Introducing Life on Williams Avenue

Posted on September 18, 2010

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Residents of Williams Avenue gather for a community meeting.

There’s a new blog in town called Life on Williams Avenue — Lynn, MA. When Eliana Runyon contacted me to give her some feedback on it, I took one look and wrote back, “You are ready for prime-time!” I have a feeling that this blog will be a great resource for the residents of Williams Avenue Park and for others who might want to do something similar.

But a blog alone is not enough. Human, real-world contact is needed. This afternoon, Runyon hosted a community meeting in front of her house for residents of Williams Ave. Her husband, John, cooked hamburgers, hotdogs and Portobello mushrooms for the dozen or so neighbors who attended. Both relatively new residents and native Lynners talked about restoring Williams Avenue Park, a block party scheduled for Columbus Day and the propensity for automobiles to speed down the narrow street.

As if on cue, a souped-up black convertible gunned its motor before racing past Runyon’s house. At least the guy behind the wheel took his lead foot of the gas pedal and waved when two neighbors rushed to the curb urging him to slow down. One long-time resident said Williams Avenue used to be a two-way street with parking on both sides. Now, it is a one-way.

Office of Economic and Community Development Jamie Marsh dropped by to introduce himself. He has promised to put aside some city funds for the park restoration and suggested the group put together a wish-list. Today the group agreed on erecting a 6-7 foot high fence to front the street side of the park and the prioritization of new playground equipment. Residents are divided on whether to install a new basketball court.

Eliana Runyon, along with neighbor Jesse Jaeger, are organizing the group, which grew out of a clean-up in July organized by another grassroots group called PlaySafe Lynn. Playsafe attacked the neglectat both Williams Ave. and Sheridan St. parks this summer, and I hope they continue to do more for Lynn’s public playgrounds.

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Posted in: neighborhood