CAMBRIDGE — Of all the many watery wonders in Cambridge, for many of us Long Wharf is the gem; not just the beauty of the widening river, but the forest of masts, the red-capped lighthouse, the solemn memorials, an expanse of lawns and gardens for reunions and celebrations, even the seasonal home of the Skipjack Nathan. So it figures that the presentation of the Master Plan for Long Wharf dominated the Council meeting on Monday night.
Jeff Hubbard of Lane Engineering has been in charge of planning the future of Long Wharf. He brought a full cupboard of proposals to the council, ideas to improve parking, stormwater runoff, gathering areas and benches, dumpsters, sidewalks, and repurposing a building to add a cafe. After a stop there, you can take stroll on the expanded waterside walk in a park where intrusive poles have been buried. Shaded pergolas will be provided, and a fish cleaning and bait cutting station for fishermen.
A visitor will first encounter a new main entrance. Stone walls will frame an important sign that will give the wharf a sense of identity. Every Cambridge resident can enter with a sense of pride and ownership.
The Long Wharf Advisory Committee, a council-appointed entity, is headed by Lou Hyman. His report to council was two-pronged. First, he expressed support for the proposed master plan and spoke about the successes at Long Wharf like Iron Man. Then he put the positive aside and dove into the negative. He heads a committee of 11 and more than half of the members suffer from burnout. He asked the council to resolve the problem and a proposed solution is that each commissioner appoint a member to the Waterfront Committee.
Commissioner Sydnor spoke the only funny line of the evening when he suggested that his ward, Ward 2, excepting the evening’s rain, didn’t have much water. Council will determine if a new committee can also include parks in other parts of the city, like Ward 2.
Commissioners received an update on cameras to be installed in the Greenwood Avenue area and Commissioner Sydnor wants the process to advance more quickly. City Manager Sandra Tripp-Jones assured him that the Police Chief Dan Dvorak has selected sites, and cameras have been purchased. The hang-up is the hanging poles, and Odie Wheeler of Public Works says the delay is the installation which has to be worked out with other utilities.
Council is also exploring strategies for Animal Control Services which includes cats and dogs, (and introduced by Commissioner LaShon Foster,) buzzards too. In other votes, the council authorized Mayor Victoria Jackson Stanley to send a letter to Governor Hogan requesting state support for Cambridge redevelopment projects of which Sailwinds is the biggest. The city council’s burden is a diversified one and they have work sessions scheduled to deal with old matters, new challenges, and buzzards.