As a collaborative effort to create more accessible connections between key landmarks across the city, the Boston Transportation Department and the National Park Service has initiated a movement to connect transit hubs and historic sites all over Boston via new pedestrian and bicycle paths.
Linking North Station to the Aquarium, and the Charlestown Navy Yard to Faneuil Hall, among many other destinations, the goal of Connect Historic Boston, according to an article on Boston.com and the City of Boston, is to provide safe and accessible means for people to visit the National Park Service’s historic sites while also promoting better alternatives to driving into the city. The design project is being funded by the National Park Service’s “Paul Sarbanes Transit in Parks” $400,000 grant. As part of Mayor Menino’s Complete Streets mission, Connect Historic Boston encourages both residents and tourists alike to walk, bike and take advantage of Boston’s MBTA rail and bus systems in order to help reduce car emissions downtown.
With the relatively new and growing concept of alternative transportation being introduced to the city of Boston, transportation officials believe in the importance of making within the city safer and easier. The new paths and trails that are going to be built as part of this new effort, as well as Boston’s bike-share program Hubway, will not only provide more convenient ways to get around the city, but also help travelers identify their whereabouts and locate their destinations more easily instead of just giving them a general sense of which direction they should be moving in.
The project is scheduled to begin work this winter, and is expected to take approximately eighteen months to complete. Starting in January 2012, the project will be completed in phases, starting with outreach and design, and followed with route analysis and selection, improvements to existing streets and sidewalks, and a unified management agreement between public agencies and private property owners. In order to provide the most effective public transportation amenity, the Transportation Department is looking to engage and involve local advocacy groups and neighborhood councils, encouraging them to provide their input during the earliest stages of the project through public meetings to discuss initial concepts.
Photo by Shawn Musgrave (weeklydig), Flickr Creative Commons.