North End Park: Two ideas, one design
By Sofia Celeste
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
“I just hope it’s not going to be filled with homeless
people,” she says. “I just hope it’s going to
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
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
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.”
End Home |Piazza
vs. Park | Planning |