With the elections out of the way, what's next? Letters to the MBTA and
DCR are urgently needed, to keep these two EPA settlements from reverting
I motivated a letter from the MassBike executive director. The
Charles River Waterfront Coalition has promised one. I'm working on
The Boston Harbor Association.
Who else is willing to jump into the party? A great public place hangs
in the balance.
Now is when a small effort can have a big payback.
Attachment: copy of letter
Robert Mela wrote:
>I know Sciortino will be supportive ( he's trying to live car-free ).
>I'm pretty well tied up until Tuesday helping his campaign.
>I'll work on letters & contacts over the next couple weeks once we get
>through this election. Barrios has been a good friend of Bike to the
>Sea, I imagine Pat Jehlen will be for it, as well as Jim Marzilli, and
>Anne Paulsen, though they're a bit further afield.
>Would it help to get city councillors / aldermen on board? I'm
>familiar with Medford...
In 2003 the EPA levied a fine against the MBTA, for (among other things)
pollution in the Mystic River. As part of the settlement, the MBTA
agreed to a land transfer. We are writing out of concern that the
deadlines imposed by the EPA are fast approaching, and that an inferior
project may be substituted.
The settlement's land transfer creates a multi-use pathway between
Sullivan Square, the Boston Harbor Walk, and Assembly Square (see
attached maps). This is an area heavily impacted by decades of dirty
industrial use by many parties, but undergoing redevelopment. The
transfer would allow the MBTA to help create a great public place, and a
transportation link at the same time. The link hooks the Boston Harbor
Walk into scenic pathways up the Mystic River, and puts a new
residential development within walking distance of the proposed Assembly
Square Orange Line Stop. The project will be a public relations win, as
well as a transportation win.
We understand there are certain concerns: security, safety, lighting,
utility obstructions, and loss of several supervisory parking spots at
the Charlestown Bus Yard. We feel that all these concerns can be
mitigated in the project design stage. We believe that bus yard
employees will come to appreciate the new parkland created, on lunch
break. We firmly believe that attracting legitimate users to this
sparsely trafficked area enhances, and does not detract from, the
physical security of the facility. As cyclists, we believe that the
crossing of the bus yard entrance can be made safe even for the novice
cyclists such a pathway will attract.
We urge you not to substitute projects in this case. The river's edge
land transfer offers sweeping vistas of the Mystic River, and travelers
on the path will be visible to passing boats and to drivers on route
99. The alternative proposed route would not have these advantages.
We urge you to move up the priority of this land transfer, as originally
Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition
Janice Kearny, MBTA Environmental
Kathy Abbott, DCR Commissioner
Dan Driscoll, DCR Planning
Copy of consent decree