Race card played on Forest Hills overpass project

Apparently, the state's decision to replace the collapsing Casey Overpass with surface roads was racist. Who knew? Oh, JP.

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that's how you know you're

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that's how you know you're dealing with crazy people - each one of their arguments has been debunked so they keep coming up with new ones.

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Cripes

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I'm as pro new bridge as anyone could possibly be...but that article is ridiculous.

Quick note to Blue Mass: If you want to be taken seriously, stop allowing garbage like that to be published on your web site.

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Blue Mass Group jumped the

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Blue Mass Group jumped the shark some time ago. It's the same half dozen people reinforcing their little bubble.

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Oh,and you'll notice our pal Dougie...

is starting to infect the Blue Mass Group with his hilarious rantings. I would think the Blue Man Group would be more to Doug's liking, seeing how he is rapidly becoming the Tobias F√ľnke of Boston politics.

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Indeed

Removing the overpass is adding one more set of traffic lights, but the website and paper act like the world is going to end. And their lovely attitude of "I don't care what the people living there want - it's all about we drivers from the suburbs" is so enchanting. :)

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Boy who cried wolf

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This isn't just innocuous idiocy. The misuse of a term diminishes the term. Screaming 'racism' where it doesn't exist makes it marginally less likely that people will believe that allegation when it is true.

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YEP

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And it's not like there's a lack of racism in this country. There's plenty of it begging to be called out.

Using that terminology here is just nonsensical.

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I guess if this is racist

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I guess if this is racist then so must be the McGrath grounding project in Somerville.

Somerville.

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Still a boondoggle

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This is going to be a mess and the pro-street level folks will disappear into the woodwork or go protest Tribe hummus or something instead.

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Traffic Studies Please?

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The decision to ground the roadway was based on facts and reason and actual data.

"Everybody just knows" is not facts or data.

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Way out of line

Is it time to start holding my breath waiting for Mr. Ferris and the rest of his "campaign" to distance themselves from this absurd charge?

Or is this the final nail in the coffin of his effort to disrupt progress?

One could hope for either - or both - outcomes.

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Oh Peggy...

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This doesn't even make any sense. I can only assume that the alleged harm that the surface road is going to render to the neighborhoods of Dorchester, Mattapan and Roxbury is increased congestion? The surface road is designed to cary as many - if not more - cars than the overpass design. This is a point on which many opponents to the surface road actually base their opposition. Does Peggy live in one of the neighbohoods that she says will be affected, or has she found a new tact to take now that that DOT has decided to go with the majority of those who provided input into the community meetings and do the surface option? I would agree with the commenter who said that the invocation of racism where none is present diminishes the offense, but I am not even sure that the invocation here is sincere.

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Carry more cars?

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My issue with the street level option is that regardless of how many lanes of traffic there are going each way, there will still need to be traffic lights with red lights long enough reds to allow people to turn either left onto Washington towards Rosi or at the other end, onto Washington towards Egleston. This, coupled with the fact that you will also need long enough lights to let the various pedestrians and bikers to cross the new, wider road means that while there may be more capacity, I can't see how those increased numbers of cars aren't sitting there gridlocked during rush hour. I hope I'm wrong, but currently you can get from the Centre St. rotary to the Franklin Park rotary without stopping, even if it's one car per lane.

I'd like to think I'm wrong, but I don't see how this is anything other than only an aesthetic improvement. I also think the pro-surface people are not people who use the overpass and are basically NIMBY driven.

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God forbid...

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the people who actually live here have a say, right? The charge of NIMBYism would be accurate if the JP folks were suggesting that a system of unattractive, unwelcoming, neighborhood-chopping bridges be built in Hyde Park or Mattapan, but they aren't.

I'm all for debate, but once the game's over it's over--no point standing on the field after the lights are out screaming that it was a lousy call and your shoelaces were untied and the sun was in your eyes. Scanning the pro-bridge document, it just reads like 28 pages of crazy. I mean, really--the meetings we held at dinner time 6:30-9 which was inconvenient? Can you think of a time that would be more convenient? The dark colors used to indicate the underside of the bridge are somehow misrepresentative? And now the whole thing is....racist? Come on, people

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Clarification

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I think most of the vocal pro-bridge folks are bonkers. I just don't think the surface level is going to be some awesome improvement to the area for the reasons stated.

The neighborhood chopping argument doesn't resonate with me because there are almost no direct abutters to the bridge other than South St, meaning there is no real neighborhood being chopped in half.

By NIMBY, I mean that the overall city has infrastructure requirements and the JP anti-brdige lot seem to be firmly of the opinion that the needs of people in other parts of the city to move through Forrest Hills are irrelevant. It would also be super nice if the J-Way was turned into a pedestrian/bike path, but that's not going to happen either. People need to get to the colleges & hospitals to keep the economic engine of the city running and this is part of that system. More people will now be driving up Columbus and through Mission Hill I guess, but that's probably fine by the people of south/west JP.

