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Walking along the Watertown-Cambridge Greenway on a sunny Saturday afternoon in early fall, the first thing you notice is how quiet it is. Following the tracks of a former B&M Railroad line, the first phase of the new greenway runs through a sparsely developed area in Watertown, and for much of the trail there is little traffic noise to be heard. The vegetation on either side of the trail has been allowed to grow up, hiding the outside city and further blocking noise. There were also surprisingly few people; in a half hour spent walking the trail I only encountered a single jogger. Continue reading
When Lisa Beatman found out that none of the children who lived along her street were allowed to play outside in front of their homes, she didn’t need to ask why. During a span of 18 months there had been three fatal crashes, 50 injuries, and over 200 traffic crashes on American Legion Highway near her home. Each day she witnessed the speeding, cut-through traffic that created a hostile and dangerous environment for anyone on the street. “We’d become resigned to it. Constantly complaining to each other wasn’t getting us anywhere. I knew we needed to take some action.” Continue reading
On a slightly overcast Saturday in late July, Dorchester’s Neponset Park was abuzz with activity. Children hovered by the splash pad and ice cream truck, while others checked out displays on local wildlife by the New England Aquarium and Mass Fisheries and Wildlife. Visitors paddled canoes and kayaks along the quiet stretch of river between the Granite Ave and Route 93 bridges and people on bikes wove through the park on the paved, multi-use Neponset River Trail. Continue reading
The East Boston Greenway is in many ways a success story for advocates of urban trails. The work of local advocacy groups like the Boston Natural Areas Network, Friends of the East Boston Greenway, and Airport Impact Relief, Inc. has lead to the creation of a remarkably continuous corridor, connecting major open spaces in a neighborhood that has historically been fragmented by infrastructure like the MBTA Blue Line, Route 1A and Logan Airport. Continue reading