Arborway fix-up planning gets funds

March 21, 2008
By

JOHN RUCH

ARBORWAY—Planning will begin soon for small-scale fixes to part of the Arborway after the local Arborway Coalition managed to raise $5,000 in matching funds within a two-week deadline.

“It’s been really heartwarming,” said Sarah Freeman of the Arborway Coalition about the community and institutional unity behind the fund-raising effort.

The state Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will now match the Arborway Coalition’s funds with another $10,000. DCR will spend the money on a public planning process that likely will happen by the end of June.

The process will be aimed only at the stretch of the Arborway between the Casey Overpass and Murray Circle, alongside Arnold Arboretum. Possible fixes include improved footpaths; landscaping of the hillside at St. Rose Street and the Arborway; removal of a chain link fence on a median strip; and new signage.

One issue that won’t be up for discussion is large-scale roadway redesign controversially proposed by the state over the past few years as part of the Arborway Master Plan.

The current funds only cover the planning process. More money would have to be found later to carry out actual improvements.

The Arborway is a state parkway, meaning it is officially both a road and a public park.

Sherwood credited local residents for helping with the coalition’s rapid fund-raising campaign, which included flyering neighborhoods around the Arborway. The effort also drew support from such institutions as the arboretum, the Franklin Park Zoo and the Solomon Fund, he said.