Starting Tuesday morning a second group of students focused on the issue of unsafe travel from one section of Webster Woods to another section because of the location of Hammond Pond Parkway and the lack of safe crossing between trail heads.
This was a first hand experience by our group on Monday when we were faced with the need to cross Hammond Pond Parkway to get to the rest of Webster Woods.
(The map on the left shows how Hammond Pond Parkway divides the conservation areas in half)
Students began researching the area and learning about which municipalities were in charge of the care and upkeep of the three impacted areas: Hammond Pond Reservation, Webster Woods, and Hammond Pond Parkway. In addition, the group had to identify potential abutters, which in this case is only Boston College who recently purchased the land from Congregation Mishkan Tefila.
Based on the traffic pattern of Hammond Pond Parkway, students decided to work towards requesting that a crosswalk and pedestrian signal be placed along Hammond Pond Parkway, approximately 1,500 feet past the entrance to synagogue towards Beacon St.
Students began reaching out to Newton municipalities, included Newton Parks and Recreation and Newton Town Hall.
- Ms. Lee reached out to Newton Parks and Rec to ask about learning how they care for town conservation areas. She was given the contact information of the person in charge of Webster Woods and left her a message.
- Students learned through internet research that Hammond Pond Reservation and
Hammond Pond Parkway are overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and Webster Woods is run by the Newton Department of Conservation. In addition one section of the Woods runs through the property now owned by Boston College.
- Students called Newton City Hall to learn about the requirements for a petition and the process for requesting a sidewalk. Mr. Neudel then went to City Hall to collect the paperwork set aside for the students.
- At Newton City Hall, Mr. Neudel spoke with the City Clerk’s office about the issue and was directed to the Planning Department to speak with different members of the department. In addition to speaking with members of the planning department, they recommended the group reach out to City Councilors and Ward 7 Councilors about bringing the issue up at the monthly Newton Traffic Council.
- Knowing that this was most likely a Commonwealth of Massachusetts issue, students began reaching out to State Senators and State Representatives to garner support and learn more information on how to move the request forward. They reached out to Cynthia Creem who stated that she would support the initiative; Newton Councilor-At-Large RuthAnne Fuller who recommended a person to contact in the State Engineering and Planning Office; and Kay Kahn and Ruth Balsar who also said they would support the cause.
- Students then develop the petition to be filled out on Thursday.