Mayor picks members for Fairmount advisory group

By 
Elizabeth Murray, Special to the Reporter
Jun. 7, 2012

A 24-member advisory group of residents, business leaders, institutional representatives, developers and nonprofit organizations has been selected by Mayor Thomas Menino to assist in the Fairmount Indigo Planning Initiative (FIPI) in planning the expanded commuter rail line that links South Station to Readville.

The advisory group will hold its first meeting on Thursday, June 14 from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. in the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s Board Room on the 9th floor of the City Hall. It will be open to the public.

This group of volunteers will assist the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) in developing a long-term strategy for business growth, employment opportunities, housing development and corridor branding along what the 9.2 mile Fairmount Indigo commuter rail line. The rail line crosses through Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan and Hyde Park and includes several local stops, including Uphams Corner and Morton Street. New stations are now being built at Four Corners. Newmarket and Talbot Ave., with a fourth new stop slated to be built near Blue Hill Ave. in Mattapan.

In February, the BRA issued a call for nominations for the committee and had received 63 nomination applications from stakeholders, business groups, and elected officials. Menino narrowed it down to 24 people, a number based on the representative sample of the 9.2 mile Fairmount corridor.

Ten of the group members represent a Dorchester business, institution or nonprofit, including Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, Talbot-Norfolk Triangle Neighbors United, Newmarket Business Association, The American City Coalition, University of Massachusetts Boston, Franklin Field Tenant Task, Uphams Corner Main Streets, Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation, and Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation. Three of the group members are representatives from Action for Boston Community Development - Mattapan and Mattapan Health Center, and one person, H. Marcus Owens, was specifically named as a Mattapan resident.

“I am confident that the selected 24-members of the Corridor-wide Advisory Group will have a significant impact on the City’s efforts to identify how to best invigorate the community along the Fairmount corridor,” Menino said in a statement. “Working together we can build neighborhoods and get folks back to work by improving their connection to transit, housing, and jobs.”

This initiative is the largest since the city’s planning around the Orange Line in the 1980’s. The four new stops being built at a cost of $139 million is expected to jump-start economic development in the corridor, help re-brand and market the area, and significantly cut down commuting time into downtown Boston, the Innovation District and the Longwood medical areas.