by Rick Winterson
There are seven neighborhood civic organizations in South Boston. They generally meet on a monthly basis to review crime statistics, proposed developments, and specific neighborhood controversies. Since it’s early in 2018, South Boston Online will be reporting on these civic meetings, with an emphasis on key controversies that could be of general interest. In our last issue (January 11, page three), we wrote about the City Point Neighborhood Association and their zoning controversies.
For this issue, we covered the meeting of ASCA – the Andrew Square Civic Association. Two key issues emerged: The location of (now legal) pot shops in and around Andrew Square, and proposed route changes for the 2018 St. Patrick’s/Evacuation Day Parade.
Ed Flynn, the newly inaugurated District 2 City Councilor, brought up the pot shop issue from the meeting’s floor. He stated this issue as a question, “Do you want a pot shop in your neighborhood?”, and then answered his own question, “I certainly don’t want a pot shop near where I live.” This made the ASCA meeting attendees think about the issue, although no specific answers were articulated. South Boston Online is mentioning this as a question all our readers need to answer. Like it or not, even though possession is still a federal felony, pot is now legal in Massachusetts, the City of Boston, and our South Boston neighborhood. The exact, acceptable locations of pot shops anywhere in South Boston still need to be determined.
The SBAWVC (South Boston Allied War Veterans Council) took over responsibility for the Parade from the City of Boston some 70 years ago. Dave Falvey, the current SBAWVC Commander, and Tim Duross, who has organized, staged, and overseen the dispatching during Parade Day since the 1990s, then took the floor at the ASCA meeting.
It is a fact that Andrew Square becomes a traffic nightmare at the end of the Parade. Part of this is due to the expansion of South Bay, including a recently opened movie house. Andrew Square is frequently congested, even when traffic is normal. Another problem arises because the Parade itself has become such a huge event – 150+ marching units, the largest Parade in New England and the third largest in the nation. Once the Parade’s leading elements arrive in Andrew Square, there are legitimate concerns about access by emergency vehicles.
Falvey and Duross proposed stopping and dispersing the Parade at the intersection of Dorchester Street and Old Colony Avenue, instead of in the Square. Because of the number of local viewers from the blocks immediately around the Square, including many elderly residents, ASCA members objected to this. Suggested alternates included routing the Parade onto Ward Street from Dorchester Street, and using Preble Street as a dispersal area. Falvey and Duross agreed to get an opinion from the City’s Traffic Department, and to resubmit a final proposal to ASCA.
What are your ideas about the Parade route this coming March 18, which is a Sunday afternoon?