COMMUNITY PATH EXTENDING TO BOSTON

MBTA agrees to construct dedicated bicycle and pedestrian way in conjunction with Green Line Extension, creating 2-mile path through Somerville

SOMERVILLE
– The Community Path is heading to Boston. Massachusetts Department of
Transportation Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey announced today that the MBTA
will build an extension of the path along the future Green Line from Lechmere
Station to the forthcoming Lowell Street Station, connecting to the current
path and bringing the total length of Somerville’s bicycle and pedestrian path
to 2 miles.

Under
an agreement between the MBTA and the City of Somerville, the MBTA will first build
the path along the future Green Line from Lechmere Station to the forthcoming
Brickbottom Station at Washington Street as part of Phase II of the Green Line
Extension, which is scheduled for completion in late 2017 with the opening of
the new Lechmere, Brickbottom and Union Square stations.

As the Green Line Extension project continues, the MBTA and will
build the remaining stretch of the Community Path from Brickbottom Station to
the future Lowell Street Station. Last May, MassDOT began work on extending the
Community Path from Cedar Street to Lowell Street.

 

Once the Community Path is fully built, it will create a seamless
link from the Minuteman Bikeway to the Charles River paths, creating a 48-mile
continuous path network connecting 11 cities and towns in the Greater Boston
region. The Community Path will also provide emergency egress and a utility
corridor for the Green Line Extension.

“When
construction began last May on the Cedar Street to Lowell Street extension of
the Community Path, I said it was only the beginning and that we would extend
the path to Boston. That day is here thanks to the determination of so many,”
said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “This project is about much more than biking
and walking. It’s about building a community and a region that is equitable,
connected and vibrant. When we create connections between neighborhoods and
communities, economic health follows as our squares thrive, local businesses
get busier and a resilient, self-sufficient economic base is built for our city
and the region. That is the connectivity and vibrancy that will also help us
bring back our historic neighborhoods like Brickbottom and Inner Belt.”

“Today’s announcement of funding for the GLX Community
Path further demonstrates our vision for the future of transportation in the
Commonwealth,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “Investment in transportation
infrastructure that provides better access to more healthy, sustainable and
cost-efficient options is necessary to continue to move Massachusetts forward.”

 

Bicycle infrastructure is an integral component of the Green
Line Extension, which upon completion will have 1,100 bicycle parking spaces
throughout the seven stations, including dedicated Pedal and Park enclosed
bicycle storage units that can be accessed using a Bike Charlie Card. Last June,
MassDOT agreed to fund a complete design of the Community Path from Lowell
Street to Lechmere as part of the Green Line Extension; previously, the design
ended at Inner Belt.

 

“MassDOT’s vision for sustainable, healthy, accessible
transportation has no better example than the commitment made to the GLX
Community Path made here today,” said Secretary Davey. “The Patrick
Administration’s continued investment in transportation infrastructure is key
to the future of transportation in cities and towns throughout the
Commonwealth, and I’m proud to be here in the City of Somerville today
celebrating what that will mean for its citizens.”

 

 

Somerville’s bike network has more than doubled under Mayor Curtatone’s
administration, bringing the city’s total to more than 30 liner miles of bike lanes
in a 4.1 square mile city, along with the installation of 75 new bike racks and
10 bike corrals. The City has also updated and added pedestrian safety
infrastructure such as street trees, curb bump-outs and ADA-accessible ramps
that make the city more walkable. Somerville is now the 7th most
walkable city and the 9th most
transit-friendly city in the nation, regardless of population size, according
the 2014 national Walk Score ratings, and a Silver Bicycle Friendly Community
according to The League of American Bicyclists, a designation the city earned
only two years after earning a Bronze level designation.