Rush to build in Newton will cause more woes than it solves

Praise of Washington Street plan is misguided

I was dismayed to read the Globe’s editorial “Newton takes a step to solve housing crisis" (Dec. 21). To praise the Washington Street plan at the very moment that neighborhood groups are dealing with two other massive developments, Northland and Riverside, is short-sighted and misguided. To characterize the sober and serious objections that neighbors have had about the size and scope of these developments as somehow “NIMBY” reflects a lack of understanding about the huge and destructive impact these dense developments will have. Sensible and reasonable development is welcome, but the rush to build without real solutions to the already problematic traffic congestion, lack of true transit options, and school overcrowding will cause more problems than it will solve. The small percentage of affordable housing won’t necessarily bring much-needed diversity; most of the housing will be at absurdly high-market rates. And given the problems with the T, and other public transportation that is limited, unreliable, and insufficient, “transit-oriented” is a misnomer that connotes wishful thinking about reducing cars, and is not realistic in a suburb in which most shopping, entertainment, and leisure activities require a car.

Cyrisse Jaffee


Newton Lower Falls