Protecting High Street the Roadway

Congratulations to the Newburyport LHD Study Committee for being so receptive to Newburyport citizens.

Today’s Newburyport Daily News has a story by Dyke Hendrickson about how the Study Committee has put wording into the draft of the Local Historic District (LHD) ordinance for Newburyport to protect High Street, the actual roadway, from ever experiencing the destruction that almost happened by MassHighway in 1999.

Good for LHD Study Committee!

You can read the whole story in the Newburyport Daily News here.

The story also talks about the online petitions.  So far the LHD petition, which can be signed here, has a whole lot more signatures than the anti-LHD petition, at the moment there are 82 signatures for the LHD and 10 against.

And, I just cannot help myself, one of the folks who signed the anti-LHD petition is Dr. Sadru Hermani, who is the same Dr. Hermani who wanted to develop the Lower Green in Newbury.  And it was a group of very concerned Newbury based citizens called Save the Lower Green, along with the help of The Essex County Greenbelt Association, that worked tirelessly to raise the amazing amount of $500,000 so that the historic Lower Green in Newbury along 1A would not be destroyed.

The parcel, owned by Sadru Hemani of Newburyport, was in danger of being subdivided and developed. Preservation advocates say that would have drastically altered the 375-year-old green, which represents the area’s first settlement.”  The Boston Globe, September 25, 2011.  (That article can he read here. The fight to save the Lower Green was also widely covered in the media.)

Dr. Hermani also says in the anti-LHD petition, “The state tried to widen High Street but citizens prevailed without a LHD in place.”

First of all it took an heroic effort by almost the entire city to stop MassHighway from destroying the roadway. Do we really want to go through that every time a grant to repave the roadway might trigger major alterations to High Street?

And no offense to Dr. Hermani, but I know the folks who fought to protect High Street in 1999.  There were a few gems, wonderful, wonderful people who lived on High Street that fought that fight, Dr. Hermani was not one of them.  Most of the people who did come out and fight that heroic effort were “regular” people, who did not live on Hight Street,  who realized the how vital High Street is to the soul and economic well-being of the city.  I can’t tell you how many times people who live on High Street have said to me, “Oh, you’re the one who helped save my house, thank you. I just didn’t want to get involved.”  Unfortunately, I’m not kidding.

The online petition in favor of Newburyport’s Local Historic District (LHD) can be signed here.