Putting lipstick on a pig of an overpass in Forest Hills

The people who want to keep the Casey Overpass say the space under a new overpass could become a marvelous cultural gathering spot instead of remaining the dreary collection of parking spaces and muggers' hiding spots that it has been for the last 50 years.

Via Boston Daily.

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awesome!

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Boston totally needs another unbuilt skatepark!

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Fred Flinstone

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Mummbles proposed this over 10 years ago. and then retracted because the majority of people fighting for it where white, ie not his voteing base.

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A petting zoo?

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After building a new bridge the dead area underneath could be turned into a childrens' petting zoo. Add the pigs (with lipstick and nice outfits of course), sheep, goats, chickens and a cow or two. Not only would the area be great for exposing kids to farm animals (instead of trash, rats and muggers) but the livestock could also be a source of animal byproducts. Milk, eggs, wool, and the occasional slaughter. Fits with the locavore movement.

Referencing how other cities have used the dead space underneath bridges is an empty statement. Look at how the dead space underneath bridges are used in Boston. 93 over by JFK and the former elevated highway through downtown demonstrate exactly how the dead space is maintained: as dead space.

Sarcasm aside I wonder who Representative Malia represents? I know not me. I am in her district and have not been impressed by her constituent service.

The longer I live in Massachusetts the more I believe that local legislators do not represent constituents. The irony is that I believe that government can be a terrific power for good. But it seems that the governments we have today are pretty much D.O.A.

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Yeah, check out that link.

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Yeah, check out that link. Looks like the options are to install some cool looking wind turbines, build a Muslim cultural center under the thing, or paint big ugly murals on the columns. Guess which one would ultimately be chosen. I will tell you it will be painting big phoney boloney feel-good multicultural murals all over the dirty pigeon shit covered disaster and calling it a good day's work is what it would be. I swear to god, some people would rather cut their feet off than be inconvenienced for a second when they are charging around in their ugly vehicles scattering chickens and pedestrians as they motor along unimpeded by humanity.

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Rant alert

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Wtf is peoples beef with the casey bridge? yes its crumbling, no its not ugly, its actually.a pretty decent landmark. It was the whiny yuppie out of towners and their silly campaigns that created this hubub . The bridge has been there way before them, and will remain there after them. The area really isnt that complicated to maneuver, its just not unless you are dumbass or a pansy. I walk through unabated, drive through without incident, and bike through their like a knife through butter, do you really think an all surface road alternative would cope with high traffic periods, because some traffic model guesstimated it??

As far as muggings go, that point is moot for me,how much more nanny state can we get? The scary boogeymen would just then go into the arboretum, the swc, or franklin park, if only there was some sort of policing unit that would respond and react...

I personally wouldnt mind the muslim center, theres enough latin and white establishments around, get over it. ( i guess that would againt their gentrifying interests)

.So fix the casey, and stfu already. The last thing we need is more nooby bikers and slow ass runners impeding me as I succesfully, skillfully, sexily traverse MY landscape.

- a Real Bostonian

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This video really informed my

This video really informed my anti-overpass opinion:

http://vimeo.com/21509646

I'm not sure how you define a "real" Bostonian, but I'm from Somerville originally and have lived in JP for 4 years. I don't think someone's opinion is worth less based on how long they've lived with the monstrosity.

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Casey as a metaphor for your life

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I can see why you wouldn't want the Casey removed. Like yourself, the Casey is a big, loud, ugly impediment that hasn't functioned well in quite some time and is only there because it's always been there. Everyone in the neighborhood's just been stuck with it.

Then you have the at-grade option: It's efficient, pretty and appealing. It opens up possibilities that didn't exist before. It's something people would choose on their own. It's everything the newbies see about this place that you never will.

Grow up. Your entire ignorant townie shtick is tired and makes the rest of us look bad. That argument -- well it works fine for me and that's the way it's always been -- has kept this city trapped in a time warp for way too many years. I've been here my whole life (except for college) and loved it, but I go to so many other cities and see them change and grow for the better. My neighborhood is sawed in half by this ugly DMZ featuring an overpass that's been falling apart for as long as I can remember, a cracked and half empty lot full of buses, a trolley station for a trolley that's long gone and not coming back and vacant lots all over the place.

