July 2020

Waban Area Council - Meeting Agenda
Thursday, July 9, 2020    

NOTE Earlier Start time: 7:00 - 9:30 PM
Meeting Location: Online via Zoom

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7:00 – 7:10 Approval of minutes from last meeting and Budget Review

7:10 – 7:20 Burning Issues from the community

7:20 – 7:25 Meeting in August?

Reconvene via zoom in a Joint Area Council session with Newtonville to discuss:

7:25 – 7:45  Race, policing, and the City budget  
                       1) Community experiences
                       2) Would Newton benefit from having a chapter of the NAACP?

7:45 – 8:35  Theory and practice of transit-oriented development
1) What policies and practices can most effectively mitigate climate change?
                      2) What difference can TOD make with and without an effective transit system?
                      3) Whither the MBTA?
                      4) California as a case study:  The failure of major TOD bills
                      5) TOD, gentrification, and the centralization of power
                      6) TOD in Newton:  Class, race, and distributive justice 

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Meeting ID = 872 5920 6299   Password = 732385
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Meeting Date: 
Thursday, July 9, 2020 - 7:00pm



Waban Area Council

Meeting Minutes

July 9 7-7:30pm

Held via Zoom


WAC Members Present:  Chris Pitts, Bob Jampol, Tom Elkind, Isabelle Ahlbeck, Rena Getz, Dinah Bodkin, Sallee Lipshutz

City Council Member Present:  Bill Humphrey

Community:  Carol Todreas, John Mordes, Tim deChant, Bob Burke, Carol Laibson


Hemlock Gorge:  Solomon Foundation hired by DCR for advice on Hemlock Gorge.  Mostly a listening session.  All improvements on hold due to lack of funding.


NWH Cogen Plant Tim DeChant reported that John Looney wrote me that Woodard and Curran are doing the community impact studies. TCI Engineers is doing the other work on the power plant project. He did not make clear whether Partners or NWH have an existing relationship with Woodard and Curran.  For the time being everything is on hold as NWH deals with the Covid crisis.


Friends of Quinobequin:  Zoom meeting (“listening session”) held June 25 with DCR.  Maureen and others reported that meeting was difficult to attend and it was hard to see who was actually on the call. BH reported most on the call were Quinobequin residents.  Message from DCR was that lack of funds forces them to drop scheduled improvements.  However, they are still making tentative plans and taking public comment until July 17.  A public meeting will be held in August to bring forward proposed concepts.  Five years of data collection by DCR yielded conclusion that the intersection of Rte 9 and Quinobequin is dangerous.  DCR wishes to enhance natural resources and be ADA compliant.  WAC discussion centered on walking path and bike lane and whether it is feasible to combine the two.  SL: The Solomon Foundation has proposed that Quinobequin be a one way street.  It would therefore have to be northbound since that is the only route to NWH.  There would be much less traffic, road would be much safer (option favored by SL despite the inconvenience caused).


Bike Lane Beacon St.  Bike lanes come in various shapes and sizes.  Beacon St has a painted in bike lane, which the width of the street allows.  Discussion is whether bike lane should be added to portions of Beacon St where there is none.  This would involve areas (ie near Angier School, Farmer’s Market at Cold Spring Park) where parking, pedestrian and traffic considerations may make biking hazardous, or may create hazards for pedestrians.  Srdjan Nedeljkovic pointed out that bike lanes should be supported, and compromises with parking are possible.  Beacon St is a key access road in Newton and should be more bike friendly.  BJ pointed out that Brookline, Brighton and Boston are way ahead of Newton is terms of bike friendliness.  Carol Todreas: bikers on Beacon St do create hazards for walkers.


Black Lives Matters (BLM) and WAC:  IA: it is distressing that so few people post BLM banners on their lawns.  Can WAC purchase and post a banner?  CP and RG: WAC and other municipal sites and groups in Newton are constrained by ordinances requiring activities be non political.  CP: This was the reason WAC decided to join discussion (beginning in five minutes) with Newtonville Area Council about possible NAACP chapter in Newton and other actions area councils can take.


WAC Meeting followed by joint WAC/Newtonville Area Council meeting.  Minutes posted here: (link to be posted when available).


Respectfully submitted by 

Dinah Bodkin

July 17 2020