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Comments on Dorchester Harborwalk

Comments on Dorchester Harborwalk

December 12, 2014

Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA)
Attn: MEPA Office
100 Cambridge St., Suite 900
Boston MA 02114

RE: Environmental Notification Form for the Neponset River Greenway Segment 3 – MEPA #15286

Dear Secretary Vallely Bartlett:

The Neponset River Greenway is being constructed in several segments, each of which advances the goal of providing access along this regionally important waterfront. In this instance, the proposal will connect two existing walkways along Boston Harbor, with the ultimate goal of extending to the Neponset River walkways that reach the heart of Milton.

WalkBoston wholeheartedly support the proposal and commends DCR in its actions to further construction of waterfront facilities. We applaud DCR for its efforts to cobble together the essential connections to extend both the Harborwalk and the Neponset River Greenway. The walkway will offer an exciting experience, as it focuses on an area all of us have seen from the highway, and few have explored directly. The adjacent National Grid solar panels will be interesting to both children and adults and afford a point of interest unavailable along most pathways. We think the path will immediately become a remarkable highlight on the waterfront, attracting people to the new experience it will provide.

WalkBoston offers two suggestions that we hope DCR might still consider:

• Urban walking and running opportunities – Given the opportunities that the Greenway opens up for walking and running within the urban area, we suggest that DCR consider formalizing the running accommodation by including a soft surface trail adjacent to the paved path. This is particularly relevant because the path is located near neighborhoods that have the greatest need of facilities such as this for recreation.

• Width of the path – We note that the path is proposed to be built with a standard 10-foot width. We hope that the facility can be designed and constructed with adequate space to allow for future widening to provide adequate space for a mix of walkers, runners and bicyclists as its use grows over the coming year. DCR might consider an 11 – 12 foot width now to allow two side-by-side walkers or bicyclists to pass someone coming in the opposite direction.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this project. Please feel free to contact us if there are any questions.

Sincerely,

Robert Sloane
Senior Planner

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