Six years ago many residents did not even know we had a water front or remember the water front their parents or grandparents once enjoyed had been fenced off and polluted from the industries that lined the banks of the Mystic and Malden Rivers. Today for the first time in a generation we have two rivers that are not only accessible, but are stunning. We have built beautiful water front parks, river walks and bike trails that rival any in New England.
This did not happen by accident, but by having a vision, realizing the value of having a waterfront and following through with careful planning to make a vision a reality.
We worked with our state and municipal partners to draft a municipal harbor plan, followed by a Lower Broadway Masterplan, Once those plans were in place we were able to attract a Five Star Resort to our community. Encore Resorts have dramatically changed our community for the better. We now have not one but two waterfront parks, open to everyone connected by a beautiful riverwalk. We have ferry service and shuttle service avaiable to our residents and Broadway is no longer the back door to Boston but a stunning front door to Everett! But now is not the time to rest on our laurels, we have too much momentum.
We are in the final stages of designing the last segment of the Northern Strand Community Trail to Boston and will begin construction next year. This trail, along with the Mystic River pedestrian bridge will give our residents quick and safe access to the Assembly Row T station along with many bike commuters from North Shore communities. With this connection we strongly believe the Northern Strand Community trail will rival the Minutemen Bike path which is the most heavily used trail in the Commonwealth, but we must do more to get people out of cars.
That is why we were the first city in the Commonwealth to install bus rapid transit lanes in and will be the first to institute Gold Standard BRT so our commuters will have a one seat trip to downtown Boston and will not have to sit in traffic, so they will no longer use Everett as a cut thru to Boston.
Everett has long been a community that accepted traffic and pollution as a burden for progress and economic development. It is time for other communities to share the burden and for Everett to demand more. I am fighting for the amenities that we all deserve. Quality housing, a city where you don’t need a car to get to work or go shopping, where you can walk out your door and get on a bus, train, ferry or bike into Boston and beyond.
Making all these multi-modal connections then allows us to build more high quality and more affordable housing because we will no longer have to require two parking spaces for everyone bedroom. These requirements not only add enormous cost to building housing but it also adds to the crippling congestion that we already face. Through these initiatives, we are putting livability and quality of life as paramount while providing more and better mobility options for our residents. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, and look forward to what we will continue to accomplish in the coming years. The best is yet to come!