News (Jan 2010): The City of Somerville has restarted the design of the riverside path connection under the Route 28 bridge and the MBTA is about to award an easement to the DCR for the path through the Charlestown bus yard.
The construction of this "undercarriage" will be paid for by Federal Realty, the developer of the Assembly Square redevelopment.
Also in the basin, in 2010 the DCR will be reconstructing the Alewife Brook multi-use paths that wind along both side of Alewife Brook throught the DCRs' Alewife Reservation and connect to existing and future Mystic River paths.
There are a number of groups supporting the reconstruction of these paths and improvments along the Mystic River to create a connected network of safe, accessible, and useful pedestrian & bicycle paths through our communities:
The Mystic River ....
New path connections are a core part of the 'master plan', and a core part of our goals as a path advocacy group. Paths serve both recreation and transportation needs, both for local residents and for visitors. These paths should offer great wildlife and natural habitat viewing, clear transportation benefits for local residents, and contribute to revitalizing the area.
Some of the proposed paths are paved, some unpaved. The unpaved paths will use a wheelchair compatible stone dust/soil binder formula that does not get muddy, even in heavy rain.
The Friends will work cooperatively with town, city & state agencies to ensure a community voice in the design process. The Friends will work to contact and involve all interested parties, and to make sure that solutions to concerns are given proper attention.
Paths have been a big boost to many communities: we will work for a good path here. A Federal government program exists to fund local path projects. Of all 50 states, Massachusetts makes the least use of this money, spending just 17% of the available funds. A solid path program can help us bring more money to the neighborhood! Paths will contribute, not take away, from solutions to other Alewife area problems.
All Alewife neighbors are invited to become involved, or simply to provide
input. If you object to the proposed improvements, that's OK also. All
voices are welcome. Perhaps we can work together to solve the issues
and build a better neighborhood for everyone.
Keeping a path safe requires some police efforts. Experience with other paths has shown that the nicer the path, the less problems there are. There have been plenty of poorly maintained areas that, once cleaned up, suddenly had less crime also.
Years ago there was a problem where local police did not have jurisdiction on DCR land. This loophole, which helped encourage crime on DCR land, has been closed:
"MGL 92/37 TITLE XIV. PUBLIC WAYS AND WORKS: A police officer employed by a city or town in whose boundaries, reservations or boulevards are located shall have all the same powers they have as a police officer of the city or town to enforce the laws of the commonwealth and the rules and regulations of the commission on any bikeway, pathway, park, reservation or other land under the care of the commission."
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