The Dorchester Reporter reports on the latest state plans for a trail along the Neponset River from Dorchester to Hyde Park by way of Milton and Mattapan.
Mike Ball, who lives at the Hyde Park end, considers the trail's progress.
There's a similar trail along the Charles river in Watertown and Waltham. Along the path, they put park benches facing the water. Unfortunately, once they put in the path and the benches, they decided that their job was over. Since then, the banks of the river have overgrown with shrubs and trees. As a result, you can walk along the trail or sit on the benches, but you can't see the river. Which kind of defeats the purpose, no? You have the bright idea to create a 'river walk,' but a few years later, you can't see the river from the walk. This is really typical of the 'do it once and forget about it' attitude you get from government projects like this. No doubt the pols were out getting their pictures taken for the local newspapers when they opened up that grand river walk along the Charles.
Not so in Dorchester. Our trail along the Neponset River is well maintained and heavily used. There were folks fearful that the Greenway would be a magnet for crime, etc., but in fact by creating the amenity— and keeping it up well— the state has taken a formerly sketchy (abandoned rail corridor) and turned it into a resource used by families. The Dorchester section of the Greenway is a jewel and it's about time our neighbors in Mattapan and Milton (which already is home to a section down by Lower Mills) gets their chance. Great news!
I don't know if that's a bad thing. You want to see the river, but you also want to see shrubs and trees. I don't think the literal body of water necessarily trumps the trees just because it's nominally a "river walk." They're both nice. It depends on the particular tradeoffs of the situation, and since I haven't been there I really can't judge it.
My daughter takes the Curry College shuttle at Mattapan Station and she raves about how nice the Transit Police who work there are.She told me that there was a distubing incident last night where a female officer was in a knock down drag out fight with a lunatic on a bike.