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Tag: everett

Comments on Width of Northern Strand Community Trail

Comments on Width of Northern Strand Community Trail

February 6, 2019

To Kurt Gaertner
Land Policy and Planning Director
MA Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs

Mr. Gaertner,

Thank you for your continued efforts to develop the Northern Strand Community Trail from the Mystic River to Lynn. We are inspired by the leadership and dedication demonstrated by your team and Governor Baker, and we appreciate your extensive community outreach as the pathway is developed over this coming year.

We would like to comment on the inadequate width of the pathway, as it has been presented by the project team, as a contiguous 10’ width for the entire length. The standards set forth in AASHTO and MassDOT’s own separated path design guidelines recommend 10’ only on low-volume pathways, with a recommendation of 12’-14’ for paths with high pedestrian volumes. Based on current and projected usage of the pathway, we believe the Northern Strand Community Trail should adhere to the standard of 12’-14’, or even potentially exceed that, wherever possible. It is important also to note that these path standards do not take into account the emerging technologies of micro-mobility devices and electric bicycles, which will invariably be used for transportation purposes on the Northern Strand. This goal of widening the pathway is to mitigate conflicts between users, and to plan for the area’s expected growth and development that will bring more people out onto the path in the coming years. We believe that the pathway’s intention is to serve the community and provide safe recreation and transportation options, and thus we implore the EOEEA and the project team to widen the pathway.

The communities served by this pathway are dense residential and commercial areas. The communities of Everett, Malden, Revere, Saugus, and Lynn are cities and towns that are developing at an expected growth of more than 12% by 2040 (see: MAPC Population Growth Projections). By comparison, many other regional pathways are already strained in capacity due to their narrow designs, and we see issues of narrowness contributing to user conflicts on the Minuteman Bikeway, the Paul Dudley White Bike Path, and the Southwest Corridor. This pathway is also a crucial corridor for the East Coast Greenway, a contiguous route that connects 15 states with 3,000 miles of trails. We can assume the Northern Strand will receive heavy usage, and we must design and build accordingly to ourprojections.

(Population and Housing Demand Projections for Metro Boston:

http://www.mapc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/MAPC-MetroBoston-Projections_ExecSumm-1_16_14.pdf)

Further, as you have heard at every public meeting, the worry about conflicts between bicyclists and pedestrians/joggers is a widely held concern. A wider pathway means a safer pathway, with more room for more people at varying speeds to maneuver and pass safely. We feel that a 10’ pathway is not sufficient to provide space for two-way walkers, joggers, strollers, and bicyclists to co-exist without conflict. Since safety is of paramount concern, especially as this pathway serves users young and old, we recommend widening the pathway to 12’-14’, or alternatively providing separate spaces for bicyclists and pedestrians/joggers where right-of-way allows.

We appreciate how the design and construction of the Northern Strand has a funding limitation set by the Commonwealth’s budget, and this may impact the width of the path by requiring less pavement as a cost issue. However, the cost of additional 2’-4’ of pavement at the onset of construction is considerably less than having to go back and widen the pathway after construction and landscaping has completed. Widening the pathway where possible on Day One only makes financial sense.

Lastly, we should expect the Northern Strand to be used as a commuter route, and thus will have users after dark during the months of October – March (since we live in the Northern Latitudes and the sun sets early in the evening). We ask the project team take into account lighting wherever feasible to provide safe passage for pathway users. Along this argument, we also acknowledge that lighting elements will eventually be installed along certain sections of the pathway, once enough people are using the pathway to provide a safe environment. Thus, we ask that the EOEEA and the project team install conduits for lighting during this initial construction of the pathway where lighting is expected to be installed in the future, to more easily facilitate and lower the cost of installing lighting later on.

We appreciate your consideration of these issues of wider pathway and lighting elements for the Northern Strand. We applaud your team and the leadership for supporting this impactful project, and we look forward to the benefits it will bring the region for better health and wellness, smart growth development, and sustainable transportation connecting these cities and towns.

Sincerely,

Galen Mook, Executive Director, MassBike

Wendy Landman, Executive Director, WalkBoston

Kristine Keeney, New England Coordinator, East Coast Greenway Alliance

Comment letter on Waterways Application #W18-5358: Proposed bike/ped path from 80 Alford St/Route 99 to Draw Seven Park Ch 91 license

Comment letter on Waterways Application #W18-5358: Proposed bike/ped path from 80 Alford St/Route 99 to Draw Seven Park Ch 91 license

January 24, 2018

Jerome Grafe
MassDEP Waterways Program
1 Winter Street, 5th floor
Boston, MA 02108

RE: Waterways Application # W18-5358: Proposed bike/ped path from 80 Alford St/Route 99 to Draw Seven Park Ch 91 license

Dear Jerome,

WalkBoston is excited to hear of the proposal for a new bike/ped path connecting Draw Seven Park in Somerville to Route 99 in Boston/Charlestown. This path, atop the new MBTA sea wall at 80 Alford Street, will be a terrific boon to the Mystic River path network.

We support the Friends of the Community Path (FCP) and the Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership (STEP) in asking for the following revisions to the proposed path design:

  1. Widen the path from 10’ to 12’-14’ wherever possible.
  2. Ensure that the path design will be harmonious with the ongoing Mystic River bike/ped bridge design, so that there will be an appropriate path connection to the future Mystic River bike/ped bridge at the Draw Seven Park edge of the MBTA busway property.
  3. Ensure that the path design does not preclude a signalized crosswalk over Route 99 for safe bike/ped access to Ryan Playground, the Schraffts building, and the Boston Harborwalk. Plans for a safe bike/ped crossing at this location will also need to take future roadway projects on Rutherford Avenue into account.
  4. Connect the path to one of the public roads (Beacham Street or Moosal Place/Sherman Street) that connect to Broadway, so that pedestrians and cyclists need not go all the way to Assembly Square and then turn back in order to reach Broadway.

We also support FCP and STEP’s call for a public meeting about this proposal. Given that this path will be an important link in the Mystic River path network, many stakeholders and members of the public have a compelling interest in these issues. WalkBoston looks forward to continued engagement to ensure that this critical path connection moves forward.

Sincerely,

Wendy Landman
Executive Director

SAMPAN – Everett becomes first local city to speed bus commute with raised platforms

SAMPAN – Everett becomes first local city to speed bus commute with raised platforms

SAMPAN: “Everett becomes first local city to speed bus commute with raised platforms

“Fixing the ‘last mile’ is often cited as an important goal for transportation agencies and advocates to improve how people get from their transit stop to final destination. Adding boarding-level platforms in Everett shows a commitment to the ‘last six inches,’ too,” said Wendy Landman, Executive Director of WalkBoston. “These last six inches are critical elements of age and disability-friendly communities, growing bus ridership, and improving mobility for all community members.”

Posted July 17, 2018

Sullivan Square/Rutherford Avenue Design Project Comment Letter

Sullivan Square/Rutherford Avenue Design Project Comment Letter

April 11, 2018

Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)
c/o Alexandra Kleyman AICP
TIP Manager
Transportation Building
10 Park Plaza, Suite 2150
Boston, MA 02116

Re: Sullivan Square/Rutherford Avenue Design Project (SS/RA Design Project)

Dear MPO Council and Staff,

WalkBoston has been engaged in and following the planning and design of Sullivan Square/ Rutherford Ave. for many years. The redesign of the streets and roadways for this part of Boston should reflect what the people of Charlestown, Somerville and Everett deserve as a hub for walking and transit, and should create opportunities for the redevelopment of what has long been a neglected, dysfunctional and unsafe auto-­centric wasteland.

We believe that the decisions about designs for both Sullivan Square and Rutherford Avenue should be made based on a thorough review of all of the options available for the roadways. Special attention should be given to providing a primarily at-grade street system with opportunities for at-­grade redevelopment of parcels (that do not require air rights or decks) as this will provide the greatest opportunity to create a sense of place, answer the long-­term transportation needs of this dense urban location, provide for safe mobility for all street users and allow for climate resilient designs.

We write to the MPO to request that funding for the project be deferred in the TIP so that there can be sufficient time for review of the alternatives that have been developed by Northeastern Professor Peter Furth at the request of Charlestown residents. The designs that he has developed provide opportunities to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety, add landscape improvements and enhance development opportunities.

Thank you for your attention to this significant project.

Sincerely,

Wendy Landman
Executive Director

Riverpaths of Everett, Somerville and Medford Walking Map

Riverpaths of Everett, Somerville and Medford Walking Map

The walk begins at the Orange Line Wellington Station. The route is roughly 4 miles and ends at the Orange Line Sullivan Square Station.

The Mystic River gets its name from the Indian word Misi-Tuk for Great Tidal River. In colonial times the settlers saw that the Mystic was deeper than the Charles and water-dependent industry sprang up on its banks. With Boston’s 9 foot tidal range, the tide would run all the way up to the Mystic Lakes. For over 200 years, residents relied on the tide to wash wastes out to sea. The river’s industries left a legacy of a stew of chemicals that settled to the bottom. The original riverbeds were diverted over the centuries for industry, homes and highways. What you see today, both the good and the bad, are the starting points for reclaiming our rivers.

Click for “Riverpaths of Everett, Somerville, Medford Walking Map” PDF



Click for “Riverpaths of Everett, Somerville, and Medford” Walking Map on Google Maps