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Yet another reason to get out there and vote. From Livable Streets:
This November, Boston voters (as well as those in Springfield and Holyoke) will decide if their cities will join the roughly 160 others across the state in adopting the Community Preservation Act. A positive CPA vote (item number 5 on the Boston ballot) will raise money that can only be used for open space preservation (including greenways), development of affordable housing, the acquisition and development of outdoor recreational facilities (including playgrounds, bicycling, and pedestrian facilities), and the preservation of historic resources.
If adopted, the average single-family Boston homeowner will pay about $28 per year – about $2 per month. Small business owners would pay between $100 and $250 a year. Including the projected state match, the city is expected to have roughly $20 million every year for CPA projects. It’s a small amount to pay for a very large return in increased quality of life. And voters can see exactly what their money is being used for via a database set up by the non-profit Community Preservation Coalition.
The program has been a huge success in those municipalities that have already adopted it since the enabling act passed in 2000; state-wide raising over $1.4 billion which has paid for over 8,500 units of affordable housing, 1,250 recreation projects, 21,800 acres of open space, and 3,6000 historic preservation projects. Once adopted, no city has ever voted to repeal the CPA program.
FOLLOW THE MONEY
The money comes from both the city and a state match. Cities start the process by adopting a 1-to-3 percent property tax surcharge. Boston is proposing only 1% and, like many other cities, is excluding the first $100,000 of assessed valuation and exempting both low-income homeowners and low-moderate income seniors. Boston can also add other revenues (such as linkage fees, impact fees, hotel taxes, etc.) to their CPA Fund, in order to qualify for a higher CPA state match. The state matches the city money, originally dollar-for-dollar but more recently, as additional cities join, a declining percentage – now a bit below 30% but still amounting to millions of dollars for Boston.
By law, at least 10% of annual CPA funds must be used for projects in each of three areas: affordable housing, open space (excluding recreational uses), and historic preservation. Beyond that, the local Legislative body (e.g. Boston’s City Council) decides on how to divide the remaining funds among the four categories. Cambridge, for example, uses most of the money for affordable housing.
A FUND FOR LIVABILITY
Whether your priority is the environment, public health, physical activity or resilience, adopting the CPA – Yes on Question 5 in Boston – is a no-brainer. There is no significant opposition, not even from the real estate or construction industries. Mayor Walsh and nearly every office holder has expressed their support. Why not: the real estate market in adopting municipalities has not slowed; corporate investment in new facilities has not disappeared. If anything, the Boston-area real estate market has become over heated and too expensive – making the CPA even more important as a small but important counter to the profit-driven destruction of open space, the painful explosion of housing costs, the connection of increased recreational opportunities to both better public health and workforce retention.
It’s important to remember that even in this time of anger and cynicism, there are public programs that are transparent and good.
Tags: boston, cpa, go vote, livable streets
Posted in advocacy | No Comments »
from the email, looks like fun.
Tour de Grave
What: A trip to some of the Boston area’s famous and lesser-known graveyards in honor of Halloween. Trip leaves at9:30am in order to avoid the majority of ghosts, and will be about 13 miles and take about 3 or 4 hours. Steady rain cancels. Helmets required. Appropriate costumes are encouraged for this ride!
Where: We will meet at the Central Burying Ground on Boston Common, near the corner of Tremont and Boylston Streets
This year we will be exploring cemeteries in downtown Boston, the North and South Ends, Roxbury, Dorchester, South Boston, and Charlestown.
When: Saturday October 29, 2016 at 9:30AM
From more information, contact:
Tags: 2016, tour de graves
Posted in fun | No Comments »
How to turn you bike into a tron cycle, all you need is some lights and long film exposure.
Riding a bike is not only a revolutionary act, but one that makes you feel good.
Tags: light cycle, tron, video
Posted in fun, video | No Comments »
After the two recent deaths of cyclists at the hands it seems the citizens are taking to the streets to demand safer bike lanes.
I have seen some very lovely volunteers out collecting signatures on the street (I signed), they also have a website. If you would like to support their efforts to demand safer bike lanes in Cambridge go here, and sign the petition. Seems they already have about 1000 signatures, and its growing fast!
Below is their mission statement:
We have come together to call for a Cambridge that is safer for everyone, a city where bicycling is safe and enjoyable for people of all ages and abilities.
In light of the tragic deaths of Dr. Bernard “Joe” Lavins, Amanda Phillips, and Marcia Deihl, all killed by trucks in the last two years, we call on the City of Cambridge to make the following safety improvements:
- Immediate action to implement a safe network of protected bikeways on major thoroughfares and key connectors by Spring 2017. The City should focus on installing temporary protected bikeways before the end of 2016 on those streets with the highest crash rates, including Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge Street, Hampshire Street, and Broadway.
- Incorporate the Cambridge Bike Plan into all current and future road construction projects. The Bike Plan is a great vision but it needs to be incorporated into all current and future road construction projects if it’s to be realized. Those projects under construction or in design should be updated to include separated bike lanes where called for in the Bike Plan, including Huron, Pearl, and Garden.
- Commit funding to proactively implement the Cambridge Bike Plan. The Bike Plan has the potential to transform the city for everyone if Cambridge moves more aggressively to implement it. At a minimum, certain roadway reconstruction projects should be accelerated, especially Massachusetts Avenue, where protected lanes for bicyclists would have a profound and measurable safety impact.
Tags: Bike Lanes, cambridge, petition
Posted in advocacy | No Comments »
Hubway is about to hit five million (!!) rides, and to celebrate they want to give away some goodies to the 5 millionth rider!
Tags: 5 million rides!, hubway, prizes!
Posted in Commuting, infrastructure | No Comments »