Author Archives: unionsquaremain

Second Saturday Event – May 14

News-LetterSecond Saturday’s is an ongoing event series happening in Union Square. On the second Saturday of each month local businesses will offer specials & host activities at their locations.

On May 14, Union Square businesses will work together in a fund raising effort to support the SNAP Match Program. This program allows recipients to use their benefit cards (formerly known as food stamps) to purchase farmers market tokens. Union Square Main Streets then matches every dollar up to $10 dollars and allows customers to purchase twice as much healthy, fresh, local food at the farmers market.

See participating businesses and their deals:

Jane’s Walk 2016

Join Union Square Main Streets for Our 2016 Jane’s Walk

“Our Evolving Union Square”

Be part of a great conversation. Jane’s Walk is a global movement of walking tours inspired by urbanist Jane Jacobs. For more info, see www.janejacobswalk.org. At this year’s Walk, hear from both longtime business owners and newer arrivals about their experiences and insights on Union Square, the changes they have seen, and their thoughts and hopes for the future. We look forward to hearing your stories and thoughts as well.

We will be joined by, among others, Gerry Amaral from PA’s Lounge, Josh Danoff from Union Square Donuts, and Jess Willis from The Independent and Brass Union who will share their experiences and insights on Union Square, the changes they have seen, and their thoughts and hopes for the future.

WHEN: Saturday, May 7, 1:30 PM

WHERE: Meet in front of East Boston Savings Bank (37 Union Square),  the intersection of Bow St. and Somerville Ave. 

The Walk will end with refreshments and more conversation at Brass Union.

Help Needy Neighbors with SNAP Match

With spring comes the excitement of the widely anticipated opening of
the Farmer’s Market on May 14. Yet for some families, their ability to purchase this fresh, local, healthy produce at our local market is very limited.

By contributing to the Union Square Main Streets SNAP match campaign, you will help to ensure that struggling families are able to double their purchasing power from $10 to $20 every Saturday of this year’s Market season.

To find out more about how your donation will help, how the SNAP match works, and to make your donation, click here.

Help Save Our Green Line Extension!

Attend This Important Meeting on Monday, May 9

Public Comments will be taken at 1:00 PM

At this critical meeting of the MassDOT and MBTA Boards will consider recommendations for GLX and the integrated Community Path (CPX) cost reductions, budget and schedule.

Your presence, support and constructive comments are needed to ensure that the whole GLX project is built – both GLX branches (to Union Square and to Route 16) and completion of the CPX.

We need friends, relatives, supporters and neighbors to show up in large numbers with signs of any size.  

THIS MAY BE OUR MOST IMPORTANT TRANSPORTATION MEETING SINCE 2004!

Location: State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston

Check http://www.somervillestep.org/  for updates and more info.

Green Line Extension Public Meetings

In order to seek public ideas and input on the re-evaluation, MassDOT and the MBTA will be holding the following public meetings over the next two months:

Wednesday, March 2nd
5:30pm-6:30pm: Open House
6:30pm-8:00pm: Presentation and Q&A
Arts at the Armory
191 Highland Avenue – Somerville

Wednesday, March 23rd
5:30pm-6:30pm: Open House
6:30pm-8:00pm: Presentation and Q&A
Tufts University
51 Winthrop Street – Medford

Wednesday, April 13th
5:30pm-6:30pm: Open House
6:30pm-8:00pm: Presentation and Q&A
Argenziano School
290 Washington Street – Somerville

Wednesday, April 27th
5:30pm-6:30pm: Open House
6:30pm-8:00pm: Presentation and Q&A
St. Anthony’s Parish Hall
400 Cardinal Medeiros Avenue – Cambridge

Thursday, May 5th
5:30pm-6:30pm: Open House
6:30pm-8:00pm: Presentation and Q&A
St. Clement’s Parish Hall
579 Boston Avenue – Medford

Information about the meetings will also be posted to the Green Line Extension website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at info@glxinfo.com.

Update on Union Square Neighborhood Plan

Article below from City of Somerville, ResiStat 2/12 newsletter:

Since the end of December City Planners have been reviewing feedback on the draft Union Square Neighborhood Plan. Although they’re not done, there were some common questions that have come up that were discussed at a recent community meeting. For those who couldn’t make it, here’s what came up:

How much open space will be added to the neighborhood?

Upwards of 8.6 Acres (Meaning More than 19% of Developable Land). The current proposal is to require all private development to dedicate at least 15% of their space to quality open space (some cities count roads, sidewalks and parking lots, but we will not), and the City will create additional quality open space beyond that. For now, in total, the draft plan includes at least 8.6 acres of open space in the Union Square and Boynton Yards area (or 19% of the 44.68 acres of developable land in the area). But that’s not counting plans for two new public plazas (in front of Machu Picchu and at Somerville Ave. and Bow St.), an expanded main plaza, a new community path along the Fitchburg rail line and pocket parks for relaxing, gardening, and exercising that the City will slip into unexpected small spaces. So ultimately, more than 20% of the developable land will be dedicated to new open space.

What’s the best mix of commercial and residential development? One that Achieves SomerVision Job Goals There is a well-documented need for more housing in Somerville and the entire Boston area, but commercial development is also needed to provide much needed jobs and new tax revenue. During the multi-year SomerVision community process, a community goal was set for a total of 30,000 new jobs in Somerville by 2030, with 1,800 of those jobs slated for Union Square and 2,500 estimated for Boynton Yards (a total of 4,300). However, some of the areas of the city that were estimated to provide some of the 30,000 new jobs won’t be ready for development within SomerVision’s time frame, including about half of Boynton Yards. As a result, the original estimates in SomerVision for Union Square and Boynton Yards need to be adjusted upward in total to 5,482 if we are going to achieve SomerVision’s jobs goal by 2030. The draft plan proposes shifting the mix of those 5,482 jobs more toward Union Square (with 3,840 jobs there) and less toward Boynton Yards (with 1,642 jobs there). Union Square is expected to provide another 1,839 jobs on sites outside of the transformational area and Boynton Yards could host another 4,365 jobs or even more beyond the timeframe of SomerVision.

How would the preferences reflected in the Neighborhood Plan be enforced? The Planning Division is currently working with the Board of Aldermen on a zoning overhaul as well, and similar zoning rules would be needed to achieve a large portion of what is envisioned in the neighborhood plan. Zoning can control things like heights of building, affordable housing percentages, where types of buildings and uses are allowed, and building setbacks from the sidewalk. Outside of physical development, new City policies or programs would be developed to achieve the plans other goals.

Stay tuned for more updates on the neighborhood plan and ways to get involved. Visit www.somervillebydesign.com for more info.

The two articles below provide more information about the plan and the February 4 Neighborhood Plan update meeting:

http://somerville.wickedlocal.com/article/20160211/NEWS/160219091

http://somerville.wickedlocal.com/article/20160210/NEWS/160219458