Mayor Walsh heightens focus on future of Long Island
In his argument about storm access, Walsh has a bridge to sell you
I read with great interest Mayor Walsh’s position that his proposed “recovery campus” on Long Island could not safely be accessed by the faster and less expensive alternative of establishing ferry service (“Walsh seeks opinions on Long Island,” Metro, Oct. 8). The suggestion, in the argument for building a new bridge, is that residents of Long Island would not be safe if they had to depend on a ferry because the island would be inaccessible during storms.
Someone please tell the mayor that the island was already inaccessible during storms, before he ordered the old bridge demolished. The roads in Squantum are impassable during storms almost every winter.
I note that there are no such access issues with the site of the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Jamaica Plain. The state is closing the hospital, leaving land that must be used for public health purposes — like a recovery campus. The site also is accessible by car and public transportation, without the need for building a $100 million bridge.
Thinking holistically, this is a moment for public park access
Re “Walsh seeks opinions on Long Island”: At long last there should be an opportunity for public park access to Long Island. The City of Boston has issued a request for information, with a public comment deadline of Oct. 31.
Long Island is under the umbrella of the Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park. Boston is represented on the park partnership — the owners and managers of the islands. Coordinated efforts with the park partners and visitors are long overdue.
Marty Martinez, the city’s chief of health and human services, says, “We have an opportunity here, and it’s really a sort of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, to look at the island sort of holistically.”
To us this means a plan with public access and open space along with a human service campus and Camp Harbor View.
For more than 100 years, ferry service was the only way to reach Long Island. The bridge opened in 1951. City, state, and federal agencies must collaborate on funding opportunities for ferry service to the island.
Yes, it is time to think holistically about public use of Long Island.
Suzanne Gall Marsh and George Marsh