Rose Kennedy Greenway

DigitalSciGuy

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Ah, the perennial subject... Yes, the Greenway is no doubt better than what it was before, but the highway underneath is at odds with it.

Even if you cover the onramp parcels with something like Jersey City's Embankment, the adjacent streets and feeder roads to the on-ramps are still pedestrian-hostile and completely out of scale. The street running along the Embankment is about as wide as Atlantic Avenue alone. I know of no downtown highway ramp treatments in any city that somehow also manage to not be utterly hostile to urban fabric just because they're inherently incompatible uses. We dun goofed and no lipstick on this pig is going to hide that.

The highway was and continues to be a mistake and the nail in the coffin is all the downtown on-/off-ramps that make it more time competitive to drive right into the heart of the city. The park is the nicest lipstick on an ugly transportation planning decision imposed on us by the last generation.
 

Charlie_mta

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Ah, the perennial subject... Yes, the Greenway is no doubt better than what it was before, but the highway underneath is at odds with it.

The highway was and continues to be a mistake and the nail in the coffin is all the downtown on-/off-ramps that make it more time competitive to drive right into the heart of the city. The park is the nicest lipstick on an ugly transportation planning decision imposed on us by the last generation.
Why not just eliminate the on/off ramps? Yeah, I know, it's anti-automobile, but, hell, the underground expressway and its connections with Sumner and Callahan tunnels would still be fully in service. The existing surface artery could provide access to downtown destinations.
 

cadetcarl

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All other things remaining the same, I'd be interested to see how that loads up traffic at other points of access to the downtown area.

Coming in from the north I'd expect to see traffic shifted to Leverett>Nashua St, Leverett>Storrow>Beacon St, and Sullivan Sq>Rutherford Ave>N Washington St Bridge totally flooding the N Station area.

From the south, I guess everyone would try to get off at South Station/Atlantic Ave?
 

DigitalSciGuy

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I'd love to see this simulated, too. Just for fun.

In theory, I guess you could shutter the ramps and dig up only the ramp parcels and redevelop on them to justify the cost of doing that. This also helps to knit back the urban fabric. You could even go a step further and turn both Atlantic Ave and Surface Road/Purchase St into normal bi-directional neighbourhood streets to calm them and further improve the urban fabric.

Though really, if we're going to go through the effort of shuttering and reconfiguring the onramps, why stop there? Multiple YPT tours of the MassDOT CAT monitoring facility and the ventilation structures within the RMV building have really made me fully appreciate just how massive this project was. I think this is also why I'm so adamant about how this love for the Greenway as if it was exclusively tied to building the highway underneath is so stupid to me.

There are OVER TWO DOZEN VENT BUILDINGS associated with the whole complex of all the tunnels to ensure people aren't asphyxiated by the fumes of their cars. The Greenway is great on its own in segments but is compromised by everything done to accommodate the real intent of the gutting of the city. It's gimme greenspace at its best; islands of incredibly successful urban parks that're sliced apart from the city it's trying to activate by an overbuilt boulevard and onramps. Why do you think New York City has all but closed off Central Park to cars? Once you see it, you can't unsee it.

I'm happy to celebrate it when it works; it's an absolute dream outside of winter when people will actually step outside to activate it. I just can't let the worship for the Greenway go without remembering the ultimate urban fabric sacrifice Dukakis'/Salvucci's generation did for what could have been better. This is especially after having spent the better part of the last two years working alongside them to advance the vision for a connected regional rail network that they should've had the vision to pursue absent the CAT given their power and how other regions were investing in their transport networks at the time.

We can't reflect on the compromise of a linear park we have today without remembering that.

/very salty rant
 

ngb_anim8

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Re: Memo to Paul Berg

I was looking back at some really old posts in the RKG thread and found it interesting. It really is amazing just how far the Greenway has come. Someone mentioned in the seaport thread just how much the trees within the greenway have grown in a relatively short amount of time and how much the canopy has filled in. I find solace in the fact that so many people were wrong about this and give props to those who had faith.

