Kenmore Square North | 533 Commonwealth Ave | Fenway

Equilibria

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The usage moves to the surface streets, just like it was pre-1963. This issue comes down to a choice between: 1) freeways for suburbanites to zip quickly through the city, or 2) real parks (not shoe-horned underneath an elevated highway) and a functional, healthy Muddy River.
The Bowker isn't a freeway for suburbanites, though. It's a key connection between neighborhoods.
 

Charlie_mta

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The Bowker isn't a freeway for suburbanites, though. It's a key connection between neighborhoods.
It all depends on how you look at it. Are there any traffic benefits to keeping the overpass? Sure. Everything in life is a trade-off. It all boils down to what a city really wants and what its priorities are.
 

HenryAlan

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A few years ago here on AB there was quite a discussion on tearing down this POS 1960's elevated highway. Arborway at Forest Hills is down, hopefully someday the Mcgrath will be, and this ugly SOB needs to be wiped out as well. The local NIMBY's don't want it down for fears of increased surface traffic, but how can that justify the smothering of the Emerald Necklace and Muddy River?
I'm largely sympathetic to this suggestion, but there is something about the Bowker that I really like. I'm kind of in to viaducts for some aesthetic/engineering reason, and we don't have enough of them in Boston.
 

bip05

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I'm largely sympathetic to this suggestion, but there is something about the Bowker that I really like. I'm kind of in to viaducts for some aesthetic/engineering reason, and we don't have enough of them in Boston.
I 1,000% agree. If we had a few more of these we'd have a little less gridlock IMO
 

Charlie_mta

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I'm largely sympathetic to this suggestion, but there is something about the Bowker that I really like. I'm kind of in to viaducts for some aesthetic/engineering reason, and we don't have enough of them in Boston.
I also like highway viaducts, and elevated rail as well. I'm a registered civil engineer and I became interested in that field as a boy because of highways, viaducts, and expressways. I just don't think a viaduct covering over most of a key link in the metro Boston park system is all that great of an idea. The traffic situation could be remedied in the long term by providing on/off ramps to the Mass Pike to replace the capacity lost by tearing down the Bowker overpass (as well as the outright elimination of Storrow Drive west of Arlington Street). In the short term, perhaps the Bowker should stay in place until those larger fixes are implemented.
 

curcuas

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Exactly. A polluting, loud viaduct in the center of Boston's densest residential neighborhoods, cutting a key park link is a terrible idea.

I would also argue there's no reason to have the Bowker as a highway. The demand is induced by our unnecessary waterfront highways. A road link, sure. But let's keep the highways to the pike and 93.
 

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