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 more than 16,000 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 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.
A Win for the Peoples Pike
MassDOT announces a final design for the I-90 Allston Interchange that includes putting the Massachusetts Turnpike at ground level in Allston and elevating a section of Soldiers Field Road along the Charles River onto a new viaduct above the highway. In the original plan, the state had planned to keep the highway on a viaduct but agreed to consider other options at the insistence of neighbors and advocates who preferred it be rebuilt at ground level.
Advocates Write Back
Deadline to submit comments on the I-90 DEIR to Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Matthew Beaton. LivableStreets encourages advocates and supporters to write letters. LivableStreets also submits a letter of comment on behalf of the organization.
LivableStreets organizes a "Transit Not Traffic" Rally during the AM commute by the I-90 overpass.
Harvard University offers to nearly double its financial contribution to $58 million for the construction of West Station in a letter to the Department of Transportation aimed at accelerating their plans. Harvard wants some of its contribution to fund an interim version of the station for open by the mid-2020s.
West Station When?!
MassDOT filed a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). The document makes public MassDOT’s plan to postpone the construction of West Station until 2040 and their reconstruction proposals fail to create a park-like riverfront with adequate pedestrian and bike paths.
A group of Allston residents and advocacy organizations, including LivableStreets, host a community meeting about the I-90 Allston project.
The Road Forward
LivableStreets continues to push for a project design that will align with the neighborhood's vision: connecting a green, modern, and multi-modal Allston.
MassDOT begins drafting an Environmental Impact Report that will examine and compare all 3 of the designs put forward.
With influence from advocates, MassDOT recontracts the Boston Redevelopment Authority to conduct a placemaking study of the area.
The People's Pike
Advocates submit two alternative designs for I-90. Both prioritize transit, bicycle, pedestrian, and parkland improvements more than the original MassDOT design.
All Hands on Deck
MassDOT invites 45 local and regional stakeholders to join a task force to help determine how best to reimagine the I-90 Allston area.
Times A Changin'
With the I-90 Allston viaduct nearing the end of its useful lifespan and all electronic tolling to replace toll booths on the Mass Pike, MassDOT looks to realign the interchange and reshape more than 100 acres.
- LivableStreets will continue to work with our partners and the state to push for West Station and enhanced ground level connections for people walking and biking.
- View the full MassDOT project timeline here.
What you can do
Volunteer: Join us in spreading the word about the importance of safe and livable streets. Our volunteers are actively involved in all of our events and programming, including our Street Ambassadors program.