March 2018 Minutes

LDNA 3/26/18

7 PM, LTC

 

Present:

Jack Moynihan

Stephen Greene

Sam Litvin

 

Meeting called to order at: 7:00.

 

Opening greeting

 

Approval of minutes

Approval of January and February minutes; Motion by Stephen, 2nd by Sam.

 

Treasurer’s Report

Approximately $775.25 balance.  Everyone is invited to make a voluntary $10 membership contribution.

 

Police Report

Capt Crowley – Sector ‘A’ Commander.

               2 aggravated assaults related to Club 74.

1 assault related to a tow driver dispute.

Burglary related to someone moving into their apartment; truck left unattended.

Burglary of digital x-ray machine from professional building.  ($7k)

Shoplifting (of skin cream) from drug store

Various vandalism (smashed windows, and damaged car at John St. Garage)

 

Staffing grant money now available for extra downtown patrols during good weather.

 

Q:  What to do about needles?  A:  Call non-emergency number and Trinity will pick them up.  If not gone within an hour or so, call again.

 

Q:  How can we focus better on cracking down on over-serving?  A:  LPD works with investigation section and ABCC investigators.

 

Q: What about drunk driving?  Thorndike DUI checkpoint is no longer available.  A:  Encourage increased use of ride-sharing – working on a way to make this more convenient for patrons.

              

 

Special Guest:  Yovani Baez-Rose and Christine McCall, Lowell Department of Planning & Development

  • In the process of doing open space plan
    • 5 year plan
    • Pre-requisite for state funding of projects
    • Public comments available on City Website; also online survey available with translations in Spanish and Kamai
    • Public meeting on 4/17 at Senior Center.
  • What’s missing in downtown?
    • Non-vehicular access to other parts of the city.
      • In particular access to Western Ave Studios, Bruce Freeman Trail.
    • Picnic / BBQ areas with tables
    • Deteriorating benches in many parks
    • Spruce up existing parks (e.g. small park in front of Leo Roy Garage.)
    • Active features such as life-size chess/checkers set or “walking labyrinth”
      • But security issues have to be a major consideration in design
    • Improvement to south common such as artificial turf.
    • Close streets to vehicular traffic for a Sunday (Maybe each Sunday in a different neighborhood) to encourage pedestrian activity.
    • Need more bike racks all over.
    • More concerts/events in brick courtyard by LNHP visitor center.
    • Green walls to improve e.g. parking garage walls.
  • What about in other areas of the city?
    • Better utilization of Vandenburg esplanade
      • Including improvement to sidewalk access to downtown
    • Improved dog-parks
    • Water access (e.g. for kayaks) downstream of the falls.
  • What do you leave Lowell to do that we could bring here?
    • Cross-country ski trails
    • Activities for small children
    • Climbing structure that doubles as public art.
  • What’s going on with trees?
    • Many are in bad shape. Survey of the situation will take place in spring.
  • No need to put down quite so much rock salt; it only serves to wreck pavement and plants
  • Open house meeting at LNHP Headquarters on 4/4 at 6:30pm.

 

 

Special Guest:  Nick Navin, City Parking Director

  • City Council Public Hearing on new parking rates on 4/3 at 7:00pm.
  • No rate hike in ~14 years.
  • Initial proposal for rate hike was deemed to aggressive; new proposal is more modest as simply an adjustment to account for inflation over the past 14 years. (36%)
  • On-street parking rate increases from $1/hr to $1.50/hr

 

Q:  What about a validation to help businesses?  A:  Willing to look at it?

Q: What about extending meter hours past 6pm?  A:  I’m in favor, but there’s not widespread support.  Also demand-based parking rates and progressive pricing.

Q:  Isn’t it outrageous that parking spot reservation on public streets outside of downtown is only $10/yr?  A:  Yes.

Q:  What about more electric vehicle charging stations?  A:  Councilor Cirillo says a motion is in the works to look at expanding access.  Nick points out huge backlog of maintenance and notes that as funds become available more chargers will be installed.

 

Meeting Adjourns at 8:31.

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