Someone finally comes up with a plan for it and, of course, someone putting grandma's porch chair in a parking space during a snow flurry has to say no. Even worse, some ignorant jackass has to make it worse by parking an F-150 with a giant sign professing that ignorance in front of Mr. Ferris' bike shop. I swear to god, you old bastards have been this way since I was in grade school and you've just kept at it for years. No wonder anyone who stays around here long enough gets miserable and leaves.

Well screw you. I'm tired of losing good neighbors. The new folks are nice and we should give them reason to stay. Forget the whiners, TEAR DOWN THAT OVERPASS.

-- A More Real Bostonian Than You

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lol for the record , since

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lol for the record , since ive bunched up the organic-cotton yuppie panties, i was born in 1985, am in better shape than you, and have no qualms of living in a city, go back to your homogeneous sterile suburb if you cant hack in a real city.

Unless you went to BPS you are not a bostonian sorry if that goes against what you tell yourself and others. LOL posers

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If your written expression is

If your written expression is in any way reflective of the education it provided you, I'm not sure I would use having gone through the BPS system as a rhetorical device if I were you.

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forgive me for not bestowing

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forgive me for not bestowing my literary prowess upon the likes of you, its an off the cuff random response. So spare me your properness bullshit. When all else fails critique their grammar! Next!

What bemuses me more is that you took the time to ensure you complied with all the rules of syntax and punctuation, good for you! your English teacher would be proud.

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1985?

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Really? Because you write like an eighth grader whose about to be held back--again. So far you haven't offered any convincing arguments for the bridge option--the whole defender-against-the-yuppie-pansy-invasion thing isn't really working for you.

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why should I? who are you

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why should I? who are you again that warrants my impressive mastery of this silly language? Why do you hate eight graders so much Sally? are you a granola eating commie?? do you feel better now?

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Dear Sir, I most certainly am

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Dear Sir,

I most certainly am a pansy, thank you very much. I will not have my white gloves sullied by your exhaust hole one second longer! I propose that we build a tower under the overpass in memory of the great townies of old who are really the only rightful and legititimate inhabitants of Jamaica Plain and leave it exactly where it is due to its historical significance and its symbolic value to the old timers of olde.

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I'm with you

I just don't see why people are so obsessed with tearing this down (which seems like it will cause more probelems than it solves).

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It's going to be torn down no matter what

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Because it has not aged well and is getting to the point where it will become a menace (witness the lane reduction and potholes). The question is whether it's replaced with a new overpass or surface roads.

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Structurally unsound and inefficient

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The Casey Overpass has a design flaw shared by all bridges of its type that renders it structurally unsound. While the bridge is currently safe, it cannot be rehabilitated.

Furthermore, the surface traffic flow around the existing overpass, dictated by the excessively wide bridge and the now unused trolley tracks, is very inefficient. For example, all eastbound traffic exiting the Arborway has to turn left or right at the bottom of the ramp, causing conflict and gridlock. In both plans, traffic will be able to go straight instead.

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Try again

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This time without the gratuitous name twisting.

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I think UHub needs

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a "read me first."

Some proposed topics:
-dialing 911 for all police etc. calls
-what "censorship" actually refers to
-which neighborhoods are and aren't part of Boston
-when people crossing the street do and don't have the right-of-way

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Actually, a don't-be-an-asshole clause

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Argue all you want with somebody else's arguments, but no ad-hominem attacks, mkay? Especially if you're an anon. Now to write that up and stick it on some page for people who need to have things spelled out explicitly.

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Wtf is peoples beef with the

Wtf is peoples beef with the casey bridge...and stfu already. The last thing we need is more nooby bikers and slow ass runners impeding me as I succesfully, skillfully, sexily traverse MY landscape

- a Real Bostonian

This has to be a put on, it's just too rich!

He's pro bridge, anti-yuppie, pro mugging and anti-pansy and dumbass. He magically travels "unabated...without incident...like a knife through butter"

I applaud the performance artist who created this for doing a superb job on meter and tone. I take a few points off for lack of consistency being pro-Muslim, but overall a very good effort.

I look forward to your next rant!

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There is a need

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There is a need for the Casey Overpass; This could be a vital link in my proposed Emerald Necklace Particle Accelerator. I could use the slope of the bridge harnessed with the energy generated by the remaining smugness from the Anti-Whole Foods crowd to bring cheap astrophysics to the community.

