Your help needed on Casey Arborway one more time
Please take a moment before tomorrow’s city council session to remind your Boston City Councillor, your at-large councillors, and particularly Councillor Charles Yancey, that you support a bike and pedestrian friendly Forest Hills. (See below for their phone numbers and emails).
There have been 36 public meetings on the Casey Project, including 10 widely advertised community meetings, including one in Mattapan. Yancey did not recall that there was a meeting in Mattapan for the project when the Bike Union called him today, but the meeting was organized by State Rep. Russell Holmes of Mattapan. But despite this being the second largest MassDOT public process in recent memory (the Big Dig had a few more meetings), a small but determined group of highway-like infrastructure supporters in Jamaica Plain have never accepted the majority-approved decision to build an at-grade boulevard instead.
We’re asking that:
- There be no further delays of the Casey Arborway reconstruction project. There have been too many delays to this project already.
A few talking points around the at-grade option (check meeting minutes or this interview with neighborhood activist Clay Harper for more info.)
The Casey Arborway project will mean:
- A more inviting place to walk.
- A more inviting place to bike.
- A more scenic and enjoyable place to drive.
- Along with the DCR’s new Arborway project and a future effort to get a cycletrack on Morton Street almost all the way to Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan, this project will create an off-road route all the way from Franklin Park to the Landmark Center in the Fenway neighborhood.
- A new farmer’s market and other events are made possible in a new park the size of Copley Plaza at the end of the SW Corridor and next the Forest Hills MBTA station.
- Commuters will no longer have to cross the Arborway to get to the Forest Hills Orange Line station (a second headhouse is being added).
- An expanded busway for the 39 bus.
- Walking and biking paths connect the Arnold Arboretum and Franklin Park.
- An under-the-bridge environment will not attract drunken loitering and crime.
- Car commuters passing through will have an opportunity to stop and support local businesses.
- More pedestrians and cyclists in the area will increase revenues for local businesses.
- A visible gateway to the Arnold Arboretum that includes 69 different species of trees and shrubs (most of which would never thrive without access to sunlight).
- Congestion and overall trip times for motor vehicles will actually be reduced from current conditions for the majority of drivers (although speeding over the area on a bridge to get to traffic tie ups on Murray Circle and at the Morton St. and Blue Hill Avenue intersection will not longer be a possibility).
The only defendable drawback to the bridge is that the 7 percent of users who want to turn left off of the Arborway will be taken a couple minutes out of their way, they will have to make a U-turn and turn right instead. For the benefits of this project, the Bike Union and the coalition of organizations supporting the Casey At-Grade decision think this small sacrifice is worth making.
Please email or call your city councillors now (and apologize for having to call on this issue that should have been resolved in 2012)!
President and District 2-Bill Linehan Bill.Linehan@boston.gov 617-635-3203
D1-Salvatore LaMattina Salvatore.LaMattina@boston.gov 617-635-3200
D3-Frank Baker Frank.Baker@boston.gov 617-635-3455
D4-Charles C. Yancey Charles.Yancey@boston.gov 617-635-3131
D5-Timothy McCarthy Timothy.McCarthy@boston.gov 617-635-4210
D6-Matt O’Malley email@example.com 617-635-4220
D7-Tito Jackson TJackson@boston.gov 617-635-3510
D8-Josh Zakim Josh.Zakim@boston.gov 617-635-4225
D9-Mark Ciommo Mark.Ciommo@boston.gov 617-635-3113
At Large-Stephen Murphy Stephen.Murphy@boston.gov 617-635-4376
At Large-Ayanna Presley Ayanna.Pressley@boston.gov 617-635-4217
At Large-Michael Flaherty Michael.F.Flaherty@boston.gov 617-635-4205
At Large-Michelle Wu Michelle.Wu@boston.gov 617-635-3115
Thanks much to the BCU for their important advocacy and for the shout-out above.
The talking points above are terrific. In case it helps, I made a bulleted version of much of what I said in the interview above for those lacking time to watch and take notes:
[…] Casey Arborway one more time (we hope) | Boston Cyclists Union […]
“although speeding over the area on a bridge to get to traffic tie ups on Murray Circle and at the Morton St. and Blue Hill Avenue intersection will not longer be a possibility”
I think for many drivers, going really fast only to stop at the next red light is a feature, not a bug. In the smart-phone era, these red-light stops give the drives a chance to read and write text messages. While this is illegal, it’s very difficult to enforce.