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Community to get first look at long-term ideas for Blue Hill Avenue/Cummins Highway area

Posted by Patrick Rosso  December 4, 2013 05:32 PM

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After more than two months of work, members of a Blue Hill Avenue/Cummins Highway advisory group are preparing to share their vision for the neighborhood with the broader community.

A community meeting has been set for Thursday, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Mattapan Library, located at 1350 Blue Hill Ave.

The 14 members of the mayor appointed advisory group, which formed this fall, have been tasked, along with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, with developing a long-term strategy for the area surrounding the yet to be completed Blue Hill Avenue Fairmount Commuter Rail station.

Similar groups have also been established around station areas in Dorchester.

While the advisory group has concentrated on the area around the Mattapan station, they are part of the broader Fairmount Indigo Planning Initiative, which is tasked with developing a plan for the entire 9.2-mile rail corridor that stretches from Roxbury to Hyde Park.

Thursday’s event will give residents a chance to find out what the group has done, how its work relates to the broader Fairmount Indigo Planning Initiative, and how the initiative will benefit local residents. The meeting is also an opportunity for the advisory group to find out what the priorities for the greater community are and what direction local residents would like to see the program move in.

“[Thursday’s meeting] is a chance for people to hear and better understand the issues surrounding the proposed station,” explained Jeremy Rosenberger, a BRA planner leading the Fairmount Indigo Planning Initiative.

“We want folks to help us prioritize and better understand the issues in the area,” said Rosenberger. “With the advisory group and resident input it will help us put together a shared vision for the community.”

From generating a development plan for the Cote Ford parcel to bringing jobs to the community and cutting down on commute times, little has been left untouched by the group.

“One big theme we have been hearing is economic development,” explained Rosenberger. “People not only want to bring jobs to the community, but find out ways to connect people to those jobs.”

“We also have heard that housing is a priority; it’s getting more and more expensive to live in Mattapan and Boston,” Rosenberger said. “Commute times have also been talked about. Out of all the populations around the Fairmount Line, the folks in Mattapan are burdened by the longest commutes.”

In addition to the themes highlighted by the group, Thursday’s meeting will also provide residents with an opportunity to provide their suggestions about how to bring more life to the community and in particular the station area.

“The area is ripe for improvements and we want to hear from residents about what those could look like,” said Rosenberger. “There’s momentum, so let’s keep it going.”

More information about the advisory group and the Fairmount Indigo Planning Initiative can be found here.

To read up about the advisory group’s first formal meeting, click here.

Email Patrick D. Rosso, Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

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