Letter: Not buying the Casey parkway plan

December 21, 2012
By

The most resent Casey Overpass meeting at English High on Dec. 13 had a couple of surprises revealed. Officials stated that with the addition of 25,000 cars moved to the surface road, traffic would have little effect. There would be major effect, especially during rush hour and school bus pick-up and drop-off, and with the addition of the Shea Square stop light and two bow-tie stop lights. Plus, people at this meeting actually think there would be less pollution with all these cars down on street level stopping at all these traffic lights.

The Boston Cyclists Union fought for an on-street bike lane, and now the state has taken that away. (“Casey bike paths questioned,” Dec. 7.) Surprise!  A recent story in the JP Gazette has the Cyclists Union now saying that their concern was for timely snow removal for the sidewalk bike path. Good luck with that. You can’t get them to clear snow for walkers. What makes the Union think it will clear snow for bikes?  Why doesn’t the Cyclists Union prefer two options to cross Forest Hills, overpass and street level? It just doesn’t make sense.

The project will destroy around 90 well-established trees. Why not replant them elsewhere or save them for the replanting of the Casey “Parkway” or elsewhere along the Arboretum?

The addition of a stop light added at the intersection of Washington Street and Asticou Road would build up traffic and block the bus entrance for the 39 bus, which would need to cross oncoming traffic in order to enter the bus station.  The bus itself will be starting its own traffic jam waiting for the opposite-direction traffic to clear in order to enter the station.

For the businesses on South Street, Washington Street and Hyde Park Avenue, some business will be lost because of the extra time to drive the rerouted traffic of Casey “Parkway.”

No other place in the city do you have three major, heavy-traffic streets intersect with a main train and bus station in the middle of it.

Frederick Law Olmsted designed the parkway for horse-drawn carriages, not for over 25,000 cars. An overpass was required 50-some years ago. That need has not changed, but is now needed more than ever. Why not design the overpass with Olmsted in mind?

It’s amazing what the state is trying to sell us. Like the old saying goes, “Do I have a bridge to sell you.”  But in this case, it’s a parkway.

George Leong

Jamaica Plain