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Pro vs. Con.

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Can someone explain why Ferris Wheels is so pro-bridge? Boston Cyclists Union is against (as am I). Seems like a no-brainer to bring this to grade, but that's just me.

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It's not Ferris

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It's just some jackass with a truck that parks outside his shop and razzes him with a sign.

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No, actually it IS Ferris

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Most people in the biking community have no idea why, but he's really into the bridge- he thinks he can get it redesigned to be wide enough to have a bike lane on it, although Mass DOT and everyone else on the committee who went through all the process of meetings said in no uncertain terms that they're not making it any wider than the absolute bare minimum,because of the nastiness of the space and the shadow it casts..

He's leading the charge, and because he's a "bike guy" is doing a lot of harm to the more reasonable bikers who don't believe that the only people who should feel safe on bikes are 20 something guys who have the testosterone and leg muscles to outrun cars and play in traffic.

Most bikers would welcome an off street alternative that they'd feel comfortable using with kids or at recreational speed rather than needing to take the lane in speeding bridge traffic.

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Hello everyone, im Most

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Hello everyone, im Most Bikers, for the record we do not support the removal of the bridges, doing so will enable people who have no business biking to clog up our already clogged up biking infrastructure. I motion we create a RMV biking license so that the inept cannot threaten an already threatened community.

Respectfully yours,

Most Bikers

P.S

Most Bikers have balls

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I'm a woman

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Does that mean by your reckoning that I shouldn't be on a bike, not having balls and all?

Bicycling for transportation should not be something that requires elite skills or "balls" but a simple way to get from A to B safely. If you feel that bike facilities are too crowded, be a real man and work to make bigger and better bike facilities.

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::wooooosh:: Right over her

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::wooooosh::

Right over her head my comment went,

Reading is fundamental people

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Dear Anonymous Coward

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Nice try.

Next time, write something that makes sense, and not just in your special world.

Besides, any worthy biker will use their mad skills to FIND ANOTHER ROUTE when the one with the bike lane is crowded with ill-mannered noobies.

Sorry if your mom won't let you do that yet.

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sigh

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Yes, that's what I get for feeding the troll.

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its ok you also got a white

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its ok you also got a white knight out of it ....

mom jokes really? yall must be desperate now

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my world is very special

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my world is very special thank you

why would I want to find detours when its more fun to zig zag through you slowpokes? Its my world remember ;)

I give your mom retort a 3 out of 10, im sure you must have picked up better material in your life as the butt of many jokes

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Some of us "slowpokes"

Are slowpokes because we are older riders.

We are older riders despite having ridden the streets decades before they had all the special improvements, and probably before you got your first tricycle.

We got to be old because we learned early on that it isn't about getting there first or fast, but about getting there alive.

Learn some basic skills, manners, and a better attitude and maybe you'll get to be a geezer someday too.

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ah yes, the everlasting

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ah yes, the everlasting "wisdom" of our elders, where were you when the Casey was being built?

Really the reason you "got to grow" old was because of the lil first world bubble you live in, you know the one with infrastructure, medicine, good food, and privilege?

excuse me while I sarcastically applaud your accomplishment of just consuming resources until you aged, go you!

"but gettin there alive"

afraid of death are we?

FIX The Casey, its tearing us apart

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Jeff is a local business

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Jeff is a local business owner, and I think the reasons he prefers the bridge are because he doesn't believe that the at-grade solution will support the level of traffic that it needs to (he feels that the traffic simulations aren't accurate), and he thinks that the extra trouble of making a left turn off of the Arborway in the at-grade design (it requires that you go past both intersections, wait at a special light to make a U-turn, then make a right turn once you've turned around) will discourage people from using that route to get to local businesses. Despite the fact that he runs a bike shop, a lot of his customers arrive by car, and he's also concerned about other local businesses in the area.

I think there's also a certain amount of stubbornness; he seems to feel that the state has railroaded the decision in favor of the at-grade solution, and so he feels like his concerns haven't been listened to.

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Thanks for posting this.

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I've been wondering the same thing--interested to hear an unexpected opinion. I still think that removing the bridge will make the area much more attractive and that can't hurt business, but I'll be curious to hear more.

