Longfellow Bridge Hearings

Important discussions are ongoing about the reconstruction of the Longfellow Bridge. A public hearing will be held on Wednesday, October 6.

My written comments submitted appear immediately below. A public hearing notice appears further below.


Comments of State Representative Will Brownsberger, 24th Middlesex District

Thank you for the opportunity to comment in writing.

I hope that the Task Force will adopt options that provide for full bike and pedestrian lanes with maximal separation from vehicular traffic. While there are times of day when two lines in the middle of the bridge inbound are used for storage, for most of the day, the second lane is just excess road width. The excess road width encourages high speeds into the Boston-side intersection and endangers cyclists. Longer queues at rush hour will not necessarily translate into actually lower throughput if necessary turning capacity is preserved at the intersection itself. On the outbound side, the second lane is usually entirely unnecessary.

A decision at this stage to enhance pedestrian and cycling uses of the bridge — so, effectively expanding the esplanade — will greatly enhance Boston’s chance of remaining a world-class city in the 21st century. If MassDOT fails to see this vision and surrenders to traditional traffic engineer concerns that lead to over-emphasizing vehicular capacity, an important opportunity will have been lost.

I will not be in attendance on October 6, but would be happy to expand my comments at the convenience of the Task Force.


Will Brownsberger
Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project Public Information Meeting
of the Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Task Force
Scheduled for October 6

BOSTON, MA – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) today announced that the Longfellow Bridge Task Force will hold a Public Information Meeting for the Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project on Wednesday, October 6, 2010 from 6:30 – 8:30 PM in the Auditorium of the Shriners Hospitals for Children, 51 Blossom Street, Boston.

The purpose of the meeting is to provide an opportunity for the Longfellow Bridge Task Force to present draft recommendations to the public and gather input before finalizing its recommendations for submission to MassDOT in mid-October. Task Force members and MassDOT staff will present an overview of the Task Force process. Following the presentation, there will be one hour for members of the public to provide feedback.

MassDOT has been working with the Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Task Force since June 2010 to ensure stakeholders are given an equal opportunity to comment on the final approach and roadway cross-section of the bridge, with particular focus on serving transit, roadway, bicycle and pedestrian needs effectively and safely. Upon completion of the series of Task Force meetings in October 2010, MassDOT will amend the Environmental Assessment and file with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in November 2010.

The draft recommendations are available at: http://groups.google.com/group/LongfellowTaskForce. The public may also submit written feedback via email by Friday, October 8 to LongfellowTF@umb.edu.


Published by Will Brownsberger

Will Brownsberger is State Senator from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.

3 replies on “Longfellow Bridge Hearings”

  1. What are the numbers for current bridge users by mode? What are the 10 and 20 year projections for each mode? Ration space rationally. Too bad maintaining history precludes adding outrigger lanes.

  2. Will, how many of your Belmont constituents ride their bicycles over the Longfellow Bridge?

    Are you representing bike lobbies instead with your letter? It sure doesn’t support economic vitality.

    Boston is like a root-bound houseplant. More traffic capacity is needed for health, vitality and sustainability!

  3. I take your point about congestion and planners are certainly very focused on that. There is always a balance of concerns. I do think that the whole area would be well served economically by a stronger pedestrian/cycling connection between the two sides of the river. It would reinforce the area as a very desirable place to live and work.

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