Your health and safety are at risk!
CASEY APRIL UPDATE
MassDOT refused to address the impact on local air quality of stop and go traffic caused by dumping 24,000 cars onto a local street and adding 3 to 4 additional signals. Check out this recent article, Car Exhaust Hurts Children as Much asSecond Hand Smoke on the impacts of auto emissions on health. Then tell your elected officials you don’t want a polluting traffic sewer at Forest Hills!
Here’s how and why we must demonstrate to those elected to represent us that MassDOT’s plan, like I-95 in 1970, is wrong:
1. project has significant regional travel implications that are continually understated.
2. the critical decision period in late 2011, MassDOT overweighted at-grade support from bike and parks
groups while actual users of the bridge had little or no knowledge of the planning study.
3. because “traffic works fine” under the at-grade doesn’t mean a six-lane highway with no normal left turns is appropriate here.
4. not too late. The funding will not disappear if MassDOT reconsiders this flawed plan. The 2016 deadline is a MassDOT-imposed deadline. Doing the right thing sometimes takes more time.
So please let your elected officials know you think MassDOT is wrong! Send a short message or call your state representative, senator, and city councilors. Then fill out the Governor’s online comment form to let him know.
Contact Governor Deval Patrick’s office
TELL GOVERNOR PATRICK YOU DO NOT AGREE
MassDOT IS GOING TO PERMANENTLY REMOVE THE OVERPASS UNLESS PEOPLE LIKE YOU ACT TODAY! SIGN THE PETITION NOW. SEND EMAILS TO YOUR LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIALS...NOW--links are on left side of this page.
Tell your friends, neighbors, and co-workers!
BRIDGING FOREST HILLS: Statement of Purpose
Bridging Forest Hills is a group of local citizens who believe the MassDOT decision to not replace the Casey Overpass is wrong. The fundamental concept is that every traveling mode is served better with less surface street traffic on the smaller street network required with a new replacement bridge.
Forest Hills is a transportation node for every form of urban transportation. Eight arterial routes converge here: Washington Street from north and south, South Street from north and south, Hyde Park Avenue and Walk Hill Street from the South, The Arborway from the west, and Morton Street/Route 203 from the east. Walkers, bicycles, local traffic, regional traffic, city busses, school busses, taxicabs and trains are all funnelled through this area. It is blessed to be surrounded on three out of four directions by the Arnold Arboretum, Forest Hills Cemetery, and Franklin Park. This is also what creates the transportation funnel with no adjacent transportation routes to alleviate the traffic through this node.
Although there is a popular design concept today of removing urban viaducts as featured in the article “The Life and Death of Urban Highways,” this is a bridge, not a viaduct. Many communities around the world have benefited by removing elevated highways, but every other one had other routes to relieve the traffic load, and were not a node with this many arterial routes converging. e.g. With the removal of the Central Artery, all its traffic was put underground!
Some of the many benefits that a new replacement bridge can provide are:
1. Pedestrians and cyclists can cross New Washington St./Arborway easier and safer with a narrower crossing. This is what our bike and pedestrian advocacy groups have been requesting for years, and is best accommodated with a new bridge.
2. On-street cyclists can move throughout the area easier with new bike lanes and fewer cars. Bike lanes were promised from the start of this project, and now MassDOT wants to eliminate them, despite national, state and local guidelines that call for bike lanes. (AASHTO)
3. The 39 bus terminus can stay where it is to minimize travel time for this busy high-priority route. The current plan calls for moving it to behind the Roslindale busses. Not only does this complicate and lengthen bus route 39, but also crimps future transit expansion possibilities.
4. There is no need to rearrange significant MBTA infrastructures.
5. The mid-block crossing from the Southwest Corridor Park can be retained.
6. There is less pavement on the ground with a new bridge, thus more open-space allowing for fabulous Emerald Necklace Parks connections to be made on the ground.
7. Sidewalks on the bridge would provide additional connections, allowing Emerald Necklace park users, both pedestrians and cyclists, to completely avoid 2 major intersections.
8. In addition, sidewalks on the bridge provide views from the Stoney Brook Valley into the surrounding city and parks as well as from downtown to the Blue Hills. It becomes a destination in itself within the Emerald Necklace.
9. Least impact on Route 203 regional traffic providing important access to our hospitals and to Boston’s largest growing employment sector of the Longwood Medical & Academic Area.
10. Provides the best opportunity to improve the flow of local traffic in the Forest Hills area, as well as the N/S commuter traffic.
11. Best serves the needs of local businesses and new development with normal traffic patterns and turning movements.
12. Local air quality is improved with less cars stopping and idling on the ground with fewer traffic lights.
13. Although the bridge may create a psychological barrier, this can be overcome with good design. But a 6-8 lane roadway here will be a real physical barrier for anyone passing through.
14. Safety of the traveling public was never rated. Statistically there are fewer accidents when there are fewer cars on smaller streets.
15. A fabulous new bridge will create an iconic focal point for Forest Hills. Modern bridge design would create a much slimmer, sleeker bridge than is there today.
16. The geography lends itself to a bridge because the Arborway comes off a hill that is already at the required elevation.
17. Frederick Law Olmsted, the Emerald Necklace architect, incorporated bridges and separation of modes here and many other of his parks as he designed for contemporary use.
18. We need a different bridge design than the one and only design that was shown in last year’s alternatives analysis. The bridge can be designed with much smaller intersections creating the best safety and Level of Service for all.
Bike Advocate Favors Surface Replacement for Overpass from Chris Lovett on Vimeo.
The existing bridge is higher and wider than necessary. Any new structure would be one lane in each direction and lower.
The existing bridge carries 24,000 vehicles per day (vpd) and between 1,350 and 1,700 in the a.m. peak hour. New Washington Street carries about 12,000 vpd.
Few other east-west alternate routes exist, so no traffic is expected to be diverted from this corridor in the future, according to CTPS.
Existing traffic is expected to grow on the overpass by 5% and by 14% on surface streets.
Surface streets and traffic patterns will be improved by removing the massive existing bridge and replacing it or not.
Cost estimates in 2008 dollars to build a new bridge ranged from $57.5 million to $73.7 million.