Notes from Dudley Vision Advisory Task Force (DVATF) Meeting, Thursday, April 25, 2013

This meeting had no formal agenda, but it began with a discussion of ongoing project milestones for the Dudley Sq. Municipal Center.

The erection of structural steel is continuing at the Dudley Sq. Municipal Center. It was announced that on Saturday, April 27th, 2013, a section of Washington Street from Walgreen’s to the intersection of Vernon Street would be closed to accommodate trucks and a crane for delivery of two large steel beams. This would be a one-time occurrence and would last from early morning to mid-afternoon. Businesses would still have sidewalk access during the operation. The project team plans to document the operation on Saturday with video and still photos. It was suggested by DVATF members that the entire project be featured in a documentary film by a local filmmaker, and it could be entered into an upcoming Roxbury Film Festival.

It was noted that Construction crews did get a full day of work in last Friday, as they had already arrived at work prior to announcement of a shelter-in-place order.

The project team is petitioning to the Boston Public Improvements Commission (PIC) to gain a number of approvals for project components that affect the public right of way. For example, there are several building elements that overhang the public sidewalk that will require a discontinuance of air rights. Also, there are easements to be granted for use of the sidewalk in selected areas. Hearings for the PIC are to occur on April 25th, and May 2nd, 2013 at City Hall.

DVATF members asked the project team to give advance notice of upcoming public meetings that involve the Dudley Square Municipal Center.

After project milestones were discussed, the DVATF raised the issue of public safety in the district. It was suggested that invitations could go out for upcoming meetings to include law enforcement leaders from both Boston Police Department and MBTA Transit Police. The leaders could participate in a discussion, make presentations and share short and long-term plans for public safety in general, and in the context of the ongoing transformation of Dudley Square.

There was a short discussion concerning ongoing involvement of local students in the Dudley Sq. Municipal Center project. It was suggested that the DVATF could create a subcommittee to develop new initiatives. The project currently has a Madison Park HS intern in the carpentry program who visits the site every other week, studies the project, and writes reports on the project’s progress. The intern, Amber Edwards, has recently been featured on the website.

Regarding student involvement in the project, DVATF members suggested expanding opportunities by getting more local students involved. Mr. Guscott noted that he could begin drafting a curriculum and list of required resources.
The meeting adjourned at about 7:50 p.m. The next scheduled DVATF meeting is Thursday, May 9, 2013, at 6:00 p.m., at the Central Boston Elder Services Building, 2315 Washington Street, Dudley Sq., Roxbury.

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