This Thursday, April 10, MassDOT will host a public meeting in Allston to discuss the upcoming Massachusetts Turnpike Straightening Project, a $260 million project to simplify the ramp system at the Allston interchange, replace the structurally deficient elevated portion of the turnpike, and better support and maintain the future all electronic "open road" tolling at the interchange. The project will also free up between 60 and 100 acres of land for development.
The multi-phase project will start in fall 2016 and be completed by 2020, and will completely transform the South Allston land parcel between Cambridge Street, Soldiers Field Road / the Charles River, and the Beacon Park railway yard.
Though Governor Patrick announced the project last October, this will be the first opportunity to hear detailed plans directly from state officials.
Allston residents are filled with excitement about the possibilities that this blank canvas creates. A group of residents created the group "People's Pike" to advocate for community members to speak up and make sure the project is great for "those of us living, walking, running and cycling in Allston." Several advocacy groups, including MassBike, have been invited to participate on the project advisory board.
Members of the People's Pike group were responsible for major improvements for the Cambridge Street overpass project. And now they've turned their focus to this project that will have lasting impacts for generations to come. Will Allston be reconnected to the Charles River, Cambridge, and beyond? Will new parkland be developed along the river? What about new safe and inviting protected bike lanes to attract bicyclists of all ages and abilities? Is there an opportunity for new active transportation connections to knit Allston back together?
The upcoming public meeting will set the tone for entire project, and is an opportunity for residents to tell MassDOT what they want to see in their community.
Here are the details for the public meeting:
Thursday April 10, 6:30 pm
Jackson Mann Community Center
500 Cambridge Street, Allston
Can't make the public meeting? Follow People's Pike Twitter.