State to go for TIGER IV grant on coastal greenway, Governor Patrick makes trail a priority

A joint ride between DotBike, BNAN, and the Boston Cyclists Union in 2011, passing through part of the existing section of the trail at Pope John Paul II Park in Dorchester. Many other neighborhood groups and individuals are also involved in pushing for its completion.

The Boston Cyclists Union is helping out with the state’s second try at a highly competitive TIGER grant that could fund the completion of the Neponset Greenway (a.k.a. Dorchester Coast Trail, The Missing Link), and this time Governor Deval Patrick’s administration is putting their weight fully behind it.

(You can help too by writing a support letter.)

““With the completion of the Neponset River Corridor, pedestrians and bikers – our green commuters and outdoor enthusiasts – will have more access to public spaces that are safely cited off roadways,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Commissioner Edward Lambert. “Investments in urban parks and pathways are a priority for the Patrick-Murray administration as these public spaces connect communities and provide healthy and alternative forms of transportation.”

Though the application for TIGER III failed to catch the feds approval (possibly due to a misperception that it would not be useful as a transportation corridor) the state is redoubling its efforts by applying for the new TIGER IV round of funding and making MassDOT a full partner with the DCR on the project.

To help out with the effort, the Union’s video department, a.k.a. volunteer Billy W., is working on a video that will illustrate the ease with which commuters can travel from Mattapan Square all the way downtown using the future path, as well as the amount of time it will take them from there and other locations along the way. Improving Old Colony Road and other roads leading to the path along Fort Point Channel is the Union’s strategy for carrying riders from the path at UMass Boston to Downtown, where they would end up near South Station.

Volunteers and interns are also working on calling a number of potential major donors who could contribute significantly to the path’s construction, including major employers along the coast and other landowners who might benefit from making the area more attractive for biking and walking. If you know someone who might be interested, please contact them and ask them to contact the Union or Cathy Garnett at the DCR! The grant’s deadline is March 17.

Union members and others can help out too by writing letters of support for the project to US Secretary of Transportation Ray La Hood on the issue (or updating their previous letters), click here for instructions.

1 comment to State to go for TIGER IV grant on coastal greenway, Governor Patrick makes trail a priority

  • Jonat

    Hello fellow cyclist-active-ists!:P

    I am writing in hopes of gathering some more information on progress towards completion of the ‘Missing Link’ bike way along Morrissey Blvd.
    I was riding bikes yesterday with a group of South Boston high schoolers along the Harborwalk around the UMass campus heading for the Neponset Trail, when we got to the section of road between UMass and Malibu Beach we were all struck with how poorly the road and sidewalk conditions were for cyclists. In an attempt to avoid a large section of washed out pavement and deep sand along the inbound/harbor side of Morrissey, we crossed as a group from UMass to ride the sidewalk along the outbound lanes. However, much to our dismay each intersection we approached brought the group to a quick halt in an attempt to negotiate the raised curbs cutting through our lane of travel, causing at one point one of our riders, in anticipation of this obstacle, to fall forward and hit their head (helmeted thankfully) on the sidewalk, thus ending our attempt that day of connecting to the Neponset Trail network. Of course we would have most preferred to ride in the road comfortably with traffic, had there been at any point a safe lane or shoulder to do so.
    We need to fix this gap and finally connect the inner city’s urban cyclists to safer routes outside their neighborhoods. I know you all have done extensive research on this project and am just wondering, before gathering the students to write petitions of their own, what updates there have been to its progress.

    Cheers,
    Jonat
    Mechanic & youth instructor

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