Over the past few weeks, a new Phase I design has been made public. This design would use the existing footprint for the on/off ramps and wouldn’t require a “land swap” or rezoning of any land. This would allow the developer to build on the land he presently owns, while at the same time giving the residents of this area some comfort that any development will be smaller, resulting in less traffic traveling through their neighborhoods each day. Our efforts should be focused on this option only.
As elected officials, our first priority must be to protect the neighborhoods. No neighborhood should be sacrificed for additional revenues or to favor a particular developer. We have one chance to get this decision right. Let’s not make the same mistakes previous generations made on Route 1A.
As the two longest serving members of the City Council, we strongly urge a “No” vote on Saturday and to work toward a design that won’t be as ambitious and will have the least impact on the residents of this area.
Paul M. Guanci is president of the Beverly City Council, and Donald G. Martin is Ward 5 city councilor.