Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Charles River Connectivity, third meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) conducted their third presentation on "Charles River Connectivity" on Tuesday evening, October 18 at the Morse School in Cambridge, MA, across Memorial Drive from Magazine Beach.

Our report on the second meeting is posted at The posting includes a blow by blow but necessarily incomplete summary of fairly recent DCR attacks on the environment and on resident / visiting animals.

The third meeting concentrated on the Charles River east of the Eliot Bridge. The Eliot Bridge, in turn, crosses the Charles River just east of the WBZ studios. It is the fourth full sized bridge over the Charles River west of the BU Bridge.

As I previously reported, MassDOT and DCR have rejected what they call the “Cambridge plans” for even more massive environmental destruction on the Cambridge side.

The “Cambridge plans” call for the construction on the Cambridge side of a bizarre new highway in the Charles and on its banks. This bizarre new highway would run from the area between the Eliot and Anderson (Harvard Square) Bridges to the Memorial Drive split just east of the Hyatt, the BU Boathouse, the mostly vegetation destroyed ghetto to which the Charles River White Geese are confined, and the BU Bridge.

New comments of note in the presentation by MassDOT / DCR include:

1. Concerns for the approaches to the BU Bridge on the Boston side, particularly above the Masachusetts Turnpike.

2. Concerns for the lack of direct connection between the BU Bridge and the park under the BU Bridge between Soldiers Field Road / Storrow Drive and the Charles River. Note there are stairs being reconstructed connecting the BU Bridge to the area further from the Charles on the south side of Storrow Drive / Soldiers Field Road.

3. Concerns for the lack of direct connection between the park on the Charles River and the Muddy River Reservation / Fens in association with the highway connector between Storrow Drive / Soldiers Field Road and the highway system connected to the Fens / Muddy River Reservation.

All of their concerns have possible environmental problems, but at least MassDOT / DCR have rejected outright the very irresponsible package of the Cambridge machine for further destruction on the Cambridge side.

Please note that I was only able to stay for the formal presentation and was not able to stay for public comments. Timewise, this means I missed about two thirds of the meeting.