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Easier Access to South St. but icksnay to Ferrisway

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The only way I know to access the neighborhood from the JWay is to use the crazy-quilt twists and turns by the Arboretum or by traveling on the overpass to the giant circle over by Franklin Park. At least the grade level U-turn shortens the problem of overshooting South St.

This could add to the vehicular traffic that brings customers to South St.

As for Ferris Bikes I avoid the shop. When I had a bike tuned up the completely missed a problem that I reported. That of course resulted in their not making a sale because the repair required a parts replacement. When I had a tire replaced the technician neglected to reinsert the tire liner. The new tube lasted only a few weeks. But would Jeff replace it? No.

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Jamaicaway to South Street? Doesn't seem that hard to me

I could do any of these:

a) left on Pond Street, right on Centre Street, bear left onto South Street at The Monument
or
b) at the second rotary, left on Centre Street, right onto South Street at The Monument
or
c) just before the Casey Overpass, take the off-ramp, then turn left at the first traffic light onto South Street

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Jeff Ferris is not only a

Jeff Ferris is not only a bike guy, he's been a bike guy from way back. He is now one of the older non-food, retail businesses in JP providing a direct link between old and new JP.

As a longtime small business owner, I'm sure he has a sense of where his customers come from and the challenges they face driving and parking.

As the anon poster points out, I sure he's concerned about the other small businesses around him. There's a well proven concept that small businesses that are clustered together bring synergistic effect in generating traffic.

I've been appalled, but not surprised at the response of some if the local bicycling community who's actions seem to be reflexively working add bicycle access without regard to increased automobile congestion.

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Michigan Left!

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//the extra trouble of making a left turn off of the Arborway in the at-grade design (it requires that you go past both intersections, wait at a special light to make a U-turn, then make a right turn once you've turned around) //

I happen to like them, but then again I grew up with them. So of course I'm not a "Real Bostonian" and YMMV. FWIW my Real Bostonian boyfriend hates the @$&@($( out of that bridge.

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Why should everyone who rides

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Why should everyone who rides a bicycle have the same opinion on all political issues?

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Ferris was also out in front

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Ferris was also out in front out of the "Tear up the tracks on Centre/South" movement back when it was a sorta relevant question. I always thought that was an annoying stance and made a point to buy my bikes elsewhere. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but you would think businessmen would have enough common sense not to publicly weigh in on a divisive issue like this. I've never noticed any political messages when I'm spending my money at International Cycles.

In any case, that intersection is a mess and will always be a mess with or without the overpass. Even if you are a masterful Boston driver, you still have to deal with all of the other drivers who aren't. It's a matter of when not if before somebody is gonna hit me when I'm trying to go left from New Washington onto South/Washington. I remember there being some talk about making it one way on either side of station, that might help. I also wonder how cars are going to safely get in and out of the new construction just past Ukraine Way.

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Ok, but would it be any

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Ok, but would it be any different if it were the owner of a pizza place? Why should everyone who's involved with bikes have to have the same beliefs?

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My fault

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I didn't have that information and my brain had trouble making that cognitive leap. Knowing my neighborhood, I thought the truck owner was just being contrary. Didn't know he was just being Jeff.

That said, I'm not completely surprised. Jeff is a bike guy, but he's always done things his way. When the Monument Square redesign plans were released, Jeff proposed removing one of the trees on the monument plot and other alterations to restore it to its original, historic aesthetic. Loads of people didn't agree with that, either.

Jeff's a block away from a church that plays a CD of canned carillon bells because it has no functioning bells of its own, yet goes to great lengths to both restore and ring the bell at the UU.

Nobody's skated on Jamaica Pond in years and the one skating rink in town is nowhere near Jeff's shop, yet he still considers skate sharpening one of the pillars of his business.

In some ways it's endearing, but in others it illustrates some of the same obstinate long-timer qualities that have plagued this overpass debate. Jeff does a lot of the things he does because he's always done them that way. Why should he change, it's the rest of the world that sucks, right?

I understand the frustration, believe me. Though I understand Jeff's intent -- seemingly to connect the emerald necklace and give riders a quick, safe option from Jamaica Pond to the Arborway to Franklin Park -- I disagree with his approach. The overpass is basically a barrier to everything beyond it. There's a reason people cut through the Arborway to get to Rozzie center and miss all the gems along South and Washington.

