Saturday, March 22, 2008

Managing Boston Common Use

Local papers and bloggers are buzzing after news broke last week that the City of Boston Parks Department is considering kicking certain large events off the Boston Common. I have had a pleasant experience working with the Parks Department on issues related to the Common, and thought I would post my thoughts.

The Boston Common is a sacred space, and it is heavily used. With that use comes damage. I attended meetings this time last year with the Parks Department, as they planned to shut down the parade ground space on the Common to rehabilitate the turf (the parade ground is generally the area right above the Boston Common Garage. The project was not cheap, and for that reason it makes complete sense for the department to evaluate use of the parade grounds, and the entire park itself.

There are too many events on the Boston Common. Some of these events would benefit from switching their location to the City Hall Plaza area. For one thing, the T access to City Hall Plaza is immediate. Plus, the buildings around City Hall Plaza are a natural noise container. You do not know how many times I have heard that the noise on the Common is excessive-- and that noise travels right into the homes on the south slope of Beacon Hill.

In summary, given how much the City has spent on repairs to the Boston Common, it is the Parks Department's responsibility to taxpayers to evaluate use of the park to make sure the refurbished areas remain pristine for years to come.

No comments: