Thursday, November 17, 2011

Critical meeting for Casey Overpass

Live in JP/ Rozzie/ points south?
You're probably aware that the existing Casey Overpass is an overbuilt-rustbucket-eyesore that's a whisker shy of falling down.   It's been rolled into the "Accelerated Bridge Program"  and the state is considering two options to replace it- one at grade and one with a new bridge.  Monday night is the meeting to determine which one will go forward into design.  There are a lot of people who drive through there who are amateur traffic engineers and think that a bridge is "obviously"  the only solution, but it's not necessarily the best for other road users or the neighborhood.

I'm not going to be able to make the meeting on Monday night, but I got this info in the email, and I'll send a letter supporting the on grade option.



Please attend the Casey Overpass meeting this coming Monday, November 21 from 6-8:30 at the Hinton State Laboratory at 305 South St. in JP! This is a critical meeting. Your input at this meeting, and our ability as LivableStreets to inspire other people to give their input could decide the fate of the project. 

What's happening? In the next few weeks, MassDOT (Mass. Dept. of Transportation) will decide to replace the crumbling Casey Overpass with either a new two-lane bridge or an at-grade network of streets.

Why attend this meeting? Building a new bridge is more expensive and creates a wall 20-feet high through our neighborhood that, according to MassDOT analyses, won’t help get commuters through Forest Hills any faster than with the superior at-grade option.

What are the options? Both options improve local traffic operations compared to existing conditions and handle all traffic projected through 2035. Both options maintain equal regional traffic operations. Only the at-grade option improves bus service and traffic along Washington Street.

What else needs to be addressed? Despite the enormous advantages of the at-grade option, the outcome is far from decided. We need every at-grade supporter to speak up in support of the at-grade solution. Thank MassDOT for listening and considering these key suggestions to make Boston a more connected, livable city.

Key points to make at the meeting: Show your support for the at-grade alternative to create more livable communities. Come to the public meeting on Nov. 21stand tell MassDOT that you prefer the at-grade solution for any or all of the reasons below. You can help reshape Forest Hills and impact greater Boston for generations to come. Ensure another bridge that cuts through Forest Hills is not built. 

What are the advantages of the at-grade solution?
• Maintains commute times through Forest Hills
• Visually and physically reconnects surrounding parks and neighborhoods by removing the overpass.
• Supports economic and neighborhood development by opening up street-front retail properties to shoppers.
• Creates a clear gateway to the Southwest Corridor
• Improves access to Forest Hills transit Station.
• Recreates Olmsted’s visionary parkway of tree-lined streets connecting the Arboretum with Franklin Park.
• Includes Washington Street improvements making it safer for walkers, cyclists as well as vehicles.

We encourage you to write a letter supporting the at-grade option to your local elected officials and John Romano, Municipal Affairs Liaison, MassDOT, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116 or to John.Romano@dot.state.ma.us.

For more information about this project,  visit www.livablestreets.info/casey-overpass


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