The meeting was held Monday, November 30, 6:30 to 8:30PM at the Atrium School, 69 Grove Street, in Watertown. Roughly 100 people attended.
DCR’s Dan Driscoll and the design consultant (VHB) presented an overview of the path planned to connect Arlington Street in Watertown to the Fresh Pond reservation. The new path will leave Arlington Street across from Nichols Avenue and join up with the existing paths around Fresh Pond near the Cambridge waterworks.
- It will be a full width path with 12 feet of travel surface.
- It will be mostly unlit, but there will be lighting in the tunnel under Mount Auburn.
- There will be four main access points.
- Privacy buffers along the path will be plantings as opposed to fencing.
- DCR will maintain the path and expects to plow it during the winter. The shoulders will be mowed, but vegetation will be allowed to grow more or less wild after the initial planting.
- Additional lighting was sought by some (but opposed by others).
- Many sought additional access points to the path. This was probably the most heated issue in the meeting and discussion will continue on the possibility of adding more access points.
- There will be a need to create way-finding signs so that people know how to get down to the path because it is below grade at many points.
- There was a back and forth within the audience on whether parking spaces should be created on state land along the path near Holworthy Street.
- Concern was expressed for the sensitive displacement of homeless encampments along the right of way.
- Concern was expressed for public art as a component of the project — perhaps along the bridge surfaces.
Representative Hecht summarized, emphasizing our shared commitment to getting the details right as the project moves forward, but most importantly to getting the project to end of job.
The next public meeting will be in March 2016 and the hope is that construction could start in the Fall of 2016.
According to DCR’s meeting notice: You can comment submit comments online, but as of this writing, this link did not appear to be configured properly. You can also write to the DCR Office of Public Outreach, 251 Causeway Street, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02114. The deadline for public comments is Tuesday, December 22, 2015.
The materials from the meeting should be posted on DCR’s website soon.
For additional background, see the project page on the City of Cambridge website.