The overhaul of Interstate 90 at the Mass Pike Allston interchange is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to redistribute space using multi-modal transportation as a blueprint for development and placemaking.
- When the I-90 interchange was built in the 1960's, construction focused on moving motor vehicle traffic and not much else.
- Ridership on MBTA's Worcester/Framingham Commuter Line (paralleling the I-90 artery) has jumped from 600 to 10,000 people daily. During peak hours, there are now as many people commuting by train as there are in cars on I-90. This demand demonstrates the need to look at the project as much more than a simple highway reconstruction.
“The Pike straightening isn't a highway construction project. It's an economic development project...It is the first step that's needed to unlock 140 acres of surrounding land for new development.”
- The I-90 Allston viaduct is nearing the end of its useful lifespan and must be replaced to prevent the bridge from becoming structurally deficient.
- The project presents an opportunity to dramatically reduce the footprint of the existing Allston Interchange toll plaza made possible by the implementation of All Electronic Tolling (AET) in October 2016.
- The community has stepped forward to ask the city and state to work together to create a "pike for people", unlocking opportunities for multi-modal transportation and enhancing cross-town connections to ease congestion in the urban core.
“If done right, the narrowest, nastiest, and noisiest thread of Charles River parklands could be transformed into the Allston Esplanade, the next great civic space in Boston.”
- Harry Mattison | Boston Globe
- In Spring 2017, MassDOT will present a draft environmental impact report which includes all 3 plans. View the full project timeline here.
- Go Boston 2030 is drafting its Action Plan, which includes goals to increase cross-town connections for transit, bicycles, and roadways, in addition to lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
- Advocates must continue to push the process publicly, looking to riverwalk examples in Chicago and Philadelphia where highway projects have been successfully transformed into something much more.
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