MassDOT is planning to alter the alignment of I-90, the Massachusetts Turnpike, through Allston. With a former rail yard now unused, there is potential to straighten the mainline of the turnpike and condense a spidering mess of ramps and toll booths to open up land for development. Recently, the DOT released two conceptual plans along with announcing the project.
The official MassDOT plans suffer in that they are primarily designs for high speed roads: while opening up land for development is noted, it appears very little thought was put into it. In addition, the plan does little to address a traffic nightmare that currently exists at Cambridge Street, where all drivers exiting and entering the Pike are forced through a small stretch of roadway. In addition, there is a nearby parkway with even further deficient on and off ramps that further compounds the traffic situation. This parkway, Soldiers Field Road, also is directly next to the Charles River, ruining an otherwise continuous linear park along its edge. Soldiers Field Road is not under control of the MassDOT, but rather the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and it does not appear the two departments have sat down to see if they could help each other out in this massively transformative project.
For some time, this has been a pet project of mine. With the announcement and release of these deficent plans, I started working on a proposal to counter it.
Please be sure to let me know what you think below! Over the past few months I have already amended several elements of the plan thanks to some great suggestions from local residents, and look forward to continuing to do so.