Sorry I've not been posting much, life been getting in the way.
Went to the Longfellow meeting last night, but it was kind of a shrug.
They didn't release a planned alternative for the lane configuration, which makes me (and a lot of people) worried and a bit upset. They are going to submit it to the feds for its Environmental Assesment and only after that comes back will we know the recommended section.
A moment of unintended hilarity, a big part of the presentation was a modeling guy who was talking about where people come from and go to who use the bridge (how do they determine this?) which indicates that a lot of people from Cambridge use the bridge to get to the airport, and most of the trips come from East cambridge and go to downtown (a handy distance to commute by bike).
Anyway, people were questioning him about his model and finally he admitted that his model didn't have any way to account for bikes or pedestrians- an admission that was met with bitter laughter and cries of surprise.
One possibly significant item is that they're talking about re-activating the old exit for Storrow, Mugar Way, which is currently a limited access street. This would allow the best configuration for the new pedestrian bridge, which they seem very committed to, but which isn't funded in the current mandate.
A couple of people mentioned the "vision thing" and how designing just to the formulas and numbers is one thing, but this is an opportunity to create something amazing instead and push the numbers through design of better facilities. Unfortunately I don't think we're going to get there on this bridge. I think it's amazing how far the bureaucracy has come on this bridge, but I don't think they're going to make the leap to projecting a future that they want and shifting the configuration to enable that.
I agreed with Fred Salvucci's comments that they need to keep moving on the main span, and that they should incorporate the 14' sidewalks now, and hash out how the pavement is divided later.
He proposed making some of the intersection improvements into a "phase 3" but I'm worried about whether if they're split off we will have funding issues, if they will no longer fall into the accelerated bridge program.