The meeting started late as chairman Schwartz had trouble finding parking — to resounding applause from the 300+ standing-room only in attendance. That set the scene and the tone. The planning department then presented the results of their review of Northland’s latest traffic and transportation plan, noting that they still had concerns about the viability of the shuttle program.
Northland then described some changes to their proposed shuttle program, but perhaps the most interesting part of their presentation was when Ms. Tibbits-Nutt, speaking on behalf of the 128 Business Council (the shuttle bus consultant) noted that they have been asked to say what would happen if the service failed… and then proceeded to respond to the question by saying that they did not believe it would fail. Belief, of course, is a wonderful thing, but the question remains unanswered because there is no answer; there is no “Plan B.”
RightSize Newton had been graciously given 10 minutes to present after Northland and you can find the presentation and copies of letters we sent to the City Council ahead of the meeting here.
There were many excellent comments that followed, overwhelmingly from people who thought the current proposal would generate too much traffic and that the shuttles would not work to mitigate it.
While some councilors wanted to have a brief discussion last night, they ultimately decided that many questions had been raised that Northland should answer and that they would send additional questions to Northland, as well. Northland’s responses to these questions will be discussed at the next meeting (the date is not yet set, but should be sometime in May).