Friday, August 02, 2013

Updates, Mass. Governor’s Tree Destruction: Kendall / Longfellow, Memorial Drive, Charles River, MA

1. Introduction.
2. Longfellow Bridge Repairs.
3. Memorial Drive.

1. Introduction.

We have done extended reports on these problems. This will be concise.

2. Longfellow Bridge Repairs.

The Longfellow Bridge is the second bridge east of the BU Bridge crossing the Charles River.

The project, with possible disclosure somewhere in the fine print, includes inexcusable destruction of excellent groves of trees on the Kendall end of the Longfellow above the subway track tunnel and of a magnificent grove east of the Cambridge end of the Longfellow Bridge next to the ramp from Memorial Drive heading east to the Longfellow Bridge heading to Boston.

The destruction above the subway seems to have been to create a storage area for garbage used in the project, totally unnecessary for the rearrangement of the roadways. A crossover could have been created further into Kendall Square without destruction of that excellent grove.

The destruction of the grove on the access ramp has been given bizarre excuses. The apparent reason is that the engineers are creating a new (lovely to them) toy: They are doing natural storm drainage off the bridge rather than tieing into the existing storm drain systems. Outrageous. But then again, Cambridge has imminent plans to destroy excellent trees on the Cambridge Common because the block the view, and on Memorial Drive with the explanation that Memorial Drive will look great in 40 years.

Mishka’s report:


After double-checking, I don't think there was any change in the tree status between Jul 19 and Aug 1.

Two trees are marked for destruction, and one tree marked for transplantation.

Unfortunately, I have to add one more tree to the threatened list: it is not marked, but it is not protected and is "in the wrong place" (very close to the bridge). Moreover, a tree near it is gone (probably at the same time, when the 4 other trees were killed), and it was not marked either
to be best of my knowledge.

3. Memorial Drive.

This is the outrage that the con artists ran around calling “underpasses”, telling people to look at the next three bridges west of the BU Bridge.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation rejected the project based solely on the lie given to the public. They consider the actual “underpasses” irresponsible and destructive.

The secret fine print came out in the governor’s budget proposal request for bond authorization: $4 million for the underpasses, $24 million for the associated “paths.”

The associated paths stretch to the Longfellow Bridge and including destruction of hundreds of trees between the BU and Longfellow Bridges, stretching not that far from the above outrage.

The budgets are horribly confusing. I have based my concerns on an expert read of the bubbly nonsense put out by the falsely named Charles River “Conservancy.”

This bond authorization would have been in the transportation budget. It seems to have completed its process a week ago.

The falsely named Charles River “Conservancy” had announced it was seeking this falsely named project through lobbying during the period of consideration of the budget.

It has been a week, apparently since the completion of the effort. This falsely named group has not chortled, using the blatantly false description, of its success in getting bond authorization to destroy those hundreds of trees.

I assume these excellent trees are safe for the time being.

But the reality is that Cambridge, MA, has a rotten city government protected by a massive organization with non stop lies of “holier than thou.”