The mess underneath it is tough to navigate by car, never mind by bike or foot. It's an unnecessary obstacle to a more fluid neighborhood and a poor -- if well-intentioned -- bit of city planning.

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If you cant successfully

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If you cant successfully negotiate traffic, whatever other impediments then maybe you shouldnt be biking, its not that hard especially that area. why are people so soft nowadays. I blame the soy.

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I would say

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that if you can't drive safely and competently alongside cyclists, maybe you shouldn't be driving. I don't worry about my ability to bike in traffic--I worry about the ability or willingness of drivers to acknowledge that I'm there and not to sideswipe me or run me over.

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I agree, but at the end of

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I agree, but at the end of the day if you suck at locomotion stay the eff off the roads. Idc if you are driving, biking or running, just have some sense and you'll be fine, i.e casey as it is now is plenty safe for all provided they arent a dumbass

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Who wants an overpass?

No one has given me one good reason to support a new overpass/bridge yet. Bridges cost more to maintain. In this case, it would serve the exact same purpose as a street level road. The trolleys that the overpass was meant to separate traffic from are gone. I don't see a river coming through any time soon. The space under a bridge is not as nice as space that isn't under a bridge (See the old central artery, the old EL, and the Casey Overpass itself). So why on earth would we build another one? Just to speed up traffic (assuming an at grade road wouldn't)? If that is the case then we should just build overpasses everywhere. Everything should be over-passed. Better yet, no one should be allowed to drive on the road at the same time so we could all drive faster. Strike that. No one should be allowed to drive on the road at the same time as me so I can drive faster. Wait, I think I'm starting to understand the pro-overpass perspective now...

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so bring back the trolleys!

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so bring back the trolleys!

Will useless menino ever do something?

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I'm undecided on the bridge

But here are some of the points I'm considering:

Pro:

  • The bridge keeps New Washington at 4 lanes, which I prefer over the six lanes we'll get in the at grade solution
  • A properly done bridge can serve as an interesting landmark
  • A properly done bridge can double as commercial infrastructure
  • The proposed at grade solution makes it harder to use the area for local traffic purposes
  • I'm not in favor of adding open space to this area, which is already surrounded by parks

Con:

  • The bridge does nothing to improve bicycle infrastructure, and this area desperately needs improved connections between the Lalemont path, Washington and South St. bike lanes, Franklin Park, and the Arboretum
  • The bridge is more expensive
  • The bridge, as currently proposed might not fit within what I've termed "properly done"

Here are a few pictures of how a bridge can integrate with urban development. I'd love to see something along these lines in Forest Hills.

A bridge with store fronts:
IMAGE(http://voony.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/viaduc_des_arts_xlarge1.jpeg)

A bridge with a protected bike lane:
IMAGE(http://sf.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/chris/carfree_vancouver/dunsmuir_viaduct_bike_lane_ramp_8089.jpg)

If done properly, I believe a bridge would be preferable. I am not convinced that it will be done properly, but I do have significant reservations about the proposed at grade option.

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Agreed, that a bridge "can" be properly done

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But in this case it will not be. Development underneath does not fall into the scope of work that Mass DOT is willing to take on, especially under the constricted schedule of the Accelerated Bridge program, so at most we're likely to get a cheesy mural on the posts. I'm also not sure it's enough full height space to really make it feasible- it also woludn't benefit from the lovely wide sidewalk in the photo you attach.

According to members of the stakeholders committee (of which Jeff Ferris was a member) during the many months of discussion and meetings, the community expressed a consensus that they wanted the bridge to be the absolute narrowest section profile, in order to minimize both the blighted underbridge space and the shadow it casts. Probably has something to do with cost as well honestly. That's why the bridge scenarios don't include ANY accommodation for bikes, unless you're a VC'er and want to ride in the middle of a fast moving lane of traffic up and over the bridge. The troll on this thread maintains that if you're not able to ride in traffic you shouldn't be allowed to ride, but there's a huge wasted opportunity to connect the parklands on either side here for families with small kids, older folks, and the majority of people who doesn't feel that "sharing the road" with Massholes driving SUVs is their idea of acceptable transportation.

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Troll here....

