Weeds growing out of the cracks in the sidewalk? Parking or street signs too faded? Pothole repair needed? Put it all on the list to send to City Hall.
City officials say theyâ€™ll be hitting Mattapan with a â€œStreet Improvement Teamâ€ on Aug. 29, aiming to clean up local streets block-by-block. A clean-up of the Morton and Norfolk area of Dorchester is planned for Nov. 14. Follow-ups will be planned a week later.
Other work includes fixing vandalized street signs and damaged poles, painting traffic signal control boxes, power-washing the streets, and towing away abandoned cars. Additional neighborhoods are expected to be added to the list throughout the rest of this year and into next spring.
A team of city workers fixed up streets and outdoor city equipment in Grove Hall last weekend. â€œWe were out doing crosswalks, trimming the trees,â€ said Transportation Commissioner Thomas Tinlin. â€œIt was really good government at work. This is â€˜letâ€™s get off the thoroughfares.â€™ â€
Mattapan residents welcomed the news. Lillie Searcy, executive director of the Mattapan Family Services Center, which serves low-income residents, said streets in the neighborhood desperately need to be cleaned.
â€œThe grass is growing up in the cracks of the sidewalk,â€ she said. â€œThatâ€™s a problem throughout Mattapan,â€ she added. â€œThe sidewalks really need to be cleaned.â€
â€œWith the rains, things are growing like crazy,â€ added Steve Busby, executive secretary of the Mattapan Board of Trade.
Busby had his own list of what needs fixing. â€œWeâ€™ve been fighting for a long time to get signs replaced,â€ he said. â€œThe parking lots need some attention in terms of potholes. Iâ€™ll be carrying my notebook through the square this weekend.â€
Busby also questioned why city staffers are coming on a Saturday and being paid overtime.
Mattapan Square is busiest on Saturdays, he said. â€œIt just seems a strange time to be cleaning up the sidewalks.â€
Tinlin told the Reporter that the teamâ€™s outing can be moved, but a Saturday was picked in order for them to run into people when they werenâ€™t at work, giving them a chance to provide a repair request in person. (Otherwise, city officials said, requests for repairs must go through City Hall at 617-635-4500.)
â€œWe want to hear from the people who are home,â€ he said. Tinlin added that the overtime for city workers has been built into the cityâ€™s fiscal 2010 budget.
Searcy wondered where the clean-ups will take place, saying various streets need attention, not just the business corridor.
â€œWhere we hit is up to her,â€ Tinlin responded. â€œWhere the neighborhood wants us to go, thatâ€™s where weâ€™ll be.â€
City officials are also coming to Dorchester to deliver 64-gallon recycling carts and clean up graffiti.
Based on information from the Boston Police Department and local residents, a â€œGraffiti Bustersâ€ team is expected to tackle graffiti in various neighborhoods next week, including Aug. 25 in Dorchester.
In a bid to encourage recycling, Mayor Thomas Menino will also be on Lombard and Carruth Streets on Thursday to deliver a recycling cart to the home of residents Charlie and Judy Tuttle. The carts allow residents to keep recyclable materials in one container, a practice known as â€œsingle-streamâ€ recycling.
Mattapan, Lower Mills, and Franklin Field have all received the carts, according to the mayorâ€™s office, and the Neponset Ave. area is next.