On Monday, The Boston Globe has published yet another editorial about how Boston needs to develop more business along the Rose Kennedy Greenway, in part by allowing taller buildings along the Greenway.
The author rightly calls for the city to heal the scars left by the Central Artery, to reunite communities torn apart by decades of impassable traffic and fumes. But the problem isn’t a lack of development along the Greenway; for heaven’s sake, it borders Faneuil Hall, the North End, and South Station! Rather, the problem is that it’s still difficult to get across the street.
Pedestrians have to cross six lanes of traffic to get from Faneuil Hall to Christopher Columbus Park. Did I mention that there are no bicycle lanes on the Greenway or on the surrounding streets? The message is clear; cars belong here, people don’t.
I’ve heard several complaints that the Greenway looks like “an overgrown median strip.” That may be true. The Greenway would feel a lot less like a median strip and more like a part of the city if people could actually get there without feeling like they’re going to become road-kill. Pedestrian bridges, lane neckdowns, or simply closing some of the cross-streets so that people can access the parks without continually fighting traffic could help make the Greenway another jewel in the Emerald Necklace–if we’re serious about new parks. I’m not sure that we are.