Bridging Forest Hills has not gone away! We have been published in The Boston Globe opinion pages http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2014/05/05/casey-overpass-plan-flawed/ElaWyb4ewsxV2n8PMg4xPO/story.html); held signs and collected signatures at Wake Up the Earth, The Monument and at Forest Hills; showed up in force at Mayor Walsh’s JP coffee hour; spent 40 minutes with the Mayor in his office; and more.
Casey Overpass Project Update:
MassDOT advertised for contractors to remove the Casey Overpass and build the at-grade scheme. The cost of the project has ballooned to $61.3 million, a 15% increase. Almost $62 million to NOT build a bridge—incredibly expensive. The huge savings predicted by not replacing the bridge have shrunk to peanuts and the negatives associated with the at-grade are growing.
The schedule is slipping daily. Originally MassDOT was going to select a contractor Aug. 5. The bid opening has been pushed back three times and is now scheduled for Oct. 7. Contractors have been asking many questions and pointing out scores of errors and inconsistencies. Delays are good for BFH.
Lost Shea Circle: BFH attempted to convince the Mass. Historical Commission (MHC) that historic Shea Circle could be converted into a modern roundabout. Unfortunately, MHC bought MassDOT’s lame arguments that it could do nothing else to improve safety and pedestrian/bike access other than destroy the Circle and replace it with a huge signalized intersection with six lanes of traffic. Our efforts forced a much lengthier review than MassDOT anticipated.
Met with Boston Transportation Department Commissioner Gillooly et al. He defended the at-grade scheme, but basically could not articulate why the at-grade is better than a bridge other than saying taking bridges down is all the rage.
Met with Mayor Walsh for 40+ minutes at City Hall on July 23. The Mayor spoke about the value of a bridge, but said it's a state project, they have made up their mind, and he can't get anywhere with the state. The Mayor said if he were doing this now he would want a bridge and a new surface road pattern. The Mayor said he hears a lot from the "other side" (at-grade fans), so when you see him or e-mail him tell him you are waiting for him to call for a second look as he promised in the campaign. He especially said he wants to hear from West Roxbury bridge supporters. Mayor@cityofboston.gov or call 617-635-4500.
Historical note: Forty-five years ago, a flood of demonstrators showed up over and over again, organized, and forced Gov. Francis Sargent to halt highway building and convene a restudy of state transportation policy. “We were wrong,” Sargent said, and his moratorium led to canceling the Southwest Expressway that would have ripped through Jamaica Plain and other neighborhoods. JP organized then and can do it again!
We still need your help!
Send the link to the petition to the Mayor to friends who want a bridge http://www.change.org/p/mayor-walsh-send-massdot-back-to-the-drawing-board
E-mail or call the Mayor and tell him we need a second look at the options Mayor@cityofboston.gov or call 617-635-4500.
Write a letter to the JP Gazette (email@example.com) or West Roxbury Bulletin (firstname.lastname@example.org) asking for a moratorium.
Donate to Bridging Forest Hills.
Reply to this with activities you can do and your creative ideas to help keep BFH visible!