The $1B reconstruction of the Mass Pike and Soldiers Field Road in Allston can also promote clean, healthy transportation along the cramped Charles River path between the River Street and BU Bridges. Chicago, Portland, Philadelphia, New York are some of the many cities improving paths and public spaces along their urban rivers and this project is an opportunity to follow suit in Boston. Locally, Kendall Square's Broad Canal boardwalk in the Charles River boardwalk provides a recent precedent.
While MassDOT's has proposed improvements to the Charles River paths in this project, including widening the notorious narrow path just downstream from the River Street Bridge, the current design does not do enough to improve 1000 feet of sub-standard path in the narrowest "throat" area.
Last year, Governor Baker and MassDOT Secretary Pollack celebrated the opening of CoveWalk, New Bedford’s newest recreational waterfront path which was built using $5 million from MassDOT. This shows MassDOT's ability to invest in local projects that promote increased connectivity and allow people to utilize all modes of transportation including bicycling and walking to reach the places they need to go.
Given the State's commitment to a future of clean transportation, rebuilding old highways should be accompanied by building excellent bike routes.