Pedestrian safety, physically separated cycle tracks, and opposition to a proposed fence were front-and-center last night in Allston at a Massachusetts Department of Transportation meeting about the reconstruction of Cambridge Street between Harvard Avenue and Lincoln Street.
More than 150 people attended the meeting, including Allston residents, business owners and transportation experts. Many wore stickers that read "Union Square to the Charles River:" A common theme was that MassDOT and the city of Boston, which both own parts of the road, need to come together on a plan to improve all of the Cambridge Street.
State officials say the bridge needs repairs - the sidewalk on the north side of the span has been closed for more than three years for safety reasons. But while many residents supported parts of the MassDOT project last night, many vociferously opposed such state ideas as building a six-foot high fence for 400 feet down the center of the rebuilt span. People also questioned the lack of pedestrian crossings between Lincoln and Harvard.
"I hope there will be another meeting so that we can make and wear 'f**k the fence' T-shirts," one resident said.
Many attendees also urged MassDOT to do more to make the area safer and more attractive. Pete Stidman of the Boston Cyclists Union suggested that physical barriers to protect the bike lanes would be much safer than the painted stripes proposed by MassDOT.