Friday, March 26, 2010

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN & VISION STATEMENT: Resident feedback on Vision Statement

Question/Comment: A resident would like to say that he likes the vision statement, but he is concerned that we do not stress the importance of promoting a high-quality education system enough in the current wording of the vision statement.  The word "education" does not come up until the 5th section of the vision when we have already mentioned "transportation" twice.  He thinks this needs to be balanced out.  It should provide much higher emphasis to the importance of the City's schools in securing its economic future. The Somerville Public Schools will need to continue to improve in order to keep the City economically competitive.

Question/Comment:  A resident would like to comment that s/he really likes the Vision Statement.  It seems to embody everything that s/he thinks is important, and it does so very articulately.  S/he likes that "diversity" includes  housing and economy.   S/he also likes that "investing in our economic base" explicitly supports independent local businesses, and that "sustainable" captures the essence of sustainability, i.e., health, housing, education (and not just environment).

Question/Comment: A resident sent her visioning statement that she used for the "Future of Somerville" project. She is part of Somerville Climate Action and believes that these ideas would be incredibly beneficial for the residents of Somerville and would be thankful if they were included in the city's Visioning process:

2010 - After the adoption of citywide the permit parking and meter increases, combined with long delays and cost overruns of the MBTA Green line project, Somerville finally takes on alternative transportation as a model for cities across the globe. Citizens no longer able to afford "big 3" cars, gas, and fees seek alternate transportation. 

2011 - Bike taxis pop up all over the city, starting at all MBTA stations. Market Basket adds several stands and offers coupons to customers to alleviate parking and traffic headaches all hours of the day. Others soon follow suit. Metro-Pedal Power expands its tricycle trucks to a fleet of 20, with delivery services of all kinds of goods to the thousands of careless residents. The city decides to encourage more biking by putting a bike lane on every street in the city.  

2013 - Fed up with the unreliability of the MBTA buses, Somerville unveils it's own citywide transportation system: a small fleet of hybrid fueled passenger vans, charging a $1 fee, and using current bus-stops.  Residents never have to wait more than 5 minutes for a ride. At the newly cleaned up Mystic River families can enjoy many recreational options. Recycling, composting, and trash reduction are embraced by the entire community. Store-owners participate by eliminating plastic bags, discouraging littering, and reducing overall waste.

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