Residents of the South End and around the city lined up to speak to Mayor Martin Walsh during his Neighborhood Coffee Hour at Titus Sparrow Park Tuesday, May 1. The sunny weather drove residents out to speak to their elected officials about problems they are having in their neighborhood.
Neighborhood Coffee Hours give residents a unique opportunity to speak directly with Mayor Walsh and staff from City departments. Representatives from the Boston Public Library, Parks, Police Department, and Boston Center for Youth & Families were in attendance.
Free coffee and breakfast treats were provided by Dunkin’ Donuts, as well as fresh fruit from Whole Foods. Each family received a flowering plant grown in the City’s greenhouses as a gift from Mayor Walsh.
“This is one of my favorite neighborhoods because you’re involved,” said Mayor Walsh. “Sometimes we surprise you by doing our jobs without being asked, and we’ll continue to try and do that.”
Mayor Walsh stated plans to invest $1.98 million to renovate Titus Sparrow Park with an improved playground and updates to the tennis and basketball courts. He also announced, $2.4 million for renovating Ramsay Park including a new play lot, basketball courts, tennis courts and more.
The City will invest $4.2 million towards the South Bay Harbor Trail, which will serve as an important link in the City’s Greenway.
Roadways will also get some upgrades with a $1.75 million investment to conduct resurfacing, pavement markings, and new traffic signals to Washington Street from East Berkeley to Herald Street and Traveler Street.
There will also be $100,000 investment for road reconstruction and improvements to Harrison Ave. between East Berkeley and Herald Streets as part of a $2.2 million multi-year project.
A $132,000 investment will be put towards completing improvements to the South End Branch Library, including an interior reconfiguration project and major electrical, telecommunications, paint, and carpet upgrades.
“We are in the midst of renovating all of our our libraries,” said Mayor Walsh. “We just finished renovating the Copley Square branch and now we are doing all the branches in Boston. They all need to be at the same level as Copley. There should be no difference between the South End and Copley branches. We shouldn’t be teaming them up against each other.”
Walsh also stated that the City is working on creating a permanent engagement center on South Hampton Street.
“I know you guys are putting up with a lot regarding the opioid epidemic, but we’re working to make the engagement center open and inviting to get people off the street,” said Walsh.
In addition, Walsh said the City is working with the State to make sure that Melnea Cass Boulevard is cleaned up on both sides of the street.
The City is also going to invest $1.5 million towards the Woods Mullen Shelter to renovate the interior second-floor to enhance security, finishes, lighting, clinical space and office layout.
“The women who go to Woods Mullen Shelter deserve to have dignity,” said Walsh. “Currently, there are a lot of women who don’t go there because they feel like it’s not a good place.”
Walsh encouraged residents to reach out to him and other elected officials regarding issues they see within the neighborhood.