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abutters - to the south you

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abutters - to the south you have the courthouse, a Presbyterian church, and the arborway apartments (which are pretty nice market-rate apartments), and a privately-owned parking lot which will likely get developed once the bridge comes down, and to the north there's an MBTA-owned development parcel which is currently the bus depot. There are actually several acres of T-owned TOD property within a couple blocks of the overpass that has been put out for RFP several times and only recently have they started getting interest from developers.

Most people don't know that the west roxbury municipal courthouse is right there.

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Data

The flow "through" Forest Hills at rush hour is limited by the capacity and traffic volume at Shea Circle and Murray Circle on either end of this project. The current street-level congestion is partly caused by the difficulty of having to navigate around and under the bridge's ramps and piers - and partly by the lack of coordination amongst the current traffic lights.

As a near-abutter to the bridge, I can assure you that the residents of Arborway Gardens, South St, Hampstead Rd, Asticou and the Upper Arborway most certainly consider this to be their neighborhood - as do thousands more in JP and Roslindale.

The "infrastucture requirements" of which you speak should not include the tens of millions of Commonwealth funds needed for a new bridge here - when all the actual hard data available suggests the non-bridge solution will add mere seconds to the through-trip between the years 2016 and 2035. The needs of other parts of the city and region to move through the area are not irrelevant - but such drivers do not need an elevated highway through my neighborhood to achieve their aims.

See "Traffic Data and Analysis" here:
http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/caseyarborway/Docum...

And for a history of how the Casey came to be in the first place:
http://fivehundredmonkeys.blogspot.com/2013/05/som...

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You're welcome and: thanks

I learned a lot trying to understand the history and the issues surrounding the Casey Overpass. It seemed a waste to just keep it under my hat. I've lived here 15 years and was frankly unaware of some of the deeper legacies. How we got here - and why - is, I believe, very important to shaping a 21st century response to the question of where we should go from here.

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No Neighborhood?

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It sounds like maybe you are speaking from a perspective of just having driven over the bridge and never having actually walked around the neighborhood - yes, neighborhood. Thank you for acknowledging that South Street is an abutter as it does, indeed abut the overpass and it is, in and of itself, a neighborhood affected by what gets put there. Others here have written about the courthouse, appartment buildings and other neighbors near by so I'll leave that alone. Roslindale also borders the overpass and people frequently use the arboretum as a cut through from, for example, Peters Hill over to South Street and into JP or to the Southwest Corridor bike path that starts practically under the overpass. There are lots of neighbors of this overpass whose use of this area will be vastly improved by its demolition. The idea that you just don't want to stop at a stop light so people can cross the street because it might make yoru commute longer by a few minutes frankly makes you just sound like a douche bag.

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Civil

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I'm a douche bag for having doubts about the surface level option?

I've lived in Roslindale and JP for twelve years. I've taken the bus to Forrest Hills, driven under it many, many times, over it occasionally, etc... I don't commute over the bridge. I think it's not going to be much better. End of story.

I guess you're for the surface option because your high horse won't fit under the bridge.

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It may not be perfect

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but I'm confident that it will be an improvement. And it's not like the whole area is being turned into a wildlife prairie garden or a bike-powered tofu farm--it's still a transportation hub designed primarily to move cars and trucks. But the new plan, IMO, gives more of a nod to the quality of the surrounding neighborhood and to those of us who travel primarily by foot, bike, bus or train. If commuting by car is really too difficult, then maybe people will start rethinking whether it's really the smartest means of everyday transport--plenty of people get to work at the colleges and hospitals without driving every day,

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Re; bike-powered tofu farm

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That sounds awesome. May I suggest we name it the
"Thomas Menino Bike-Powered Tofu Farm"? Once he's no
longer officially mayor, someone's going to be spending
a LOT of time changing all those neighborhood signs saying
"(Insert neighborhood name here) welcomes you. Thomas Menino
Mayor". Maybe we could reuse one of those signs.

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I'm not convinced that a

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I'm not convinced that a surface-level option will be an improvement for pedestrians, transit riders, and cyclists.

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Really?

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In regards to the statement that meetings held between 6:30-9:00 are not inconvenient, well, it all depends on what shift you are working. In general, people who have more menial types of jobs do not work a standard 9-5 shift but may work a variety of shifts (and/or hold multiple jobs).

On the other hand, I get off the train at 6:35, arrive at my house around 6:45. I would like to eat a bit of supper before going to any meeting and depending on the travel time to said meeting, I might arrive pretty late in the game.

