[cross-posted from my Boston Bike Commuter blog]
Please also send an email to email@example.com with your own comments (mention “Project File # 606376”).
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My letter to MassDOT is below.
January 27, 2014
Richard Davey, Secretary and Chief Executive Officer
Frank DePaola, Administrator, Highway Division
Massachusetts Department of Transportation
10 Park Plaza,
Boston, MA 02114
RE: Project #606376 Cambridge Street bridge over I-90, Allston, Boston
Dear Secretary Davey and Administrator DePaolo:
I’m writing in regards to the Cambridge Street Overpass in Allston, Project #606376. I appreciate that in recent public meetings and plans that community concerns have been incorporated onto the Cambridge Street renovations. However, the street design is still geared toward high-speed / high-volume motor vehicle traffic, increasing the risks for bicyclists and pedestrians.
I work in Allston and live in Jamaica Plain, and whenever possible I prefer to commute by work. Any route I take to work must cross the Massachusetts Turnpike, but crossings are few and far between with the majority of them designed almost exclusively for automotive traffic with wide lanes and high speeds (this includes Cambridge Street, as well as Carlton/Mounfort St, Beacon St, and Charlesgate). These crossings are intimidating to bicyclists at best and downright dangerous at worst. While the Cambridge Street crossing is the most direct route, I often go miles out-of-the-way to Massachusetts Avenue to avoid the stress and risks of biking on Cambridge Street.
With this in mind, and the concerns of Allston community members, bicyclists, and pedestrians, I would like to encourage the following modifications to encourage the goal of slowing automotive traffic speed and creating a safer street for pedestrians and bicyclists:
- Do not install a median fence.
- Reallocate excess space from roadway to bicyclists and pedestrians
- The new pedestrian crossing should use a standard red/yellow/green traffic signal
- Plant landscaping in the median between the Mansfield Crosswalk & Lincoln Street.
- Use permanent coloring to distinguish the sidewalk and cycletrack
Thank you for your consideration and attention to my concerns and those of others who wish to transform Cambridge Street into a safe, accessible and attractive gateway to the Allston community. Working together we can the project to remake Cambridge Street something we can all be proud of.