Monday, March 12, 2012

Western and River Street Bridges Meetings

Tuesday the 13th and Thursday the 15th there will be meetings on the proposed reconstruction/ redesign of the Western Ave and River Street Bridges.   These bridges are particularly gnarly right now because of the nasty intersections on each side and the links to the Mass Pike entrance/ exit.

There's a story, which may or may not be apocryphal,  that there was a conference going on at Genzyme, at one side of the Cambridge street/ Storrow/ Mass Pike intersection,  and the attendees were staying at the hotel on the other side of this intersection.   The conference organizers rented buses to shuttle participants all the way across the river on River street, across to Western Ave, back across the river and to the Genzyme campus,  because it was deemed so unsafe to walk across this intersection to go directly the one block from A to B.  Whether this story is true or not, it's definitely true that this is a meatgrinder of an intersection even if you're in a car, and it's particularly daunting if you're trying to cross by foot or on a bike.

There are a lot of tough connections here, and it's an uphill battle to convince Mass DOT that this is still a city street, not just an extension of two highways (Storrow and the Pike).  Boston and Cambridge are in the process of creating much better bike facilities on both ends of the Western Ave bridge, and on Cambridge street from and towards Allston.  The consultants are proposing a pair of cycletracks and a better connection and better signage,  but they're going to need support for providing this off-street cycling facility, and support for the idea that this needs to be an intersection that allows people not in cars to cross it safely.

Please consider coming to voice your support for safer bike facilities at either the Cambridge meeting Tuesday (tomorrow)  March 13th at 7pm,  at Morse Elementary School, 40 Granite St,   or the Allston meeting Thursday March 15th  at the Honan-Allston Library,  300 N. Harvard St, Allston.

Mass DOT's pages on the project can be found here.

1 comment:

  1. from time to time, when I've gone out to meet friends in Allston, I'm usually good with heading over the river on Western Ave, and making that left onto N. Harvard. But I always, always, always hate going the other way, especially when contending with that fast exit ramp on to the Mass Pike. Making a left onto N. Harvard St. from Allston rivals making the Cambridge St. left at the McGrath highway as my most despised maneuver in this city.