Are you frustrated with the conditions on roads managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation? Do you wish they had physically separated bike lanes, more pedestrian crossings, slower vehicle speeds, and more green space for recreation and commuting?
If so, today is a critical opportunity to weigh in! A special State commission run by the UMASS Donahue Institute is evaluating how DCR manages its land and assets, including the numerous parkways under its jurisdiction (roads like Memorial Drive, Morrissey Blvd, Arborway/Jamaica Way; more examples below.)
Feedback is due by 5pm TONIGHT. Follow the link below for an easy-to-use, customizable form to send your thoughts to the commission.
We support investing in DCR so the agency has more capacity for improvement projects and to maintain their parks, parkways and open spaces. However, if they continue to lack the resources, policies and accountability to make safe multi-modal parkways, we will need a new way to ensure these improvements happen.
For now, it is critically important for the special commission to hear your concerns about DCR parkway management and your experiences communicating with DCR/engaging in planning processes. The Commission will wrap up its work in August and make suggestions to the legislature.
DCR-managed roads are some of the most dangerous arterials in the region, and are long-overdue for improvements. We suggest making the following points in your feedback. And as always, we encourage you to speak on your personal experiences; those carry a lot of weight with decision makers.
- I don’t feel safe traveling via foot/bike/car on the following parkways:_____. [Please also share if you have advocated for changes or been part of planning processes on parkways, as well as any feedback for DCR regarding communication and follow through.]
- DCR needs to follow modern safety design standards for their parkways, and enact a plan with a timeline and funding to make improvements. If DCR is not given a significant increase in resources and held accountable for designing and maintaining roads that prioritize vulnerable road users, I think you must consider shared roadway management with the state department of transportation, or adding additional levels of oversight to MassDOT or city agencies. MassDOT has roadway safety standards that could be applied to parkways while still retaining parkland designation and protecting trees and greenspace. I encourage DCR to adopt these standards. We can have—and deserve to have—safe AND green parkways!
- Release the DCR parkways study from 2015. Taxpayers paid for the study and we want to see an assessment of parkways and needed improvements so we can work with DCR to get them improved in a timely manner.
***Examples of DCR-managed roads include: Memorial Drive, Morrissey Blvd, Day Blvd, Arborway/Jamaica Way, VFW Parkway, West Roxbury Parkway, Blue Hills Parkway, Fellsway, Greenough Blvd, Mystic Valley Parkway, Park Drive/Landmark Center intersection, and more