Friday, April 12, 2013

River/Western Bridge repair proposal rejects Governor’s highway, supports bike nonsense

1. Summary.
2. Contrast: Longfellow Bridge.
3. Overlap between meetings.
4. My Comments.
5. Filing Requirements.

1. Summary.

On Wednesday, April 10, the state started the environmental review process on the bridge repairs proposed for the River Street Bridge and the Western Avenue Bridge, the next two bridges over the Charles River, to the west from the BU Bridge. This was a public hearing conducted by the Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) office.

The public meeting was conducted at the Honan Library in the Allston neighborhood of Boston, MA, USA, perhaps half a mile from the bridges.

This part of the process is called an environmental notification form, ENF. The one which has been submitted is surprising detailed, and is posted on line at

The bridges work as a paired highway. Western Avenue runs west. River Street runs east.

Governor Patrick ordered the department to leave room for a bike highway under / through the bridges. They are leaving room for it by doing nothing really to support it and nothing physically to oppose it. The analysis strongly opposes the two alternatives for the highway in the Charles River our through holes cut in the bridges. They supports highway level bike and pedestrian movement.

By supporting highway level traffic, MassDOT is opposing the governor’s attempt at bond authorization for a bike highway which would destroy hundreds of trees between the BU and Longfellow Bridges along with massive amounts of animal habitat, wetlands and the Charles River. The ongoing heartless abuse of the beautiful, 32 year resident gaggle of the Charles River White Geese would be made worse.

The big problem with the highway level bike movement is that the proposal is to confine bike operation to sidewalks, extending the nuttiness being commenced by Cambridge on Western Avenue in Cambridge.

2. Contrast: Longfellow Bridge.

The night before, a comparable meeting was conducted to go over the first stage of implementation of bridge repairs to the Longfellow Bridge, the second bridge to the east of the BU Bridge. They have received their environmental approvals and are going forward.

The meeting was conducted in the Shriners’ Burn Center auditorium in this small hospital east of Massachusetts General Hospital, perhaps a quarter of a mile from the Longfellow Bridge. It is located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston, MA, USA.

For this bridge repair proposal, the Cambridge bike nuttiness has been rejected, and there is no connection to the Governor’s highway. A responsible department is behaving responsibly and has not been interfered with by an administration which is influenced by the fraudulent machinations centered in Cambridge.

On very big part of the fraudulent tactics in Cambridge’s fight for the destruction of hundreds of trees on Memorial Drive is the lie that Cambridge is pro bicycle and benefiting bikes by this destruction. Confining bikes to sidewalks proves this particular con to be a flat out lie.

3. Overlap between meetings.

It was a pleasure not to see the falsely named Charles River “Conservancy” at the Longfellow meeting. Their destructiveness has been rejected.

Distressingly, the head of this group was at the River/Western meeting, with one of her assistants. She did not seem to bring the usual collection of Cambridge type robots praising her destructiveness with mindless intensity, and loudly proclaiming themselves experts while demonstrating contempt for reality. I however did not stay to the end of the meeting. I did observe a look on her face which displayed lack of pleasure.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation was not represented at the Longfellow meeting. Richard Corsi was present at the River/Western. The look on his face was not has happy as the look on the face of the leader of the falsely named Charles River “Conservancy.”

I am still trying to understand how to evaluate the budget process. I hope the lack of health on the faces of the bad guys includes a rejection by the legislature of the Governor’s destructive highway.

4. My comments.

I spoke at both meetings.

The Longfellow meeting was very businesslike. We went over some good and valuable details. The most important issue environmentally is a plan to close this bridge to car traffic from Boston to Cambridge during years of construction starting this coming June, and thus to reroute that traffic to the adjoining bridges, perhaps even to the BU Bridge.

At the River/Western meeting, I followed a gentleman who had biked from Waltham to make the meeting. He was received with expressions of pleased reception at his level of bike use, a ride which could easily be 10 or 12 miles.

I have bicycle commuted to Waltham from Cambridge.

I expressed in my comments a very strong feeling that having to do that commute going up and down sidewalks was total nuttiness. I pointed out Cambridge’s explanation that people should ignore the sidewalk bike highways when making left turns proved the nuttiness of the proposal. A later speaker commented that confining bikes to sidewalk bike highways would put the bikes directly in the path of cars making right turns, another aspect to Cambridge’s contempt for bicyclists.

The engineers followed my comments with a suggestion for making left turns which was not as responsible as Cambridge’s.

While I was there, every person who followed me who mentioned the sidewalk bike highway nuttiness objected to the concept. When I had to leave, I was treated very well by members of the audience including at least one state type.

5. Filing Requirements.

The ENF at its end provides details for mailing comments but neglects to mention that email comments are encouraged. Comments are due not later than April 16, 2013.

The email address for formal comments is:

Copies of formal comments are encouraged to MassDOT at:

The governor’s form email address for objecting to his bond proposal to fund destruction of hundreds of trees on the Charles River is: