The city Transportation Department holds a meeting Wednesday evening to discuss making Melnea Cass Boulevard more "pedestrian friendly" in plans that call for adding two extra traffic lanes to it. The hearing starts at 6 p.m. at the BWSC building on Melnea Cass.
Melnea Cass was built atop the bulldozed remains of the right of way for the I-695 Inner Belt - swaths of the neighborhood were destroyed before the highway was canceled (along with the I-95 extension from the south).
The Walking Bostonian makes the case against widening the road to add dedicated bus lanes for an Urban Ring that may never happen:
If BTD really wants to show its dedication to "Complete Streets" then they will take two of the existing travel lanes, and convert them into dedicated bus lanes.
Some might argue the old trope that this will cause "gridlock" and traffic jams as drivers senselessly pile into one another without thought. That's nonsense. If the corridor is going to be reimagined and reinvented, then it will also change the way people travel along the corridor just as radically. People respond to their environment. If you want to have a highway, then by all means, keep the road wide. But if you want it to be a walkable place to build a neighborhood around, then you'll want to keep the lane count down.
Friends and Neighbors of Melnea Cass Boulevard explain their opposition.