High Street Hill news update

Halloween is always a wonderful spectacle in our neighborhood, but unfortunately COVID is once again interfering. Consistent with CDC guidelines, the Town strongly discourages traditional, door to door trick-or-treating this year. Residents should shut off their exterior entry lighting to reinforce this policy. Should residents decide to take part in safer trick-or-treating, they could provide individually wrapped candies or goody bags at the end of their driveway or walkway for neighborhood children to take.

Parking News
Residents have no doubt noticed the “permit parking only” signs that went up on Walnut Street from High to Cypress streets. This applies only to the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. The parking restriction was approved by the Transportation Board after a strong showing of support from Walnut Street residents who attended the September 23rd  2019 hearing.

How can you get a permit?  The Brookline Resident Permit Parking (RPP) Program allows a motor vehicle displaying a valid resident permit sticker to park on your residential side street, within your police sector, in excess of 2 hours from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.  To purchase a resident parking permit ($30/year), follow the instructions on the town’s website.

A Walnut Street resident who recently got their sticker explains that, because Town Hall is currently closed to the public, staff will meet you in front of Town Hall to take your application, check and driver’s license (they make a copy and then give it back).  Instructions on the door of Town Hall provide the number to call when you arrive.  About 3 days later, you will receive a call that your permit is ready for pickup.  As before, someone will meet you to hand you your parking sticker (the permit is actually a sticker) when you arrive at Town Hall and call the number posted on the door. Information about visitor parking permits can be found on the same town webpage.

Construction Projects
Throughout the Summer and this Fall we’ve seen the furious pace of construction around the base of High Street and along Boylston Street. The Gateway East pedestrian and intersection reconfiguration has been proceeding apace; the “jug handle” terminus of Walnut Street is in place, and the paint for the new crosswalks is down. Hardscape (medians, sidewalks, curbs, etc.) to be completed Nov 2020; Softscape (plantings, benches, etc.) to be completed Spring 2021. Meanwhile, the hotel at the former Gulf station site is behind schedule but making progress, and the condominium development on the former Dunkin Donuts site is expected to be completed in April 2021.

The Boylston Street Corridor Study Group, established to collect ideas to turn the stretch of Route 9 from High to Cypress into a more multi-modal “complete street” and an improved public realm, met in its latest iteration earlier this month. HSHA President Wendy Machmuller is a member of that panel.

Neighborhood Parks
The lockdown was also a chance to see how major amenities in the neighborhood are being re-envisioned and improved. The Brookline Reservoir Park project is completed, a ready-made dog-walking and exercise jaunt; masks are required, as they are throughout Brookline, and a clockwise, one-way circulation protocol is in place. As an added curiosity, there have been reports of a strange otter-like creature swimming around in the water. Robinson Playground is up next for an overhaul. Public comments on alternative visions are welcome. 

HSHA Events Recap
HSHA Father’s Day First Responders Dessert Drive 
In June, in lieu of our annual Father’s Day Picnic, HSHA held a Father’s Day First Responders Dessert Drive. We matched each dessert purchased and bought desserts for our first responders at Fire Station #1.  We are pleased to report that we raised over $1200 combined for the three businesses (Serenade Chocolatier, Rifrullo Cafe, and Drive By Pies) and delivered approximately 40 desserts to our firefighters.  

Puppet Showplace Theater Fundraiser
Regarding a more recent fundraising effort for the Puppet Showplace Theater on Station Street, we were saddened to learn of the alleged financial misconduct that you may have seen in local news or on the Theater’s website . The investigation is ongoing, and theater trustees say they are determined to recover all funds and keep moving forward. Thanks to all who donated and sponsored a puppet, 15 of which will be delivered by HSHA to our neighbors in the Brookline Housing Authority- High Street Veterans homes.   

While not mandatory, your association dues are greatly appreciated as they provide funding for annual events and allow us to support groups like the Brookline Neighborhood Alliance and the Friends of Leverett Pond on behalf of the entire neighborhood.  Dues are $25 but you are welcome to include additional donations.  By now, paper copies of this newsletter have been delivered to all homes in the HSHA neighborhood, along with a pre-addressed envelope for dues.  They can be sent to Matthew Hyatt, HSHA Treasurer at 87 Walnut St. or using Venmo to @Matthew-Hyatt-4