I am sure there are other folks in my position (and I work what would be considered standard hours).

I realize that a time has to be picked but meetings should be scheduled, if at all possible, to be convenient for good majority of folks.

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What time would that be exactly?

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Meetings like this are by nature inconvenient, whether you work 9 to 5 or not. If eating a leisurely dinner at home beforehand is your priority, you probably don't make it to a lot of meetings which is fine too. But to make the case that the downtrodden "menial" workers we unable to express their opposition to this dreadful project because of "inconvenient" meeting times is just silly.

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Have you followed the design

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Have you followed the design at all? There are not going to be any left turns off of the Arborway at the intersections. Instead, to turn left, there will be a separate U-turn lane beyond the intersections, so you pass them and then take a U-turn followed by a right turn. So, no, there will not need to be red lights long enough for taking left turns over there.

It doesn't sound like it's too dissimilar to the intersection of Harvard and Beacon in Coolidge Corner, other than the lack of a trolley. No left turns, so you need to pass the intersection and turn around if you want to turn left.

Likewise, the planned pedestrian crossings will happen with traffic; like many intersections, you will get a walk signal parallel to the green light. So pedestrian crossings won't add extra red light time (unlike the current design in which there is an all-way crossing that stops all traffic).

Not building a bridge means that there will be better sight lines across the intersections, so crossings will be safer, and it gives them more freedom to make surface level improvements to pedestrian and bike access.

Now, I'm sure, like any large project, it won't turn out quite as perfectly as planned. But I can't imagine a bridge based solution turning out any better. That bridge has always been confusing, it's ugly, it makes the intersections confusing, and it really doesn't carry all that much traffic. A surface road will be perfectly fine to handle the volume of traffic the bridge carries.

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Pedestrian Transit Riders

Excellent summary of the current state of design.

One other important nuance = the new Headhouse entrance directly to the T platform which will be built on the northern side of "New Washington". This will cut down considerably on the number of southern JP residents who need to cross the new Casey Arborway on foot.

Moving the 39 bus to the Washington Street busway should help E-W through traffic as well.

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notice how she conveniently

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notice how she conveniently leaves out Roslindale and Hyde Park - and she's only up on top of the bridge. I'm sure if she were down on the ground people would react differently.

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gasp of desparation

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If this is the quality of opposition left, I think, perhaps, the end is in sight.

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Time to give it a rest

Hopefully even Jeff Ferris is embarrassed by this racism claim.

It's time for him and his wife to stop wasting everyone's time and money.

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Of course it's racist! How

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Of course it's racist! How many white people do you know who drive around there? .

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Desperation

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The charge of "racism" in the decision to go with an at grade solution at Forest Hills is ludicrous and smacks of desperation. The pro-bridge crowd is stooping to new lows....how low will they go? Give it up and join the effort to make sure the new plan is as beautiful and utilitarian as can be!

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i bet 99 percent of you dont

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i bet 99 percent of you dont even reside w/in a mile from bridge

repair da Casey......watever candidate for mayor supports it will get my vote

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Those of us who live in MA

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100% of us will be paying for any "saving the bridge" that goes on.

So we get a say in whether saving the crumbling and expensive relic is replaced or if much less expensive alternatives that do the job as well or better are used.

Sorry, but you don't get my money for your silly "tradition" without some restrictions put on that money.

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Repairing the casey overpass isnt an option

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Repair isn't an option, if you are as passionate about this issue as you claim, you should at least bother to learn about it. It has to be either replaced with a new bridge or a surface street. It is too deteriorated to be repaired.

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I live within a mile

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and I really don't care which solution they choose.

I do know one thing: Anyone that injects accusations of racism into this particular discussion is a fool and is not to be taken seriously on anything.

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I live about a mile from the bridge

And I traverse it at a right angle quite often by bike, car, and subway. It is not a well designed place for North/South focused travel, and as I see it, the bridge is there for East/West drivers who don't live within a mile of Forest Hills. Fortunately for those folks just passing through, the new design will still work for them, while also fixing the problems the bridge created for those of us who live here. Win-win!

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I live about 300 yards from

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I live about 300 yards from the Casey. Please, remove that blight and turn it into a normal surface road with normal intersections. It will be better for drivers, cyclists, pedestrians. It will be better for local businesses. The only people it will impact are people who are driving straight through, and it should delay them for no more than a single light cycle.

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Adam, you are sure this woman

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Adam, you are sure this woman is from JP, and not one of the communities she mentions are being 'hurt' by JP not wanting to host the overpass anymore?

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Please remove this underpass

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I live across the street, and I cannot deal with the homeless living underneath that bridge calling at me while I walk my dog at night. Just yesterday I saw a clear drug deal happening. I hope they tear it down sooner than later!

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