He was referring to this image which took up about a half a page in the paper:


I don't agree with him that there should be more green space, but I thought he made it pretty clear he was talking about what he saw in the picture.

Quote:
RE "HOME stretch" (City & Region, July 22), about Greenway work entering its final phase: The predominant colors I saw were white, gray, black, and red. So little green."

*Nor do I think he should judge by what he saw in a picture, but he is technically correct in saying that it looks like there is more pavement than green space in that photo. Why that is a bad thing, I have no idea. :?:
 

ngb_anim8

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And then I happened upon one of my few posts on AB and I'm suddenly feeling vindicated.

...I for one do believe that businesses will start to catch on and reorganize or restructure buildings once the greenway is complete in order to take advantage of the new views and infrastructure. Right now several of the buildings, as people have mentioned, are cut off or truncated due to the artery being put up in the 50's. I saw several examples of buildings that could use new entrances or even tables/benches. One of the biggest problems though, especially with newer buildings, is that when they were built, the artery was still there. They didn't build entrances or in many cases windows on that side of the building. Many of them are just empty facades that need to be rethought now that the greenway is being completed. I'm not sure if that's wishful thinking or not, but I do believe that people will realize there is an opportunity there and then take advantage of it.

It may take time, but after walking the greenway and seeing just how much pedestrian traffic already existed, I'm actually quite optimistic. It's not even finished yet and there were people traveling from FH to the waterfront, the waterfront to the north end etc. Eventually, when there's actually something there, these people will stop with the kids, take a break, eat an ice cream, walk the dog, sit by the fountain or maybe just continue on their way. But there will be people there...at least in the warmer months.
 

Padre Mike

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On a recent trip to Boston I was particularly impressed by the lushness of the parks across from the Intercontinental as well as the abundance of flowers in the North End parks. Everything else around them fade into the background. The air even seems purer. Admittedly I was very afraid that maintenance would be an issue and that the various parks would fade into weedy oblivion. I am disappointed that the Chinatown park has not hit its stride and that the fountain is dead. It seems Boston has a hard time maintaining water features.
 

chumbolly

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Chainmail ... and a pipe. Don't overlook the pipe. "A rugged Minnesotan farm upbringing punctuated with quixotic escapism made for Karl Unnasch's background." Oh, of course!
 

stellarfun

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The descriptive list of this year's public art on the Greenway is both extensive and impressive: e.g., a Porscha turned into a spaceship. (And how did a certain poster miss that, ---from a perpetual, skyward gaze that's always seeking evermore height?)

https://www.rosekennedygreenway.org/files/6515/5620/6436/Greenway_Conservancy_Announces_2019_Public_Art_Exhibit__The_Auto_Show_.pdf



^^^Das Porscha
https://www.rosekennedygreenway.org/public-art/currently-greenway/erwin-wurm/

The new $1.4 million Caroline Lynch Garden



And the swings, structurally redesigned, have returned.



https://northendwaterfront.com/2018/06/carolyn-lynch-garden-opens-at-north-end-greenway-park-plus-bench-swings-are-back/

IMO, the Greenway has become a home run.
 

AmericanFolkLegend

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Does anyone know if the trellises at the North End Parks were supposed to have vines grow over them? Seems like that would be the goal, but I've never seen any effort to make it happen.
 

Downburst

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Does anyone know if the trellises at the North End Parks were supposed to have vines grow over them? Seems like that would be the goal, but I've never seen any effort to make it happen.
The trellises were meant to have vines, but because they're made from black metal, they become too hot during the day for vines to grow on them.
 

chrisbrat

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The trellises were meant to have vines, but because they're made from black metal, they become too hot during the day for vines to grow on them.
ha! that seems like a pretty ridiculous oversight. i'd say that they should have had a consulting horticulturist or landscaper or something for projects along the GREENway (i imagine they must have at points?), but even i -- about as far from a green-thumb as it gets -- could have figured that one out.

any plan in place to repaint them a lighter color?
 

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