IMPORTANT PUBLIC MEETING ON THE FUTURE OF THE BOWKER OVERPASS AND CHARLESGATE PARK
WHEN: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15, 2014, 6:00 to 8:00
WHERE: BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY, COPLEY SQUARE
JOHNSON CONFERENCE ROOMS 2 & 3
MEETING NAME: “BACK BAY RAMPS TRANSPORTATION STUDY”
ALL ARE WELCOME.
Pages 86-90 of The Esplanade Association’s Esplanade 2020: A Vision for the Future calls for the removal of the Bowker Overpass and restoration of Charlesgate Park. Livable Streets Alliance wrote a letter of support for these same goals on September 30, 2012.
Please see the attached PDF file for more information about the history of the subject and other comparative examples of restoration.
So let me guess, according to Parker James, 50,000 people per day just need to find another way to reach their destination?
There’s nothing in this proposal about how to handle the traffic fallout – I don’t see any tunnels, alternate overpasses, widened streets, or any other thought as to what 50,000 people per day (18 million per year) are supposed to do if the overpass is demolished.
There is a reason for the overpass, it moves traffic into central Boston from mid-Starrow. Boston needs this type of access from a major road like Starrow. To think you can simply squish this volume through other exists is foolish.
Of course, there are several other ways to handle this:
1. Build a major “exit” just past the Doubletree (get rid of the ridiculous Boston U exit and do it right).
2. Build the overpass higher up to make the park still useful.
3. Big Dig part II (“Little dig?”)
These are all expensive propositions.
I think Boston has adequate parkland and inadequate traffic capacity and traffic management.
This proposal just seems to ignore those realities in favor of some romantic horse and buggy vision of Boston.
We should definitely repair the Bowker overpass as it can serve us well into this century as both population and traffic increases.
This is a very important road over a relatively unimportant park between the large Fenway and Esplanade parks. It may be possible to redesign this overpass to make the local streets and parks more attractive, but this overpass is already near capacity backing up at rush hour, removing it would be nuts. Doing anything to restrict the traffic flow here would waste a lot of people’s time waiting in traffic jams causing local air pollution for just a minor benefit.
It’s a brilliant idea! It’s about time we place quality of inner-city life over cars and ugly roadways, of which there are too damn many anyway. It would go a long way towards restoring natural parks and greenery in this area of Boston. Believe me, drivers will find alternative ways to get where they want to go. Maybe it would even convince some of them to give up their cars, get a bike, or take public transportation. Given the dire state of the environmental climate chaos we are facing worldwide, people really need to step up to the call to change their lifestyle and addiction to the automobile. It certainly would make this area much more attractive to tourists and those who live here. I’m all for it!
The traffic in the west Fenway has increased significantly with new buildings in construction,and with the Muddy River Restoration underway causing a lot of new traffic issues. With the Longfellow Bridge being repaired traffic on Storrow drive comes to a standstill causing backups on the Bowker overpass. This overpass used to be called the gateway to the fens. It is a major overpass for the Longwood hospital area and a major entrance for those to get to their homes in Brookline,JP,West Roxbury,The Fenway.There are no alternative routes without causing more traffic jams ,more pollution,more anger.I would suggest a little thought be put forth before tearing down the Bowker. Mr,Carlson speaks well on his ideas.
Please see my update on this issue — the Bowker will be repaired. The conversation about this area’s transportation and park future will continue.
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