Thursday, May 23, 2013

Destroyed Nesting Area: North South Highway.

1. Introductory.
2. Cambridge’s proposed north south bike highway on the Grand Junction with and without the very minor and obvious changes needed to make it a responsible proposal.
A. General plans.
B. Photos from May 17, 18, and 19, 2013.
(1) to (3) But let’s start first with the beautiful residents.
(4) to (5) Area where the Cambridge Proposal and responsible behavior split.
(6) to (9) Responsible route, Vassar Street.
(10) to (23) Cambridge’s irresponsible alternative.
(24) Summary.
3. Postscript.
4. Contacts.

1. Introductory.

Another of the outrageous attacks on the environment being fought for by the Cambridge Machine is the southern end of a proposed bike highway following the Grand Junction railroad in Cambridge.

The woman who is the embodiment of the current corrupt tactics being taken on the Charles River recently posted a meeting announcement by highway lobby people fighting for further destruction, this time North - South.

So I have gotten pretty good photographs on that issue. The highly destructive east west highway is a key part of the destruction she and the Cambridge Machine have been fighting for under the euphemisms of bathhouse and “underpasses.” One record of her, and the Cambridge Machine’s corrupt behavior fighting for the east west highway and other outrages on the Charles River is posted at

I have a bunch of photos all taken in the period May 17 to 19, 2013 that I have been putting together ever since concerning the irresponsible southern end of the north south bus highway proposal. My last report on the Grand Junction highway project was posted at In that analysis, I went into the current conditions without providing photos. It was a lot less work but probably less communicative.

2. Cambridge’s proposed north south bike highway on the Grand Junction with and without the very minor and obvious changes needed to make it a responsible proposal.

A. General plans.

Cambridge and its buddies are playing to the highway lobby pushing for a new highway following the Grand Junction railroad from the Somerville line to the Charles River. Most of it makes sense. The area next to the Charles River does not.

As usual, we are dealing with well trained robots who go to their handler to find out what their opinions are. Thus, to them it is irrelevant that southern extreme of their Grand Junction bike highway could be responsibly done differently.

The portion the robots blindly fight for between Memorial Drive and the Charles is destructive while creating a longer route and thus highly wasteful.

This report will go into the two alternatives where the alternatives count.

I went into this problem in a number of reports last August, including an extended letter to the Cambridge City Council.

I am trying the report again here with a lot more graphics.

(1) [Reserved. This upload did not compute.]

(2) [01 MDC; destroyed Nesting Area - Map]

This is my cropped version of DCR plans provided me in August 1999. The head of planning provided the plans on request. She went over the plans with me pointing out the very few points on which her plans deviated from the plans originally announced by the Cambridge City Manager in 1996 at a presentation of the predecessor to the Charles River “Conservancy.”

The goose meadow blow up shows a planned layout for a roadway system in the Destroyed Nesting Area.

The recently created roadway pattern fits this map as a work in progress. The two roadways connect to a roadway under the BU Bridge which would run in the Charles River and conect to the Magazine Beach playing fields. You have to look very carefully. The road under the BU Bridge is shown between the letters “B.U.” and “BRIDGE.”

Since then, Cambridge has added to the mix a proposal for a north south highway which would go through the Destroyed Nesting Area.

(3) [Arial Shots, 2006; Cambridgeport]

This photo provides less detail, but does show you where the North South highway would go. The BU Bridge is in the middle, bottom. The Destroyed Nesting Area is to the right of the top end of the BU Bridge. There is a black line running diagonally from there to the top right of the photo. It is marked in purple “Grand Junction Railroad.”

The city’s plans would have a small vehicle highway (“bike path” euphemism) parallel to the Grand Junction, going under Memorial Drive (marked) and then running through the destroyed nesting area.

The plans in the 2006 bike highway analysis (impossible to copy) created by the Cambridge Development Department show the highway (looking at the detailed DNA plan, (2), above) connecting into the DNA toward the bottom of the DNA, running around the bottom of the DNA and then going up along the left highway shown on the plan. It would connect to the east west highway going west, along the road under the BU Bridge and run up to the eastern leg through the DNA. The eastern leg, apparently, would travel along the ramp to Memorial Drive at the top of the plan.

This plan shows the Grand Junction proceeding as a broken line northeast from Memorial Drive. It also shows a street ending at Memorial Drive.

This is Vassar Street. You can see Vassar Street ending at the ‘a” in “Memorial Drive”. Vassar Street goes north almost to the Grand Junction Railroad and sharply turns right just before the Grand Junction.

Responsible planning would have that small vehicle / bike highway cutting over to Vassar Street at the Vassar Street turn, proceeding down Vassar Street to Memorial Drive and connecting to the bike highway on the south side of Memorial Drive.

I will proceed below with photos of this area taken on May 17, 18, and 19, 2013. Now, remember, this is a cheaper, faster alternative to running the bike highway through the Destroyed Nesting Area. As such it is responsible behavior. But we are dealing with Cambridge, the DCR, their fake groups, and their pride in corrupt behavior.

Responsible behavior is very visibly not within their limits of business as usual.

B. Photos from May 17, 18, and 19, 2013.

I have photos of the two different alternate routes for the Grand Junction bike highway, the responsible alternative and that pushed by the Cambridge Machine and the Highway Lobby.

(1) to (3) But let’s start first with the beautiful residents.

(1) [05-17, 04-07, DNA]

(2) [05-17, 05 08 Charles, DNA]

Enjoying their beloved Charles River, a few feet south of the next photo which is under their beloved Big Tree, an area stomped on by irresponsible parking.

(3) [05-17, 06 09, DNA, Big Tree]

I will start the photo analysis of the bike highway proposal at the northern end of that portion of the proposal where there are differences between responsible behavior and that of the City of Cambridge.

On Map A.(3), the point of change is where Vassar Street would cross the Grand Junction if it continued to go straight north, to the top.

(4) to (5) Area where the Cambridge Proposal and responsible behavior split.

(4) [05-18; 14 41 Alt Bike Hwy]

This is where responsible behavior and the behavior fought for by Cambridge and its robots separate.

The white building fronts on Vassar Street.

Responsible behavior would put the bike highway immediately to the right of the building as viewed. That would bring it to the bend of Vassar Street and then turn right.

Cambridge and its robots want the bike highway to follow the tracks proceeding to the right.

It is coming from the left.

(5) [05-17A; 07 18 Gd Jctn, Bike Hwy]

The white building is to the right of the camera. Straight ahead and bearing right is where the bike highway would be coming from.

The large shape to the left is the back side of a recently constructed housing project at the corner of Chestnut and Sidney Streets in Cambridge, MA.

A new rapid transit stop would be created pretty close to the building straight ahead under the Urban Ring alternative which the Cambridge Development Department lies is the only alternative under consideration. That stop is part of the reason for the non stop lies for more than 20 years by the Cambridge Development Department. Under the alternative being subsidized by the legislature, the Kenmore Crossing, the rapid transit line would be underground and would cut off to the right several blocks away.

(6) to (9) Responsible route, Vassar Street.

(6) [05-17A; 04 15 Vassar St, Bike Hwy]

This is the street side of the building shown above.

(7) [05-17A; 05 16 Bike Hwy.

Closeup. The white building is to the right.

Straight ahead is the tracks and the location of the north south bike highway.

All the state / city has to do is run their Bike Highway through this spot.

(8) [05-17A; 06 17 Vassar St Fm Bike Hwy]

Photo is taken from the street side of the white building. This is Vassar Street. The car is at Memorial Drive.

All the city / state has to do is turn the bike way and they are readily accessible to Memorial Drive.

(9) [05-17A; 03 14 Vassar St Bike Hwy]

Photo is taken either at or near to the Memorial Drive sidewalk. This is the reverse view of photo (8).

At this point, the bikes are at Memorial Drive, which is where they want to be.

(10) to (23) Cambridge’s irresponsible alternative.

(10) [05-18; 15 42, Alt Bike Hwy, G Jctn, N of Mem. Dr]

(11) [05-18; 16 43, Alt Bike Hwy, G Jctn, N of Mem. Dr]

(12) [05-18; 16 44, Alt Bike Hwy, G Jctn, N of Mem. Dr]

These three pictures follow Cambridge’s irresponsible alternative, moving from the separation point toward the Charles River. The hole / light in the third picture is the underpass under Memorial Drive.

That underpass is crucial. Cambridge says it “needs to be widened” to allow the irresponsible alternative.

Not that long ago, Cambridge was arguing that that opening needs to be widened for access by traffic coming off an off ramp from the Massachusetts Turnpike (I90) over the Grand Junction railroad bridge. This highway was, at that time, called a busway for buses from Newton. The transit people from the MBTA supposedly did an engineering study to figure out if an off ramp could be built off I90 to Cambridge. Only after they proved it could be done did they notice that creating a busway to Cambridge for a bus from Newton was so far out of whack expense wise that the benefit was far outweighed by the cost. But only after doing the study did the MBTA notice the obvious.

Several months after the study, Harvard University bought the Beacon Park railway Yards and the I90 (Mass. Pike) exit to Allston / Cambridge. Several months after that, moneys were provided for an additional change in the existing off ramp area which made the connector viable for traffic in both directions on I90 (Mass. Pike).

Now Cambridge and its robots are crying that it is necessary to widen this underpass for bikes.

(13) [05-17A; 01 12 Gd Jctn N of Mem Dr]

This is the track in (6) to (8) viewed from the sidewalk of the Memorial Drive overpass above the crucial opening.

(14) [05-17A; 10 21 Gd Jctn frm Mem Dr].

This is the track on the south side of Memorial Drive, shot from the sidewalk on the Memorial Drive overpass.

You can see signs of work supplies from the Railroad workers.

To the right is the Destroyed Nesting Area of the Charles River White Geese.

To the left in the lighted area is a steep slope to the Charles River. In the nearer area, to the left is a hard to access wild area in which all ground vegetation has been destroyed by agents of the DCR.

Formerly, there were a lot of nests of the Charles River White Geese to the right in dense ground vegetation. That vegetation has been destroyed by the DCR and the railroad. As protection has been destroyed and destroyed in the Nesting Area, the Charles River White Geese have been forced more and more to the left of the railroad tracks for nesting. A lot of nests have been placed on the slope above the Charles River.

I have seen mother geese, in desperation, nesting against the track. So much of their habitat has been ruthlessly destroyed.

The plans presented to the Cambridge City Council would construct a woven fence parallel to the railroad track to its right perhaps all the way up.

This fence would severely add to the hardships involved in nesting.

Depending on which plan you believe, the bike highway would go to the right pretty close to the camera, probably before the vehicle, or much further up, at about the top of the visible lighted area.

(15) [05-19; 07 51 DNA]

These privately owned railroad worker vehicles are parked on either side of where the bike highway would go if it meets the northern of the two crushed stone highways constructed in the “remediation” from the BU Bridge project.

(16) [05-19; 03 47, DNA, CC Hwy Q]

This is the northern leg of the two crushed stone highways constructed in the “remediation” from the BU Bridge project. It also corresponds to the connection for the east west highway in the plan in A.(2) above. This plan, you will remember, dates back to the presentation made by the Cambridge City Manager in 1996.

(17) [05-19; 04 48, EW Hwy, Plus QU]

Straight ahead is the big tree. This is where the report that the Cambridge City Council was voting on shows the Bike Highway goes coming off the Grand Junction. It would do a wide loop and either go up this, the southern of the two crushed stone highways from the “remediation” or go to the right of it. There is a wide area of dirt next to the BU Bridge which might be the target. The report the City Council voted on was horribly destructive.

The logical, less irresponsible (never assume the less irresponsible when dealing with Cambridge and its friends) alternative would have the northern crushed stone highway meeting the north - south route and the southern crushed stone highway meeting the east west route.

Note that the east west route is the route for which the Governor casually sneaked in $24M in bond authorization “incidental” to the $2M for the “underpasses” proposal rejected by MassDOT.

(18) [05-18; 12 28 DNA CC Hwy]

This is the southern of the two crushed stone highways. Careful viewing can disclose the parking lot created to the left, and the northern highway cutting over from the right just before the two reach the opening illegally made by Boston University in October 1999.

Straight ahead is the Memorial Drive overpass against which the railroad workers should be parking, and 640 Memorial Drive on the far side of Memorial Drive.

(19) [05-19; 08 52 Mem Dr. Ramp]

This is the sidewalk and Memorial Drive on ramp directly north of the Destroyed Nesting Area. The bikes would go through the illegal opening and proceed up this sidewalk.

(20) [05-19; 01 45, Mem Dr. Ramp, parking area.]

This is the view from the north side of the on ramp. To the left is where the Railroad workers should be parking. To the right is where the bicyclists and pedestrians travel.

(21) [05-17A; 02 13 Mem Dr, Bike Hwy, BU Boathse]

(22) [05-17A; 09 20 Mem Dr, Bike Hwy]

(23) [05-17A; 08-19 Mem Dr, Bike Hwy]

Here are three views of where the bikes would go until they pass Vassar Street.

(21) shows the BU Boathouse, which is constructed to the east of the wild area from which the Charles River White Geese would be separated by the Cambridge fence for the North South highway. (22) shows to the right the staircase on the left / east side of the BU Boathouse. (23) shows a car making an illegal left turn out of Vassar Street. The staircase can barely been seen to the far right.

We have reached the access point that can readily be made to Memorial Drive by running the Bike Highway down Vassar Street by the very short taking for access between the Grand Junction and Vassar Street.

(24) Summary.

The responsible route is the one shown in photos (6) through (9).

The Cambridge destructive nuttiness is shown in photos (10) to (23).

There is no comparison and no reasonable question which is the sane, responsible alternative.

The difference is so striking and so clear that the reasoning behind common outrages by the Cambridge Machine, such as April 23, is very clear.

Cambridge’s side cannot be justified by common logic.

So they simply indulge in corrupt behavior.

3. Postscript.

The environmental attacks on the Charles River stem from a multitude of sources with a multitude of guilty parties. Trying to fully analyze any particular issue based on a detailed discussion of ramifications for each of many actors can be a major problem.

The core environmental problem anywhere near the City of Cambridge is, pretty much, ALWAYS stemming from the outrage in place in the City of Cambridge. As you go from one problem to another, individual miscreants show up taking advantage of the outrage which is the City of Cambridge. On the Charles River, the core local problem, although usually lurking in the shadows, is Harvard University.

At the same time, however, the key folks bring in all sorts of characters with promises of division of spoils from environmental destruction. An analyzing the division of spoils can definitely make things complicated.

I will be trying in my reports from now on will be to lead with a particular topic and follow up with various analyses putting the latest presentation in context with the various rotters trying to do dirty. So here we go. First the photos with minimal analysis. Then analysis or cross references.

This report is now so long that I think I will simply end.

4. Contacts.

Massachusetts Governor’s Office email form:

All Massachusetts Legislators’ emails:

Cambridge, MA, USA city councilors: