Letter: Surface streets re-knit parks

The following letter was submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation:

I am writing on behalf of the Board of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy.  We would like to take this opportunity to submit our comments on the replacement of the Casey Overpass before a final decision is made by Secretary Richard Davey.

As you know, the Conservancy has shown its support for an at-grade solution to the replacement of the existing bridge. In the course of our participation in the Working Advisory Group process, we have come to believe that an at-grade solution can best meet the spirit of the criteria that were selected by the working group in the form of the Measures of Evaluation.

While it is our mission to advocate for the Emerald Necklace, we recognize that Forest Hills is a dense and complicated urban area that must accommodate multiple modes of transportation. However, we also believe that there is a great opportunity in this decision to be forward-thinking and to provide more focus on modes other than the automobile. In knitting back together a network of streets and parks that were originally compromised by the existing bridge, we believe that the area can be reinvigorated for people while allowing regional and local traffic to pass through easily. We believe that in the long term, an at-grade solution will lead to the betterment of Forest Hills and serve all of its users in a greatly improved manner.

We appreciate that the Emerald Necklace was asked to participate in the working group for this project and would like to thank MassDOT and the team for a well-conceived process. We hope that the outcome will prove to be a successful solution for all.

Julie Crockford, President, Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Fenway

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