Letter: Casey plan degrades all forms of transportation

At the most recent planning meeting to eliminate the Casey Overpass, MassDOT announced its misguided “Complete Street” design, having degraded every form of transportation at Forest Hills.

First, this meeting presented the elimination of on-street bike lanes along New Washington Street. This is being done because they have acknowledged that the six-lane roadway presents an extremely long pedestrian crossing. However, removing the bike lanes reduces the burden for pedestrians by only 6 feet—leaving 76 feet of pavement to cross! This would be similar to Columbus Avenue by Roxbury Community College.

Second, DOT will eliminate the current Route 39 bus berth and move the Route 39 to the Washington Street busway. The bus will take longer getting in and out of the station with its move to behind the busway serving the southwest buses, despite MassDOT’s claims that service will be better at some times. This move also precludes the ability to significantly increase bus service to the south.

From the start, this plan degraded the local automobile and truck delivery traffic with the significant increase in the number of cars on the surface streets, and the restriction of four normal left turns in the east-west direction.

And of course the 24,000 cars a day using Route 203 will spend more time idling at traffic signals and spewing fumes into our neighborhood and parks with the elimination of the overpass.

A true “Complete Street” works for all travelers, both motorized and not. This is what a good new bridge alternative would provide at Forest Hills. The current plans degrade the movement of all: pedestrians, cyclists, buses, local motor traffic, and regional traffic.

MassDOT needs to put an end to this nonsense and go back to designing a workable bridge that will best serve everyone at Forest Hills.

Jeffrey Ferris

Ferris Wheels Bike Shop

Jamaica Plain

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