Saturday, December 28, 2013

FLASH: Environmental Destruction associated with Harvard’s Medical School could expand from Charles River to Neponset River Reservation

I need to sit down and put this package into proper context.

The simple part of the story is that Harvard bought rail yards / Mass. Pike (I90)’s exit to Cambridge / Brighton on the south side of Charles River opposite Magazine Beach shortly after the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Company issued a report that the Grand Junction Railroad Bridge under the BU Bridge could be modified to take traffic from the Mass. Pike to Cambridge, MA.

A whole slew of environmental destruction has proceeded / is planned easing the rearrangement, which could allow the Harvard Medical School and related facilities to move, unimpeded, into the rail yard / off ramp.

I have been informed that the rail yard has been vacated. Plans were to move it to Worcester, MA.

The railroad is expanding South Station in Boston to support renewed Commuter Rail to Fall River and New Bedford, MA. They, however, need a place to layover trains during the day. The rail yard Harvard has bought would be ideal for that purpose and has been mentioned as a likely site. This is the Beacon Yards.

Also mentioned in the Environmental Notification Form was expansion of the Reedville yard in the southern extreme of Boston for this purpose.

I have not reviewed the ENF to see if today’s report is the alternate site.

The Governor has proposed straightening out I90 (Mass. Pike) on top of the Beacon Yards. He mentioned that this would open up the area for development. He did not mention that the development would be by Harvard.

The Boston Globe on line reports at that the management company running the commuter rail system is proposing that facilities which had been used as a super market warehouse in the southern tip of Boston be used instead of Beacon Yards.

The story has been picked up by Universal Hub with a report at that goes into good analysis.

The reports comment that the site would involve major environmental issues.

They certainly would. The western boundary of the site abuts the Commuter Rail Reedville line (or an extension thereof). The eastern and southern boundaries abut the states pristine Neponset River Reservation. The site is at the end of Meadow Road.

I am familiar with the location because I worked for several days on the movie R.I.P.D. which shot scenes concerning their Police Station there. I have also driven through the reservation and reviewed Google Maps. The Google Maps satellite view shows the massive size of the Neponset River Reservation which apparently is, at least in part, threatened.

Incredible. The environmental destruction associated with Harvard’s empire building just keeps getting larger.