Will Allston overpass continue as soulless, unsafe span for pedestrians?

Today's the last day for filing comments on the state's proposed two-year redo of the Cambridge Street overpass and the Franklin Street pedestrian bridge. Some people aren't all that happy with the current proposal, and think the state could do better to make it safer for pedestrians to get across the turnpike and train tracks. They even have a petition to attach your name to.



Free tagging: 


pinch point

Oh yah. this crossing. http://goo.gl/maps/4Bhji

narrow, overgrown with trees, and the suicide fencing makes it feel like your trapped. Wider and better lit seems appropriate... Seems more like an afterthought than a real neighborhood connector

Who cares about Allston

The people living there should know they are moving into a student shithole so who cares if they have a nasty bridge, they deserve it.

Some people work in Allston

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Some people work in Allston and aren't students or "dirtbags" or whatever you are calling people who live there. Also, some people can only afford Allston and can't afford Back Bay or North End or wherever you are writing this from. I personally work in Allston and can't teleport to this part of the city therefore being a pedestrian in this area and do not have a choice. Nobody should be stricken of pro-pedestrian laws/improvements just because it may be a less nice area of a city.

The 100% design has a quarter

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The 100% design has a quarter mile long fence down the median. What is this, Route 9? This design will result in more dangerous crossing between Allston Village and North Allston. See this previous thread: http://www.universalhub.com/2012/citizen-complaint...

Send your comments (due TODAY, 7/3) to: [email protected] and reference Project #606376. Posting on uhub is good but sending an official comment is very important too. It can be brief.

is there an actual link to

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is there an actual link to the state's proposal or the presentation (in PDF or powerpoint format)? the link above lets you see what they look like but is a poor quality picture of the plans - you can't see the details of the engineer's plans (such as the reference to a chain link fence down the middle, presumably to prevent people from crossing - their answer to a crosswalk I guess). It's hard to email a comment to the state or sign a petition if you don't know what you're objecting to. Links to blogs don't help.


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I just re-read that previous thread, and noticed that in one of MY OWN COMMENTS I said this:

"The bottom line is that lots of people are crossing there now, and as the jersey barriers don't seem to be enough of a deterrent, they will continue to cross there. I can't think of any way to stop that from being a hazard without actually implementing a crosswalk there - or, I suppose, without snuffing it out entirely with a full-on big-ass fence all the way up and down that stretch. Which, who knows? It may be in the works."

Sorry, everyone. I think it's my fault.

Green space

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That overpass is so ugly and urban. It needs some green space.

Sarcasm off.

Some Hello Kitty murals would be nice,too. This is not an attempt at sarcasm.

Greenspace is nice but most

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Greenspace is nice but most people, including yourself, fail to realize how expensive it is not just to install but also to maintain. It is unnecessary to put it somewhere that just connects allston and lower allston.

The overpass always worked for me... the only problem is crossing cambridge by linden st but putting a crosswalk there would make that area even more of a cluster**** than it already is from storrow memorial and cambridge as well as the masspike. I think they should make something where reginas is (used to be?? Moved out a few years back) so that people have to walk down to harvard where there is already a pedestrian light cycle. I always was careful enough crossing at linden that iff was never a problem, but with drunk drivers and pedestrians or low light or glare there could easily be an accident there like when that jerp hit that six year old and drove off.

Actually, I do realize that

Actually, I do realize that it takes money and effort to make things nice and keep them nice.

We can agree to disagree if some beautification is worth the expense (though I don't think either of us knows how much expense we are talking about here) on a road used by 27,000 vehicles every day, even if it "just connects allston and lower allston".

I'm glad the overpass worked for you. Did you ever use it while walking with crutches or pushing 2 kids in a double stroller?

I Don't See a Single Fortification In The Plans

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Regina's is still there.

There is a jersey barrier, but people stupidly hop it anyhow to cross illegally at the footbridge, instead of walking 50 feet to the crosswalk.
Many people will say that means there should be another crosswalk but you can't do that as cars would not be able to see the light or walkers until cresting the bridge and then would hit them anyhow. The solution is to put more than a jersey barrier, but instead a giant Palestine type fence that is 20 feet high and topped with barbed wire and machine gun nests. Then those fucking jaywalkers will learn, maybe. But it will be at the cost of further uglifying the area which is hard to imagine anything can top the buildings that are there now anyhow. Every building on Linden, Braintree, and Cambridge Street except the depot occupied by Regina's should have been demolished by Corbet instead of the West End back in the 60's. Now they're beyond demolishment, as the sentient mold in the Jack Young building would attack any attempts at renovation.

