Congress Street—a big raceway that will result in no parking for restaurants,” he said. “This will eventually put them out of business.”

But turnpike spokesman Doug Hanchette said that Hanover Street will still remain a two-lane street and Salem Street will be extended as a walkway.

“ The two parcels frame Hanover Street, which will be restored to its original alignment and the original alignment of Salem Street will be represented by a footpath across Parcel 8, which will also contain a portion of the Freedom Trail,” he said.

At a meeting in February, Mass Turnpike officials assured residents that traffic isn’t going to be an issue.

“It’s not a highway,” said one official referring to the plans for Hanover Street, which divides the park into two. “It’s a two-lane street.

Final obstacles

| North End Home |Piazza vs. Park | Planning |
|Concerns| Long-term effects |

Inside this story:

North End Home
1.Piazza vs. Park
4.Long-term effects
5.Final obstacles

Map of Rose Kennedy Greenway
History of BigDig
Link to Scarpa’s Work



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