Globe Letter to the Editor: ‘Casey Overpass Plan Is Flawed’

Opponents of the plan to put in a network of streets to replace the Casey Overpass have a letter to the editor in the Boston Globe.

If the bureaucrats at MassDOT have their way, the aging Casey Overpass in Jamaica Plain will not be repaired or replaced by a new bridge even though it connects Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan to Jamaica Plain, Brookline, and the Longwood Medical Area, moving 24,000 vehicle trips per day over and through Forest Hills.

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  • …As do many opponents of the opponents. Here is mine:
    After more than three
    years of community input and oversight, twenty-three advisory group
    meetings, seven large public hearings, countless hours of professional
    effort and reams of peer-reviewed data, one could hope that the
    fear-mongering and truth-bending of Mr. Rogers and especially Mr.
    Moloney had run it’s course. Forest Hills is on the cusp of a
    transformative re-imagining of outdated and expensive transit
    priorities. Contrary to their assertions, the diminished levels of
    service alleged do not exist in the traffic data as projected out to
    2035 to any significant degree. A massive, crumbling bridge with ramps
    and abutments that disrupt the rational flow of traffic below and built
    on top of what should be the eastbound Arborway sixty years ago to span
    three train lines that no longer exist at street-level is to be replaced
    by a tree-lined boulevard providing myriad benefits to the community
    that vetted the proposals every step of the way. A new MBTA head house
    will supply direct access to the Orange Line platform from the north
    side of the Arborway. Revamped plazas and parks at the end of the
    Southwest Corridor, at the MBTA station, and near Forest Hills Cemetery
    will immeasurably enhance the civic spaces of the area. Contiguous on
    and off-street bicycle paths throughout will encourage safe and healthy
    use by recreational and commuter cyclists. Pedestrian-priority signals
    and crosswalks will make for safer walking. Connections between the
    Arnold Arboretum and Franklin Park, two crown jewels in Boston’s justly
    celebrated Emerald Necklace, and ones that have been broken since the
    1910s with the construction of the now long-demolished Washington Street
    elevated train, are being sensitively restored in this once in a
    lifetime opportunity. Aside from short-term construction inconvenience –
    and the endless disingenuous obstruction efforts of a small minority —
    what’s not to like? Mayor
    Walsh came to his senses late in his campaign when he back-tracked on
    his earlier proposal to throw-out three years of community involvement
    that engaged hundreds of local residents and dozens of organizations who
    contributed to the process. Doing so was the right thing to do.
    Reversing course again to placate a handful of obstinate malcontents
    would be more than folly, and enormously disrespectful to all those
    who’s time and effort has brought the project this far. He should
    instead be looking for ways to leverage the value of the project area
    into the surrounding neighborhoods: enhancing sidewalks, greenspace,
    recreational opportunity and sensible, right-sized transit-oriented
    development in Forest Hills and Jamaica Plain.

  • Daves not here

    As a commuter that drives this bridge frequently, I think the ‘at grade solution’ will be a nightmare. It may successfully force me to find another route. If the T was in any way adequate, I would use it but I cannot justify doubling my commute time. I agree that it will make the area more friendly to bicyclists, pedestrians and users of the Forrest Hills T station, as well as significantly improve the appearance of the area. AND after all the meetings, hearings, design work I will accept the changes. I will learn to avoid Forrest Hills as I have learned to avoid Center St. in JP. The frustration of getting there is greater than the the value of the shops and restaurants.