We hope everyone has been having a great summer!
Please read ... your help is needed.
This coming Wednesday, August 3rd, the Select Board will be meeting to review its goals ( http://www.needhamma.gov/Calendar.aspx?EID=23907 ).
One of the Select Board's current goals is to "Seek Funding for Noise Reduction / Quiet Zone Feasibility and Design."
This goal has been backed by many Select Board actions, including two tranches of specific funding in its FY2023-FY2027 Capital Improvement Plan ( https://www.needhamma.gov/5070/FY2023---FY2027-Capital-Improvement-Plan) .
The first tranche flags $1.34 MM to fund Quiet Zone design and engineering, the first vital step in establishing a Quiet Zone in Needham.
Importantly, the first tranche is currently scheduled to be included in the FY2024 budget. This means it will be included in the Town Meeting warrant article in spring 2023.
It is vitally important the Select Board hear from you before their meeting on Wednesday.
Please send an individual email (the message can be the same) to each member of the Select Board letting them know about your support for maintaining the goal about establishing a Quiet Zone and keeping the Capital Improvement Plan on schedule:
Thank you very much for your help at this critical moment.
More to come ...
Needham's Town Election is fast approaching in 6 days on Tuesday, April 12th.
PLEASE BE SURE TO VOTE !!!
Here is why it matters to you:
Please be sure to review the latest list (updated tonight) of TMM candidates who have responded to the Safer Quieter Needham Candidate Questionnaire at https://saferquieterneedham.com/election-2022
If candidates that you support have not yet responded, please encourage them to do so ... we will keep updating the list with responses until election day.
Don't forget to vote on April 12th!!!
Needham's election is fast approaching on Tuesday, April 12th. BE SURE TO VOTE !!! Recently we reached out to candidates for Select Board, Planning Board, and Town Meeting Member.
We have compiled candidate responses at https://saferquieterneedha.com/election-2022 Please remember that all 240 Town Meeting Member seats are up for reelection due to the census.
If you do not see a response from your representatives, please encourage them to follow up and complete the questionnaire.
REMEMBER TO VOTE !!! TUESDAY, APRIL 12TH !!!
A big THANK YOU to State Representative Denise Garlick, who earlier this week held her annual Report to the Community for Needham. Among the many topics, Representative Garlick emphasized her support of the Needham Select Board's efforts to maintain rail service and consider a Quiet Zone to address the health and safety issues of Needham's rail crossings.
See minute 41:00 and thereafter to see her comments here: https://videoplayer.telvue.com/player/O7e6JrKKSJ3H_TX3VgEvpbSSL7Dbnrk2/media/701444?autostart=false&showtabssearch=true&fullscreen=false&jwsource=cl
Thank you Representative Garlick!
Tonight the Select Board approved the FY2023-2027 Capital Improvement Plan, which includes many of the investments needed to improve the safety of Needham's railroad crossings and establish a Quiet Zone.
One small step ... with many more to go.
Please send your thanks to SelectBoard@NeedhamMA.gov
Earlier today the Needham Select Board reviewed the FY2022-2023 goals that they previously established.
Regarding Goal # 3 - Accessible & Connected, and particularly Initiative # 3.3 (the Quiet Zone topic), there was a good discussion. One piece of great news to start: Based on feedback from the last Select Board meeting, the FY2023-2027 Capital Improvement Plan has been updated to set the Quiet Zone study and design investments in FY2023 into Tier 1 !
There are a number of transit and transportation-related ideas that have been or are being discussed around town. The consensus of the Board appeared to be that while those ideas are interesting and should be considered, the safety improvements that are a prerequisite for establishing a Quiet Zone are smart and worthwhile safety investments even if some of the other ideas come together over time.
The discussion reinforced a perspective Safer Quieter Needham has held from the outset: improving railroad crossing safety and eliminating non-emergency train horns is a specific outcome that Needham can accomplish by following a predefined process created by the Federal Railroad Administration. The results, which will benefit thousands of Needham residents and businesses every day, can be achieved relatively (emphasis: relatively) quickly. Further, making the needed one-time safety investments offers value to Needham for decades to come, no matter how Needham's transit and transportation profile evolves alongside the MBTA and other regional and local planning efforts.
Tomorrow night the Select Board is meeting at 6pm (https://www.needhamma.gov/Archive.aspx?ADID=9273) to vote on the F2023-2027 Capital Improvement Plan that has been discussed the last few meetings. Please attend in person or by Zoom (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83686125873...) if you can.
