Neighbors Frustrated by I-195 District’s “More of the Same”
In Spring 2022, the I-195 Redevelopment District invited four neighborhood organizations to offer formal input on projects slated for 195 land. Each group was encouraged to send a representative, ideally a design professional, to participate in a series of District meetings in order to include neighborhood input in current projects and ultimately improve the projects themselves.
Neighborhood representatives have since described being ignored by the District rather than heard. Leslie Myers, architect and representative for FPNA described an August 17 open meeting in which neighborhood representatives were invited to share their views on a possible location for a park pavilion, a large eatery slated for the public park on the western side of the Van Leesten Bridge. Myers prepared for the meeting by surveying over 600 Fox Point neighbors, she said, to determine their opinions on the ideal spot, but discovered upon arrival that the location had already been determined. “I was blind-sided to hear from [the architecture firm] that the location of the pavilion had been decided—without input from the neighborhoods,” she wrote in a recent email to the I-195 Commission.
Caroline Skuncik, Executive Director of the I-195 Redevelopment District, replied via email denying that the siting was predetermined. But neighborhood organizations feel frustrated by unkept promises. "It is thoroughly disappointing to see the Commission backslide on its own reform that was intended to be more inclusive of neighborhood feedback,” said FPNA President Nick Cicchitelli. “Turns out it's just another chapter of more of the same.”
Photo, Amy Mendillo