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QUINCY SUN
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
BY DANIELLE KEMPE

February 2020

Pedestrians In Quincy - Cross At Your Own Risk

It’s no secret that my 2 year old daughter and I consider the Thomas Crane Public Library a second home. To get there, we have to cross Coddington Street.

Coddington Street is a “concurrent crossing.” This means, that while pedestrians have a walk sign, drivers are given a green light to go as well. What could go wrong?

Unfortunately, we saw what could go wrong last summer when a pedestrian was struck and killed at a “concurrent crossing” in Boston. It’s only a matter of time before a pedestrian in Quincy needlessly suffers the same fate.

 

Boston wisely corrected the concurrent signaling at that intersection. Quincy, however, refuses to do so despite still having the luxury of being proactive.

After yet another incident of almost being mowed down while trying to cross Coddington, I emailed the At-Large-Councilors as well as the Director of Traffic, Parking, Alarm and Lighting (TPAL), Chris Cassani, with my concerns for this pedestrian heavy intersection.

 

Eventually, Mr Cassani responded. “At intersections like this one…pedestrian delay in waiting to get the exclusive walk time would be quite high. Excessive delay for pedestrians is one factor that leads pedestrians to cross without any sort of protection at all. At the same time, drivers see non-utilized time at a crossing and they too begin to make decisions that are not in anyone's best interests.”

 

Do we know what else is not in anyone’s best interest? Being hit by a car.

 

Giving both the go ahead out of an assumption that both drivers and pedestrians are too impatient to wait their turn is nonsensical and dangerous.

 

What will it take to convince the city that this concurrent crossing is a safety issue worthy of immediate attention? Hopefully it won’t take someone losing their life.

 

Danielle Kempe
Adams Street
Board Member, Friends of the Thomas Crane Public Library

QUINCY SUN
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
BY DANIELLE KEMPE

September 2018

Quincy Treats Disabled Residents as Second Class

The grand opening of the Hancock Adams Common was a wonderful event – if you could hear it!

 

I sat next to a deaf Quincy resident that left 10 minutes into the speeches because there was no CART screen – which is legally mandated access at public events!

 

The city of Quincy is also federally mandated to have an ADA Coordinator and an active Commission on Disabilities – which it has neither. When you call city hall to ask about the Commission on Disabilities, you’re transferred to a voicemail black hole where your call never gets returned.


Then there’s the construction on the MBTA in Quincy. On Sunday, September 23rd, it took one and a half hours for five riders in wheelchairs to travel from North Quincy Station to Quincy Center Station on the Yankee shuttle buses. That is unacceptable for what should be a short trip between stations just a few miles apart.


Since the commuter rail is closed on weekends for construction, disabled riders have no choice but to take the shuttle buses. Buses without functioning lifts or staff uneducated on how to operate them and a lack of visual notifications for deaf riders are just some of shortcomings riders with disabilities have encountered on the shuttles running in place of Red Line trains due to construction.


I urge the city of Quincy to revive the Commission on Disabilities and talk to disabled residents about our access needs before hosting events!


Danielle Kempe
Advancing Community Inclusion & Equality on the South Shore (ACCESS) & Quincy resident

QUINCY SUN
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
BY DANIELLE KEMPE

May 2019

Methadone Treatment Clinic – An Important Resource

I'm disappointed to learn that Habit Opco’s proposed methadone treatment clinic on Broad St was denied by the Quincy zoning board.

Habit Opco has been dispensing methadone and offering drug treatment counseling in Quincy for 30 years. Transitioning from a van to an office-based clinic in a building on the same street is a reasonable request that should be accommodated to serve our neighbors in need.

Methadone is a vital part of many people's recovery from opioid addiction. Studies show that recovering addicts who use methadone are twice as likely to be opioid free at the end of a year than those who do not.

Currently, 167 people rely on the methadone and counseling services provided by Habit Opco every day. Several clients said visiting treatment centers in Boston or Brockton jeopardize their recovery because they are in areas that can trigger the desire for opioids. The Boston facility, just off Massachusetts Avenue, is in an area known for its rampant drug use and open-air drug market.

In 2010, Quincy became the national model in addressing the opioid crisis when police began carrying and administering narcan, saving countless lives. Per a recent Boston Globe report, between 2017-2018, overdoses in Quincy fell 35.5 percent and drug-related deaths dropped 24 percent as a result of innovative, pro-active policies.

Let’s continue to support community-based solutions to our city’s opioid crisis by also maintaining local access to methadone for those fighting for recovery and striving for a better quality of life.

As a Quincy resident and a candidate for city council, I am in favor of allowing Habit Opco to create a comprehensive drug treatment center at 39 Broad St.

Danielle Kempe
Candidate for Quincy City Council, Ward 1