As students begin to return to Boston and move into their apartments, several city officials gathered at 20 Linden St. in Allston on August 31 for a press conference regarding student move-in.
Speakers included the city’s Chief of Operations Dion Irish, Sean Lydon of the Inspectional Services Department (ISD), Conor Newman of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, Boston Transportation Department (BTD) Commissioner Brad Gerratt, Mike Brohel of the Public Works Department, and Fire Marshal Joseph Shea.
“The city’s taking a coordinated, cross-departmental approach to ensure that our students, families, and folks who are moving today or this weekend have a safe and smooth move-in period,” Irish said. He said that the city is also working to ensure that students are moving into units that are clean and safe.
Sean Lydon, ISD Interim Commissioner, said that about 60 inspectors have been deployed throughout the city in student-heavy neighborhoods to conduct walk-throughs. The inspectors will be looking for things like deferred maintenance, rodents, and working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. They will also look at the structural integrity of buildings, trash receptacles, and dumpsters.
Lydon said that “informational handouts” are available in multiple languages on the city’s website.
“This is a citywide effort to mitigate the impact of student move-in on residents and businesses, and ensure that students have a smooth transition coming into Boston,” said Conor Newman.
He said that the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services liaisons are partnering with other city departments to “inform new residents” about services, as well as to address issues with existing residents. The liaisons will be out and about in the neighborhoods over the next few days to “distribute informational materials” and address questions and concerns.
Newman said that residents can connect with their liaison by visiting boston.gov/ons, and residents should also use 311 for any concerns or complaints.
BTD Commissioner Brad Gerratt talked about parking on city streets over the next few days. Parking restrictions are in effect in several neighborhoods to assist those who are moving in.
More than 1000 temporary “No Parking” signs have been created and posted, and “in addition, BTD has issued over 2500 moving van permits” that will be in effect in the coming days. He warned residents to be aware of these signs when trying to park.
He also spoke about the Orange Line shutdown, which is in effect until September 19. The city has announced alternative methods of travel, including a free 30 day Blue Bikes pass. More information can be found at boston.gov/orangeline.
Mike Brohel, Superintendent of Street Operations for the Public Works Department, spoke about trash, saying there will be an increased volume of it over the coming days.
He said that the city is advising residents to ensure their trash is put out properly and in a clean way. Trash is not permitted to be placed on the curb earlier than 5pm the night before trash pickup.
Finally, Fire Marshal Joseph Shea talked about fire safety.
“We look at safety obviously as our paramount concern,” Shea said. A fire on August 30 in Brighton displaced 20 people, many of whom were students.
He also said that since Jan. of 2000, “86 percent of all college and university fire fatalities” took place in off-campus housing. Fires are often due to a “lack of automatic sprinklers, missing or disabled smoke alarms,” and fires started on upholstered furniture outdoors.
“There is no open burning in Boston,” Shea said, and no propane or charcoal grills are permitted above the first floor. Fire pits are not allowed. He also warned residents to be mindful of candles and electronic devices that are plugged in.
For more information about moving in the City of Boston, visit boston.gov/moving.