The Department of Conservation and Recreation is currently undertaking the public process for the redesign and reconstruction of Morrissey Boulevard, a critical connection between Hyde Park, Mattapan, Milton, Quincy and downtown Boston.
Because of it’s tendency to flood during storms and high tides, the entire roadway needs to be reconstructed. This provides an opportunity to significantly improve Morrissey Boulevard for people walking, biking and driving. With the Harvest River Bridge and other segments of the Neponset Trail recently opening, it is more important than ever for Morrissey Boulevard to be redesigned to be a safe, multi-modal corridor.
The good news is DCR is proposing facilities for walking and biking that are significant improvements over the current condition. However, the sidewalk and cycletrack widths they are proposing are the bare minimum. People walking will be crammed onto a narrow sidewalk, and people biking on the cycletracks may not be able to comfortably ride side-by-side or pass other people biking. (You can check out the plans here.)
Let DCR know that people walking and biking deserve more than the bare minimum! Copy and paste the information below into the comment form on the DCR website here! (Don’t forget to select “Morrissey Boulevard from the dropdown menu.)
First, I strongly support DCR’s efforts to redesign Morrissey Boulevard into a multi-modal corridor that enhances our parklands and provides a safe and comfortable place for people to walk and bike for both recreation and transportation.
With the recent completion of the Harvest River Bridge and other segments of the Neponset Trail, it has become increasingly important to redesign Morrissey Boulevard to connect the trail with North Dorchester, South Boston, the Harborwalk and the paths along Day Boulevard and Castle Island. Completing this connection will create a low-stress walking and biking route that will allow people of all ages and abilities to travel from Hyde Park, Mattapan Square and Milton nearly all the way to downtown Boston.
In order to ensure this project provides the greatest benefit possible to our parklands and people using active modes of transportation, I request that DCR increase the proposed widths of the sidewalks, cycletracks and multi-use paths wherever possible. The current proposed plans provide the minimum required widths, which do not allow for people to comfortably ride bicycles side by side on cycletracks, or easily walk side by side on the sidewalks. Increasing these widths will encourage more residents to use active modes of transportation along this corridor.
Moreover, increasing the widths of the sidewalks, cycletracks and multi-use paths and decreasing the widths of medians and travel lanes will encourage slower motor vehicle speeds. The current proposal calls for a speed limit and prevailing speed of 35 mph. With the City of Boston reducing the default speed limit to 25 mph, and the proximity of Morrissey Boulevard to I-93, I believe it is more appropriate to design for a maximum speed limit and prevailing speed of 25 mph on this corridor. Slower motor vehicle speeds will improve the pedestrian experience and increase safety for people walking, biking and driving.
Thank you for accepting my comments and I look forward to this project being completed.