To the editor:
First and foremost, lower Ashland Street is a fantastic neighborhood and the residents of that area live there for a reason, some having lived in it for more decades than they would care to recall.
In 2013, diplomacy doesn’t work, at least not on this issue. Several attempts were made these last 9 years, to no avail. Phil and Sons may be an “asset” to Newburyport, but that doesn’t give them the right to make Ashland Street their own, as an extension of their business, working on cars in the street, parking partially on sidewalks, in front of hydrants, blocking driveways, unloading vehicles from ramp trucks, idling engines unattended at their own discretion.
The fact remains that Phil and Sons is a commercial use in a residential zone, and therefore the burden falls upon them to follow the zoning regulations currently in place, and more importantly than anything, to be a good neighbor.
Manson’s Garage, Overland Expression, Curtis Engine Repair and Chip’s Auto Repair, all previous owners of the property, were excellent neighbors and there was never an issue. This situation was never personal and still isn’t today, although some people have tried to make it that.
Many complaints have been filed over the last 9 years by non-residents of the street regarding line sights pulling onto Merrimac Street, bottlenecking and the inability to navigate the lower end safely. Ashland Street is one of the busiest streets, from Spofford to Winter Street, and for some reason is a raceway for vehicles. This was and only has ever been a public safety issue, since day one.
My suggestion to someone who lives next to a hunting area is to watch out for stray bullets, instead of trying to throw them at an issue that they couldn’t possibly know anything about.
Robert A. Germinara