Also, if you have not had the opportunity to do so already, please reach out to the Select Board (https://www.needhamma.gov/488/Select-Board or firstname.lastname@example.org) to express your support for their continued efforts in studying and considering establishing a Quiet Zone in Needham.
The Select Board on Monday at 11:30am will be meeting at the Memorial Fieldhouse to review its goals in advance of Tuesday night’s Select Board Meeting.
The Select Board is scheduled to vote on its 2023-2027 Capital Improvement Plan on Tuesday night, which includes many of the investments needed to establish a Quiet Zone throughout Needham.
Let’s continue to encourage our town leaders to make this specific, measurable, achievable, and near-term investment in the safety and quality of life of Needham.
We asked Select Board Special Election candidates Karen Calton and Kevin Keane for their views on improving railroad crossing safety and establishing a quiet zone in Needham. See their statements HERE.
Please note: Safer Quieter Needham does not endorse either candidate. We appreciate the time and attention each candidate has given to this important issue.
We are excited to announce that at the 11/30 Select Board meeting, implementing the required safety improvements and establishing a Quiet Zone were included in the *draft* 2023-2027 Capital Request!
The 11/30 meeting was the first of three meetings on the Capital Request.
The Select Board is responding to the community, and hearing from you right now at this critical time is vitally important. PLEASE CONSIDER CONTACTING THE SELECT BOARD DIRECTLY (email@example.com) EXPRESSING SUPPORT FOR IMPLEMENTING THE SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS AND QUIET ZONE.
Please join our next Neighborhood Petition Drive on Sunday, November 7th from 11am to 1pm.
To RSVP: https://forms.gle/ViQ8hrM2iQ3WruSw8
CommonWealth Magazine has published a report on Needham's efforts on pursuing a Quiet Zone.
Join us for our first Online Community Meeting on Monday, October 18th at 7:00 PM!
Click here to RSVP: https://forms.gle/u4br2ZhNRaBPdnV39
We will provide updates on the current status of our efforts, provide an overview of next steps, and answer questions and comments.
The Select Board will meet tonight to discuss its Quiet Zone goal and next steps in its process. This will be a discussion among Board members regarding process going forward. No public comment is anticipated.
This will be part of its regularly scheduled meeting, available both in-person at Powers Hall and via Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82014186576?pwd=ak5vM01jRVR1MGhGQ1RyNWtjTVBiQT09
The Select Board voted to “Seek Funding for Noise Reduction / Quiet Zone Feasibility and Design.”
Congratulations and thank you to everyone who has expressed their support for Needham to reconsider this important, one of many, in our community.
Thank you to the Select Board for taking this first step.
The Select Board will be meeting on Tuesday at 6pm to review and vote on its goals for the 2022-2023 planning cycle. Included in the draft goals is conducting a study of the implementing a Quiet Zone in Needham.
And the full Agenda Packet, including goals to be reviewed:
The Needham Channel published a video segment reviewing the Needham's discussions regarding implementing a Quiet Zone.
Congratulations to Waltham for making these important infrastructure investments and moving forward with re-establishing their town as a Quiet Zone!
Select Board Member Dr. Lakshmi Balachandra has published a community-wide survey requesting feedback on numerous issues on her radar and/or before the Board already.
There is also the option to provide feedback on other topics that you can recommend for further consideration.
The survey will be available until July 15th.
Safer Quieter Needham has launched a petition to support pursuing a Quiet Zone in Needham. You can sign online securely or request a paper petition.
The Needham Select Board is reconvening tonight at 6pm to discuss their recommendation to the MBTA regarding restoring weekend commuter rail service. https://www.needhamma.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/8791
As indicated last week, the Board will not be taking additional comments from the public this evening, but they are accepting additional email comments prior to tonight's hearing.
Tonight's discussion is focused on the MBTA's proposal of Option 1 and Option 2. While that is the immediate issue before the Board, we believe that the train horns have a major influence on whether Needham residents want to see better commuter rail service. Were it not for the train horns, the overall views would be much different.
Recently, Chelsea and Waltham have lost their Quiet Zone status.
All communities must ensure they are compliant with current standards to maintain their Quiet Zone status.
Both towns are now working to install the needed safety measures to re-instate their Quiet Zones.
A noteworthy quote from the WBZ article: "The MBTA told WBZ it has no role in the matter and that it’s between individual communities and the [Federal Railroad Administration]."
Tonight the Select Board held a public hearing on two potential options of restoring weekend Commuter Rail service. Many thoughtful comments and issues raised - it is a complicated issue.
While the Select Board stayed focused on Option 1 and Option 2 this evening, they intend to hold additional discussions in the future, which we welcome and support.