On Wednesday, the Department of Conservation and Recreation announced there would be two weeks of rolling closures of the Southwest Corridor Park Bike Path starting Aug. 18. But then DCR was reminded by the public that the Orange Line is being shutdown for a month starting Aug. 19, and DCR reconsidered its plan and opted for just three days of rolling closures. The closure comes as a shock to many considering the city and MBTA have highlighted the Southwest Corridor Park Bike Path as an alternative for transportation during the Orange Line shutdown.
The acting commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation recently announced that due to public feedback they've been working on a fourth design alternative for the Arborway Parkways Improvement Project. In a letter addressed to stakeholders, Acting Commissioner Stephanie Cooper said the new alternative design won't be provided until an as of yet unannounced mid-January meeting. Currently there are two traffic rotaries: Kelley Circle by Jamaica Pond and Murray Circle on Centre Street by the Arnold Arboretum. One proposal would keep both circles, one would remove Kelley Circle, and one would remove both circles. DCR announced three alternative design plans to update the Arborway in November 2020.
There are a total of 16 playgrounds in Jamaica Plain managed by either Massachusetts' Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) or the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. So how accessible are all of them? The 16 playgrounds have varied features including age-based play structures, splash pads, spray decks, athletic fields, swings, a sandbox, and more. Currently, DCR is assessing opportunities to make improvements at their agency-managed playgrounds across the Commonwealth. In Jamaica Plain, DCR manages nine sites that include playgrounds, spray decks, benches, gardens, and sport courts.
There hasn't even been an official grand opening for Jamaica Plain's renovated skate park on the Southwest Corridor, and it's already been graffitied. Skateboarders quickly took to the newly renovated skatepark between Oakdale and Amory streets. Before being closed the skatepark had makeshift skate ramps made through the years, but now the skatepark has smooth curves all around it with a landing area for skateboarders, non-motorized scooters, rollerbladers, bicyclists, and more. The renovations cost $75,000, with the Department of Conservation and Recreation providing $50,000 on top of $25,000 from Converse and Wheels of Steel.
In 2018, the state's Department of Conservation and Recreation announced that a site by Oakdale Street on the Southwest Corridor Park was selected to become a dog park. That proposal never came to fruition, and it doesn't look like it's going to happen anytime soon. The Oakdale Street site was chosen after public meetings and the discussion of three proposed sites. At the time there seemed to be overwhelming support for a dog park in Jamaica Plain. Fast forward to 2020 and DCR got a new commissioner with Jim Montgomery, who performed a review and evaluation of many projects.