Peters Park Lights to Remain On Overnight

Neighborhood association hopes to deter illegal activity in the park.

Beginning this month, the basketball courts at will remain illuminated overnight as part of ongoing efforts to deter crime in the area.

Liz Cahill, who leads the Safety and Security Committee for the Old Dover Neighborhood Association, announced last week that Parks Commissioner Toni Pollak has agreed to leave the overhead lights on throughout the night. Currently, the lights are shut off at 10 p.m.

“Hopefully the community will embrace this as a small inconvenience that will serve a larger purpose,” Cahill wrote in an email.

The Old Dover group is working with the Boston Police Department and to reduce drug dealing and prostitution in the neighborhood. After a meeting last month, the group detailing strategies moving forward. As part of its efforts, a 24-hour tower-mounted security camera was installed near the corner of East Berkeley and Washington Streets by the MBTA.

In , Old Dover residents and police have expressed concern about the spread of illicit activity from beneath the interstate into the surrounding neighborhood. Last week, 33-year-old Raymond Lemar was around the corner from Peters Park, another victim of gun violence. Police are actively investigating the incident.

The Peters Park lighting change will take effect on Wednesday August 17 and continue for an indefinite period of time, Cahill said. The city will cover the costs associated with the extra lighting.

Kyle Robidoux August 16, 2011 at 02:07 PM
Did the Parks Dept. say how much the additional lighting will cost and is the City or ODNA/neighbors paying for it?
Alix Roy August 17, 2011 at 07:08 PM
Kyle - the city will be covering the cost of additional lighting. When I get an exact cost I'll update the story. Thanks!
Kyle Robidoux August 18, 2011 at 05:34 PM
Alix-thanks for the info and for looking into the cost. With a cash-strapped city and numerous other (underfunded) priorities-jobs for young people, education, hours for community centers & libraries- it seems like this is an expense the city shouldn't take on. Especially for one park in the South End-doesn't seem like an unequitable distribution of resources. The neighbors recently raised $500,000 for an art project in that park so if they want the lights on 24-hrs I think they should cover the costs.
John Keith August 21, 2011 at 03:47 PM
Really, Kyle, really? Crime is #1 on most people's minds, in every neighborhood, at any time. You can't have community centers and libraries without safe streets. The Washington-Harrison corridor near East Berkeley is a trouble spot and putting the lights on is a low-cost, high-benefit way of addressing the issue. I live on Tremont Street and walked through there last night; having a couple extra lights on made areas of the park more visible. Put a light on and the rats scatter.
Kyle Robidoux August 21, 2011 at 06:36 PM
I agree that crime is a problem (no where near education or housing though) but the specific issues around crime and the strategies to address it vary depending on who you are talking to (most often breaks down by class & neighborhood). We disagree on this which is fine with me. I've spoken in the past with young people who live at the Villa and Cathedral and youth workers at Blackstone CC about similar issues and I feel confident saying that they would much prefer longer program hours than lights on overnight in a closed park. For me this is where the equity issue plays out especially in the South End.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »