Comment from Will B.
There have been a number of personnel changes that have complicated our efforts to nail down plans for the park improvements, but Highway Commissioner Tom Tinlin and the new DCR Commissioner Leo Roy are getting closer to an understanding of how to move forward.
Senator Brownsberger and Representative Rushing recently met with the new DCR Commissioner Leo Roy to continue the conversation about the future of Charlesgate Park. Together with Representative Livingstone and Councilor Zakim, they have been pushing to nail down a process for restoration of the park after the Bowker construction.
The park has been used as a staging area for construction on the Bowker Overpass above. MassDOT, in public statements made during the meetings about the Bowker construction, committed to restore the parkland after the project is complete.
The parkland is, however, under the jurisdiction of DCR, so the situation requires collaboration between the two agencies. For months, legislators have been pressing DCR and MassDOT to make clearer plans to address the following three priorities:
- Generally to beautify the Charlesgate Park under the Bowker;
- Construct the Charlesgate Greenway (bikepath from Charlesgate over to Mass Ave);
- Improve the maintenance of the stonework supporting the abutments on either side of the Bowker.
Senator Brownsberger delivered this series of letters to the Commissioner to bring him up to speed on some of the outreach that has occurred to his predecessors. In the meeting the legislators expressed to the new Commissioner how important it is to the community that this space be improved to better condition than when construction started.
The substantive update from the meeting is that MassDOT is ready to transfer approximately $1.4 million to DCR to fund the construction of the Charlesgate Greenway – the commitment to construct this multi-use was made by former Transportation Secretary Davey. The Charlesgate Greenway will create a connection from Commonwealth Avenue, through Charlesgate Park along a path that would go under the Bowker ramps and connect to the Mass Ave Bridge.
Office of State Senator William N. Brownsberger