Letter: Casey Arborway is a cheap but bad solution

April 27, 2012
By

Regarding the Casey Arborway project, it’s about the money. And don’t forget, the state, at the start, told the Working Advisory Group members this is not about money. So anytime I hear otherwise, I want to pick up my pen.

This is an important bridge. The bridge keeps cross-town traffic out of a neighborhood area that includes the hub of over 15 MBTA bus lines; two major city streets; taxi stands; pick-up and drop-off by commuters at the Forest Hills train and bus station; bicyclists; and a school bus pick-up and drop-off area.

The removal of the bridge and non-replacement by the state will have negative effects on JP and the surrounding communities.

Start with safety. The state is going to put in seven lanes and tell young schoolchildren, adults late for work, and those with disabilities to cross that intersection so that they can catch the MBTA, taxi or school bus.

Seven lanes of traffic. Going to work, going home, trying to make an appointment. Traffic that has no other major egress to this city in the area. Cars that will now have to deal directly with multiple intersections, causing more noise pollution, air pollution and eye pollution.

Will these cars be traveling quickly through, as they would on a bridge? Or is it stop-and-go for them? Whatever the reality is, congestion will be the result.

Congestion will be part of the reality of a new Forest Hills area without a bridge. Congestion, right in the middle of the dream of a Forest Hills as some kind of park without a bridge.

All this is going on here in the city I was born and raised in.

When I tell my friends that the bridge will be no more, the reaction is… Well, I won’t even say. For why should I tell people what my friends say when the state has no interest in the opinions of the people who live and commute in this area?

If the state had put the time, money and effort into a bridge option, as opposed to the no-bridge option, we would have had the best solution.

The state’s only interest is saving money, both in the build and the long-term maintenance—money that they will use towards the many bridges in Massachusetts that are crumbling and in need of repair. The fact that the state has lined up powerful interests to push through its intentions will have one result on those who pay taxes in this area: a lost opportunity to make good a mess.

Support the pro-bridge people.

George Kordan, Jamaica Plain

  • Tomjpaz

    DOT says the at-grade “solution” will not reduce air quality. Wouldn’t we love to see their data. It’s a bare-faced lie: cars driving over at 35mph with zero stops in 30-45 seconds vs. stop-and-go in 3-8 minutes? Over the lifetime of the fix, what will be the dollar cost of the negative health consequences of at grade vs bridge? THEN let’s compare costs.

  • forest hills resident

    I also live and commute in the area daily – the bridge was constructed as part of the plan to turn the parkway system into a major car thoroughfare through the city, and to tie into the southwest corridor highway that would have completely sliced through the heart of JP.  It is one of the last vestiges in the area of the kind of outdated thinking that leveled the west end, and has destroyed countless urban communities across the country.  It is discouraging that some members of the community have latched onto one particular issue when a replacement bridge would still be a physical barrier to the southern edge of JP and Roslindale – a WALL that divides our community.

    I’m not a fan of 7 lanes either – it should be 4 far-too-narrow-lanes like the rest of the parkway.  increasing volume only encourages more traffic.

  • fp

    Hello citizens and taxpayers  . i would like to see  details as to why the overpass has to be replaced. Just how is it deteriorated and why it can’t  be renovated?  I drove on it this friday afternoon at about 5:00 the traffic was steady the surface was fairly smooth with the exception of the bumps at the expansion joints and some ratty places where the concrete surface had delaminated .  Looks to me like new decking would fix it , at much lower cost than demolition and much less disruption to the neighborhood.

    • Me

      The bridge was constructed with a design defect. The defect is in the rebar placement in the concrete “hammer head” pier that supports the steel beam framing and concrete deck above. 15 years ago they did a temporary “fix” to the problem. It would cost more to fix the problem in place than to tear down and replace the structure.

  • Barbara

    George:  Thanks for your clear and thoughtful comments.  It’s also disturbing to hear the MassDOT planners assure us that air quality will not be decreased by the at grade solution.