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the emerald necklace is connected enough , dont let the scary roads fool you. The rotaries and the arborway/jway really are not that complex to maneuver if you want to reach either park, whether on foot or wheels of your choice. How much more appeasement do you people want?

ps. you misspelled "wouldn't"

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Here's a snack then.

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No, the Emerald Necklace is NOT connected enough and if you've ever ridden it, you'd know that. There are way too many points where you have to get on an off your bike (notably at South Huntington/rt. 9, where there isn't even enough room to stand safely in the median with your bike as you wait to cross). The signage, for visitors and people wo arent familiar with the terrain, is pretty inadequate. Strengthening the connections for walkers and bikers of one of the most beautiful places in Boston, that connects an entire series of neighborhoods, would be a much greater achievement than saving drivers 80 seconds in their trip from Point A to Point B.

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I ride the emerald just fine

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I ride the emerald just fine as is,more often than you thus i stand by my "its connected enough", sorry about the scary roads. Wah i dont know how to cross a road effectively. Spare me. I say we build elevated bikeways on all the popular streets, that way dear old sally can bike without getting her knickers soiled. btw hungtington st is one of my favorites, i cross through there easily.

Ps its.already been established that my spelling and grammar sucks , especially when dealing with the general public. Good for you though, nothing escapes those eyes, i was merely resorting to the same mechanisms that your butthurt ilk were, but i guess you arent any different :/

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Eye roll.

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Huntington St.? Seriously? Come on, tell us--what hick town are you really from because you're definitely not from Boston.

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Do I really have to

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Do I really have to explain????

Its a big ass hill coming down from Forest Hills, obviously in terms of speed, its one of the best (thrilling) roads to ride on a bike, so why wouldnt it be one of my favorites?

whats with all the anti small town sentiment, as if you yuppie "urbanites" are any more profound ::LOL::
wasnt aware rozzie was hick town though

State your boston cred, stop riding the bandwagon

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And note that

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I didn't give him a hard time about the misspelling. But two minor points, dear Anon. Riding down Huntington Ave. is not riding "the Emerald" though um...yeah, no one from Boston actually refers to the Emerald Necklace this way. And sorry, but if you consider the gentle slope between the 7-11 and the gas station a "big ass hill"...well, you need to get out more.

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Lol the biggest hill in

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Lol the biggest hill in boston is past roslindale square towards dominos n the ol oscos, so you name some other big ass hills i can ride through. Obviously that st isnt the emerald necklace, it parallels it for a bit, so quit nitpicking, my point is that the area is plenty conducive to biking so stick with the program.

So relative to the topography around town, its a big ass hill, sorry you cant accelerate :(

Have fun editing this hea mobile respons3

Ps why yall hating on my vernacular

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PS

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You misspelled "don't."

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Honest pictures, please

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but that first photo looks like the Viaduct des Arts in Paris. If so, let me point out that there is no vehicular traffic up there. Above the shops is a promenade plantée, a green pedestrian walkway that was inspiration for the High Line park in NYC. I've been there several times, it's lovely and viaduct's redevelopment is brilliant. But a working bridge it is not, the shops weren't added until the rail traffic above was discontinued.

However much the bridge supporters want an "iconic" bridge such as this, they need to get past the delusion that such a thing is possible.

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The viaduct and delusions

The viaduct I linked to is located in Germany, and my understanding is that it has trains running on it. I'm not sure that really matters, as I wasn't trying to imply that it was a direct corollary to what might be built over New Washington St. I simply mean to point out that a bridge need not look like the worst nightmare some people envision.

Regarding whether iconic is possible, I say why not?

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MassDOT is hardly wallowing in money

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If MassDOT has an extra $20 million, I'd rather it goes to the T or fixing another piece of the state's crumbling infrastructure, instead of prettifying an unnecessary bridge.

And that photo is Paris, mon ami. Right click on your image.

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Probably A Dumb Question, But I Sometimes Ask Them

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What would be the cost of constructing underpasses of the main local crossing roads, as opposed to constructing another overpass and/or repairing the one that's there? Is it at all feasible to build an at-grade new roadway with Washington or other major cross streets going into short underpasses beneath it?

Just trying to think outside the box a bit.

Suldog
http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

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Around here?

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Here it's probably a lot worse to do the underpass because if you dig down, you're basically at the water line and bedrock. It'd be much cheaper to build a bridge instead.

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