Saturday, April 20, 2024

Let me state, right off the bat, I speak only for myself as a 38-year resident of Avon Hill St. and a 41-year resident of Cambridge, not for any group of “riled-up” neighbors. It’s just that Marc Levy’s article riled me up.

It’s ironic that Marc Levy chides the Avon Hill neighbors for inaccurate (only slightly) statements when his own fact checking is so lame. (let’s talk about what “pretty much opposite” really means … yawn …) A few interviews beyond using Bliss Austin Spooner as a sole direct source would have yielded a more balanced — and  more interesting — story.

Spooner’s kids may not use the Wyman Street dead end, but other kids do. Griff, our young neighbor, learned to walk there not long ago. My grandkids play dodgeball, capture the flag and make gigantic glycerine soap bubbles with their friends there. Next time I will invite Ms. Spooner’s kids to join in. But where, exactly, does she live? She said she lived 100 yards from the curb cut — I can’t see a house that is 100 yards from the requested curb cut except the abutters, Ms. Welch, Blue’s B&B and myself — did you check that? Perhaps another aerial map would help you.

And how about some quotes from the 40 people who signed the letter to the city councillors last week or the petition some months ago? How about some words from the abutters who have not been consulted by Mr. Griffiths, which may be a procedural irregularity with regard to Avon Hill Conservation District Commission guidelines.

Mr. Levy, I invite you to stand on my porch (not even 100 yards from the proposed curb cut) and see what 28 cars plus do to traffic and parking on the street every weekday morning. Not that we take exception to the nursery school — they are good neighbors and we all try accommodate, especially in trying winter circumstances, by using Wyman Street for this short period of congestion. Maybe Mr. Griffiths should take a page from their book on how to be a good neighbor.

I would be delighted to move into the congregate senior housing that may follow the Griffith family’s residency. If you believe that, I have a bridge, you might want to buy. But it is a complete misstatement of fact and an outrageous and misleading notion.

Mr. Levy, make an effort, do your homework, please!


Lisa Blout, 86 Avon Hill St.

Editor’s note: Quotes from the 40 people who have signed letters and a petition on this topic were included in the post to which Blout responds and in a Nov. 1 post. In fact, Bliss Austin Spooner has been the only person quoted as supporting the curb cut, and all quotes came from direct testimony to the City Council during public comment periods at meetings.

While it is unclear what is referred to as “a complete misstatement of fact and an outrageous and misleading notion,” the post referred to a senior housing conversion because, aside from single-family detached homes, it is the only use for property listed in city law as being allowed in A2 zoning.

As Bliss Austin Spooner said during public comment, she lives at 48 Avon Hill St., which Google Maps shows as being 348 feet from Lisa Blout’s home — indeed, more than 100 yards from the proposed curb cut on Wyman Street. Interestingly, Bliss Austin Spooner’s home is about 112 yards from the proposed curb cut as the crow flies (but a 163-yard walk).