Pond crossing fixes to be unveiled

John Ruch

PONDSIDE—Updated plans for improving pedestrian and bicycle access to Jamaica Pond Park will be unveiled at a meeting sometime this month, according to the state Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).

Fixes for three key problem spots on the Jamaicaway and Parkman Drive originally were presented at a community meeting last July. A second meeting to show community-suggested changes was supposed to happen in the fall. So was the first fix—a new traffic light and crosswalk on the Jamaicaway at Eliot Street.

“Things just took longer than expected,” said DCR spokesperson Wendy Fox. DCR co-funded the planning process, which is being led by the Jamaica Plain-based Emerald Necklace Conservancy (ENC).

DCR “had some severe budget cuts, and it slowed down things,” said Don Eunson, the senior project manager at the ENC. “The Eliot Street crossing is still a top priority, and we expect to see movement on that in 2010.”

“They had to go back to the drawing board,” said state Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, who has shepherded various parkway improvements for years. He called the delay “part and parcel of the process.”

Other proposals at the July meeting included narrowing the Kelly Circle rotary at the Jamaicaway and Parkman Drive, and adding a crosswalk across Parkman Drive between the pond and the Francis Parkman memorial. Community consensus supported the rotary change, but favored fixes to the intersection of Parkman and Perkins Street rather than a Parkman Drive crosswalk.

Fox said this month’s meeting will be final one.

The meeting date had not been announced by the Gazette’s press time this week. For updates, see the DCR’s web site at www.mass.gov/dcr and the JP Agenda at www.JamaicaPlainGazette.com.

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