(Note: This is a press release submitted by Lissette Alvarado.)
MALDEN, MA — Malden Mayoral candidate, Lissette Alvarado, and her campaign are pleased to introduce Platform Initiative #2: Improving Public Infrastructure in Malden. Improving our public infrastructure system will increase public safety, reduce transportation headaches, and improve our quality of life.
First and foremost, we will move forward with building a new and modern Fire Headquarters for our Malden Fire Department. The building they currently reside in is beautiful and historic, but does not meet the modern needs of a city our size, or of the civil servants who do this hard and heroic work for us on a daily basis. Our fire department deserves better. We will resituate our new Fire Headquarters to a more centralized location so that travel times to Maplewood Highlands to the north, and Newland Street Housing to the south can be reached in under 4 minutes when a fire or medical emergency arises. It is not fair to residents of central Malden who have to cope with longer response times due to the lack of a fire station in that area. An increase in public infrastructure here will specifically lead to an increase in Malden’s public safety.
Secondly, we must modernize our traffic light system. Although the system we have works and works well, it is an analog system leftover from 50 years ago. It is outdated and does not support the technology that could improve our traffic wait times. By beginning to modernize our traffic light system on our bike lane roads first, we can dramatically improve traffic, wait times, and the mental health for everyone who drives in Malden. It should not take forty minutes to travel through our city on our main roads. By installing newer systems where needed first, we will be able to electronically update the timing of our signals at any time, and start building a database of quantifiable data in order to adjust the system as needed in the future. An improvement in infrastructure here would streamline traffic, reduce stress and headaches, plus best meet the needs of our residents and visitors who travel throughout our city on a daily basis.
Thirdly, we will reprioritize the road work schedule, especially as it revolves around reducing the number of lead water pipes in our city. There are some streets that haven’t seen any roadwork updates for decades. That means a lot of potholes, lead pipes that haven’t been replaced, and possible risks of safety and damage to your vehicles. We will meet these needs where they are, and make sure that roads are being worked on in every ward.
Fourth, we must identify a new space for our Malden Teen Enrichment Center (MTEC). The current agreement to share the Senior Center is a disservice to both groups. The Senior Center was built for the sole purpose of meeting the needs of our senior population. It has proven to be a convenient stopgap for our teen program, since MTEC had to move out of their last location due to the building being demolished, but it is time that we prioritize our teens and give them center that focuses only on them. We’re talking about a dedicated space that could include: academic help, college counseling services, classes on adulting (such as writing a resume, getting a job, paying bills and taxes), a maker space, afterschool meals, continuing the great programming they have today, and expanding upon it with citywide partnerships in order to increase service to our high school population of 1,856 students. A dedicated center can inspire, teach, offer a safe space, and engage so many more of our young people.
Fifth, we will create and find more public spaces that can be used by the community. We hear wonderful stories about how Malden used to have a stage at Devir where bands played, library annexes around the city, Ward rooms in several locations. We want that back. We can identify city owned lots and buildings and retrofit them for public use and to meet the needs of our communities today.
Finally, and most importantly, we want you in on the ground floor of all of these decisions. With increased community outreach and language access options, we can truly build the Malden you want. Lissette has heard your complaints and will move forward to make sure that our infrastructure plan for the next four years prioritizes your needs.