The big news in outdoor Boston lately hasn’t been about any particular place — it’s been about the links between places.
- Harborwalk is getting 600 feet longer, thanks to a new walkway alongside Liberty Wharf in South Boston near D Street and Northern Avenue. Mind you, it won’t have a speck of green on it, but it will feature “Brazilian hardwood,” according to the Boston Globe, which means that it did involve a living plant at one point in its existence. In any case it doesn’t seem to be open yet; perhaps it will grow a bit of algae for color but the public is allowed to trod its tasteful planks.
- East Boston residents are pressuring Massport to donate part of Logan Airport’s underused Northwest Service Area to link Bremen Street Park and Constitution Beach. More power to them, I say–though exaggerated post-9/11 security concerns may make the plan a non-starter. If they succeed, though, you could walk all the way from Constitution Beach to Liberty Wharf…after a brief swim across the harbor. Come to think of it, Piers Park’s shade structures always did look like giant diving boards to me.
- The Community Corridor Planning Advisory Team has released its report on the Green Line extension to Somerville and Medford. At the top of their list: “A strong need for multi-directional walking, biking, transit and spatial connections between the stations and the surrounding neighborhoods.”
(I hope someone pays attention to what the community needs. The headlines this week on the Green Line extension have been all about–well, let’s have the Boston Globe speak for itself: “Uneasy over the involvement of Parsons Brinckerhoff, the Department of Transportation’s Board of Directors on Tuesday declined to approve a planning contract that would have paid the firm that oversaw the Big Dig to help plan the extension of the MBTA’s Green Line into Somerville and Medford.” Parsons Brinckerhoff, for those of you who don’t pay attention to lurid local deaths, installed the ceiling tile in the Big Dig interstat 90 connector tunnel that collapsed and killed a woman in 2006.)
- In Milton, by contrast, residents are opposing a bike path plan to put the Neponset River Bike Trail behind their houses. The same darn issue comes up every single time a bike trail is opposed; that it will ruin homeowners’ peace of mind and property values, and “those people” will arrive and commit crimes. And everyone seems to ignore the fact that the Minuteman Bikeway hasn’t had any noticeable effect on crime and has increased property values along its route. Me, I don’t understand why someone would prefer a no-man’s-land behind their house to an easily-policed public park, but my town already has a bicycle path. Perhaps I don’t understand the true pleasures of rotting railroad ties and ragweed. I guess this entry doesn’t count as a green connection… yet.
- Finally, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is continuing to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Southwest Corridor Park with an Open Garden Day this Sunday, September 12, 10am-2pm. You *might* be able to walk all 4.7 miles of it and see the gardens in four hours. Then you can take a quick dip in the Harbor and trot up Bremen Street Park to Bennington Street for tacos. I’d take a bike–and the blue line– if I were you.