What I do not see in any of the plans is any comprehensive change to the foot bridge, or the overpass. The overpass (and that stretch of Cambridge Street all the way to the river) will continue to be driven on like a highway making cyclists feel very unsafe. Interesting to see what Harvard tries to do down by the entrance to Beacon Yard if they intend to actually squeeze something in there. Because right now the only thing you can use to access the area is an 18 wheeler. Anything smaller gets squished by traffic.

And the foot bridge will continue to be glass and graffiti strewn and a rapist's paradise. A camera and lights there won't help except after the fact. Again, a manned machine gun nest at each end of the bridge is in order. This will prevent crimes from occurring on the bridge and nothing short of this will have any effect. You can increase police patrols in the area all you want but because they sit in their car and don't go on said footbridge, it's never going to be safe.

I'm the OP you're responding to

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Actually, I'm not sure it's fair to compare the overpass between the Pru and Mass Ave and the Allston/Mass Pike overpass.

I'm not happy about this

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I'm not happy about this petition's proposed cycletracks.

Even though the cycletrack problems of driveways, side streets, and passenger/freight loading don't exist on this stretch of Cambridge Street, there's still the problems of winter maintenance and passing other cyclists.

A buffered on-street bike lane would work fine.

The 66

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... and if you ride the 66 you may as well chuck that monthly pass for a pair of sneakers, because between the fact that the Harvard Bridge is still not done, and the lane restrictions on the overpass for the next 2 years (give or take), it's going to be faster to walk. Even in Winter.

I sent in this comment: Dear

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I sent in this comment:

Dear DOT,

I am a very frequent if not daily biker from Allston to Cambridge Central Square, using the Harvard Ave - Cambridge St. - River St. route. It is one of the most dangerous routes for bicycles, but one of the only practical ways to get between Allston an Central Square.

The route has many specific points of danger. When biking down off the Cambridge St. Bridge towards Central Square, the cars getting on the highway increase their speeds while still on Cambridge St. Many of them get confused by the signage and pull last minute turns into the on-ramp. Meanwhile, bikers on the right-hand side of the road must maintain the full lane as it splits into the highway onramp lane as cars pass around us. A friend of mine was rear-ended on a bike there-- it was terrifying. I've had many, many close calls, and have taken to rushing to beat the red lights in order to make myself visible in front of cars. They get very aggressive there because it is so close to the highway.

The road design also makes it very hard to turn onto North Harvard. Bikers have two options: cross 4 lanes of speeding downhill traffic to merge with the turning lane, or pull over into the train yard and use the signal to ride straight across onto North Harvard. Cars making the left from North Harvard to the highway onramp do not expect bikes to come towards them from that intersection, and I have almost been hit several times when I cross with the light, on a bike or in the crosswalk.

At the River St. Bridge going towards Cambridge I must merge my bike several times while cars cross five lanes in front of and behind behind me. Coming back across towards Allston, cars coming off highways speed onto wide, lane-free Cambridge St while I try to merge with the offramp, biking slowly up a hill. I look forward to the day when this area is made bike and ped friendly (I also walk it often!).

Put the bike lane on the median. Start the lanes at Linden St on the Allston side, and end them at the first light on the merge approach to the River St bridge or all the way to the Charles River Path.

This would allow bikes safe passage over the bridge, and to avoid the the dangerous highway merges in both directions. It would make it much easier for bikes to turn onto Harvard Ave, and North Harvard Ave.

Please take these notes into consideration as you revise plans for the Cambridge St. Bridge. Thank you so much for this work.


A Longterm Allston Rat

MassDOT ignoring its own policy

The worst thing about all this is that the award winning, 2006, Project Planning and Design Guide implores having public input early and often in a project. MassDOT did the exact opposite when asking, oh, BTW, any comment on the project, taxpayers?

When what the neighborhood actually wants done gets ignored, problems ensue.

ZOMG! I actually agree with

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ZOMG! I actually agree with Mark for once.

MassDOT is just following the BRA's South Boston playbook.