Yes, there’s more to Newtonville than just Austin Street. At @fignewtonville’s request, here’s an opportunity to discuss last night’s Parks & Recreation Commission public hearing. At issue was a proposal to build a parking lot on public park land to provide enhanced staff parking for a renovated Cabot School. I was unable to attend. Can anyone share what went on and what opinions were expressed? Was a parking study presented? Were new alternatives presented?
Minutes from last month’s meeting provide some good background. As with the Angier and Zervas School projects, the new design aims to increase on-site staff parking. Once again, the school site is extremely constrained. Most of the available space it appears will paved to accommodate vehicles. In addition to a bus loop, multiple drop-off loops will enable parents to drop off their child by car a very short distance from the building. (Drop-off loops have created chaos at other Newton schools, and a similar proposal at Zervas was nixed) The renovation plan would build a gymnasium on what is now the end of Parkview Ave, terminating the road and connecting the park to the school property. That part of Parkview, ironically, has traditionally been used for parking, creating a view of… parked cars.
The proposal seeks to build a lot which extends into Cabot Park. Is this the right use of the available open space? What is the likely outcome of such a car-centric site design?