Eastie

You don't think of East Boston as part of Boston unless you live there only because entry and exit is--at times--a scandalous slog. Traffic bound for East Boston is usually Logan Airport bound and the history of Eastie's relationship to Logan is a war story, the victor being Logan for the most part. In 1973 the clash was at its strongest as residents rose up to protest sudden Logan expansion. As planes flew overhead dangerously close to residential areas, Eastie got mad as hell. They weren't taking it anymore. City Hall, it seemed, had teamed up with Logan Airport to bully and harass East Boston families out of their homes and neighborhoods in rapacious pursuit of land for Airport expansion. To the streets they went. 

Photo by Michael Manheim

Some of the dust eventually settled and a neighborhood that was once heavily Italian began morphing into a multi ethnic enclave of Latinos and Asians. East Boston's proximity to the city cannot be overstated and that's why real estate prices are going through the roof as Boston faces unparalleled growth and prosperity. Property on the other side of the Sumner Tunnel became completely unaffordable to most, as is the choking traffic that runs through it practically 24/7. Boston traffic is now a well-documented local nightmare that, if not dealt with soon, will put this thriving economy in a choke-hold.

Photo by Peter Dreyer

One solution to our nightmare is to bring back the East Boston Ferry. The ferry once brought passengers and cars from the terminal on Atlantic Ave to the ferry terminal on Lewis St,  East Boston. Back then a nickel was a fare to get you there, a car cost a quarter. In the mid Fifties, the old ferry terminal was closed and boarded up. Eastie residents working in town could ferry over en masse, expecially if there is a no car rule. Massport should see to it that this happens. Boston has a beautiful harbor; it only gets more beautiful every year. For that matter, ferry service could be launched from Dorchester, Southie and Chelsea as well.  Let's have a booming ferry service between all city neighborhoods bordering the harbor. Let's cut back on this traffic snarl and improve the quality of life for those living in the city. Suburban commuters should benefit as well, but that's secondary. LOL.

Photo by Chas C. Donohue

Blogpost by Jim Botticelli

 

2 comments

Leo buckley

It’s the Riviera of Boston, always was!

Leo buckley
Jeff Sullivan

Thank you for sharing this. Boston needs to take advantage of water transportation more for sure. How has that been ignored for so long? Also, I have a colleague that lives in Eastie and she has conveyed the new waterfront condos have their parking garage for their cars but because of their wealth, their second cars are taking up street parking for residents that do not live in affluent housing. This is one of many ways that new housing development in Eastie is changing the dynamic of Eastie residents that have lived there for generations. It’s typical of all kinds of Boston gentrification but I think it is often ignored.

Jeff Sullivan

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