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Those speaking during a public hearing Tuesday were overwhelming opposed to  a mixed-use development at the Riverside MBTA. In addition to the understandable concerns about traffic, safety, construction and noise, a common theme was concern from neighbors about losing the character of their wonderful Lower Falls neighborhood.

This quote from Ashley Studley’s story in the TAB was fairly typical…

“It’s going to be a nightmare for Lower Falls and it’ll change the neighborhood’s quality of life substantially,” said Robert Sklar, a Grove Street resident.

Only Anatol Zuckerman spoke in favor of the project.

He said neighbors would have to bear the brunt of construction, but that it’ll be worth the hassle.

“I believe their lives will improve as a result of this project,” Zuckerman said, noting it’ll bring restaurants, gardens and an improved community environment to the area.

Does Zuckerman have a point?  After all, we’re not talking about tearing up wetlands to build a smart growth mix of homes, offices and shopping. We’re replacing a massively ugly, environmentally unfriendly,  parking lot.
How must does that parking lot contribute to the character of Lower Falls?