To counter new tactics that are aimed at obstructing or delaying the planning process, Boston Cyclists Union is calling a mobilization of all pedestrians, business owners, transit users, park users, cyclists and other supporters of the at-grade plan this week in order to defend the state’s decision to rebuild the Casey at-grade. Most importantly, everyone and their mother should attend the public meeting for the decision’s announcement on Thurs. March, 29, 6pm, at the English High School. But we will also have teams handing out flyers for the meeting and making sure people can make it. If you want to help flyer, please send us an e-mail.
Please share this information with everyone you know in the neighborhood!
English High School Auditorium
144 McBride Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
If you cannot make the meeting, please consider writing a thank you letter for the at-grade decision, and ask to move forward in the process. Here are the letter-writing instructions from MassDOT:
Written statements and other exhibits in place of, or in addition to, oral statements made at the Public Information Meeting regarding the proposed undertaking are to be submitted to Thomas F. Broderick, P.E., Chief Engineer, MassDOT, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116, ATTN: (Paul King, Project File No. 605511). Such submissions will also be accepted at the meeting. Mailed statements and exhibits intended for inclusion in the public meeting transcript must be postmarked within ten (10) business days of this Public Information Meeting. Project inquiries may be emailed to email@example.com
The March 20 Working Advisory Group meeting clearly indicated that a small group of those who wanted to build a bridge are planning to do everything they can to delay the project, which would jeopardize its funding under the Accelerated Bridge Program set to expire in mid-2016. A special act of the legislature, with broad support from across the state, would be needed to deal with Jamaica Plain’s problem if this deadline cannot be met, not to mention that a two-thirds majority of those who have already weighed in on this project with letters and comments support the at-grade plan. A representative from the Stonybrook neighborhood said that his neighborhood had “serious concerns” about the plan and wanted to revisit the decision, though a survey of the neighborhood association showed half the neighborhood supported at-grade.
At-grade supporters and some former bridge supporters are anxious to get through the next stage of planning, the 25% design, where decisions are made about where bike lanes and bike paths actually will go, what will occupy the new 2.5 acre park at the end of the SW Corridor, and several improvements for buses and traffic calming. This stage of the process has already been constrained by the previous delays, and will only span six months. Any delay of this process will mean less input from Jamaica Plain residents on that design. But delay is precisely what is on the agenda of “Bridging Forest Hills,” a group apparently run by Jeff Ferris of Ferris Wheels Bike Shop, which organized a meeting earlier this week at Bethel AME Church to discuss alternatives to at-grade. A flyer distributed by the group erroneously claims that there will be no pick-up and drop-off zones, and no left hand turns for cars and trucks. Where pick up and drop off zones go is an item that is scheduled for 25% design, so the delay Bridging Forest Hills is asking for will actually prevent them from being well planned. Left hand turns are only limited for cars on the Arborway, and are replaced by a bow-tie turn that will take just a little longer. There is a discussion scheduled for 25% design that may make that restriction only for peak hours, as it is on the Jamaicaway. But that discussion cannot happen if there is significant delay.
This next public meeting is one of the most important meetings of the year. Please join us and forward widely.