A few Somerville aldermen have suggested the myriad events that take place in Somerville, such as road races and SomerStreets festivals, have become a burden on residents, particularly when roads are closed down.
At the Board of Aldermen Thursday, Ward 5 Alderman Courtney O'Keefe proposed two resolutions to address the issue. One resolution asked the mayor's administration to "consider moving SomerStreets events to areas around city parks to alleviate the burden placed on residents trying to navigate around these festivals."
The other resolution asked the administration to "map out 5K road race routes in different locations around the city, so the same location is not used every time."
"I don't want to lose any events," O'Keefe said, but "some of us have received complaints from residents."
"When you have so many road races and you have so many festivals, it really becomes a burden," she said.
Ward 6 Alderman Rebekah Gewirtz, who had brought up similar matters at previous meetings, said she understood the benefits of festivals and other public events, but added, "We have to be really conscious about closing all these streets."
Talking about two events that were scheduled for Sunday—HONK! and the RadioBDC Live on the Square concert—Gewirtz said, "Two festivals in one day, and I can imagine people who want to get out of the city or go grocery shopping" will have a tough time.
Ward 3 Alderman Thomas Taylor also said he received "many complaints over the past few years."
In regard to road races, O'Keefe said bringing races to different parts of the city would also let different neighborhoods "reap the benefits" of the extra foot traffic and business. At the same time, it would "give the residents of West Somerville a break."