New Multi-Use Paths In Watertown

Governor Deval Patrick has announced a new multi-use path and other bicycle improvements for the Watertown area. We here at MassBike support the construction of multi-use paths, and are working hard to make sure we hear more announcements like this in the future.

Press release from the governor’s office below.

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Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department
Office of Governor Deval L. Patrick
Press Release
Contact: Juan Martinez, Kim Haberlin, Alex Goldstein “ 617-725-4025; Colin Durrant (MassDOT) “ 617-973-7870

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES WATERTOWN MULTI-USE PATH, INTERSECTION IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS

WATERTOWN “ Friday, January 15, 2010 “ As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s Massachusetts Recovery Plan, Governor Deval Patrick today announced the construction of a multi-use path and various intersection improvements in Watertown will move forward this spring.

Across the Commonwealth, we are investing in bike and pedestrian improvements and expanding multi-use paths to improve public health, strengthen our communities and boost the quality of life for residents,” said Governor Patrick.

The Charles River/Alewife Connector multi-use path in Watertown will construct a path along an abandoned rail corridor from School Street to the Arlington Street intersection (at Nichols Avenue, Coolidge Hill Road and Crawford Street), with a spur connecting the new path to Arsenal Street across from the Watertown Mall parking lot. The $847,000 project will fully fund the project as designed, including the removal of existing railroad rails and ties followed by construction of a ten-foot wide asphalt path with grass shoulders over a distance of approximately two-thirds of a mile. In addition, under a $1.4 million project approved in late December the intersections of Spring and Summer, Mount Auburn and Summer, and Arlington and Nichols at the eastern limit of the new multi-use path will be resurfaced and traffic sensing devices and new, more accessible sidewalks with wheelchair ramps will be installed.

I am thrilled that this long-awaited project is moving forward and that funding has been awarded for the construction of Phase I of the bike path, said Senator Steven A. Tolman. After over a decade of hard work by various government agencies, community groups, and my brother, former Senator Warren Tolman, this multi-use path is now one step closer to completion. I hope that today’s announcement is the first of many and that together we can continue to make Watertown an even better place to live and work.

The Connector path is a significant step in integrating Watertown into the growing network of bike paths in the Metro Boston area, said Representative Jonathan Hecht. The intersection projects address long-standing issues of safety and accessibility. Together they represent a major investment in better multi-modal transportation in Watertown.

This is a great day for the residents of Watertown and I can’t wait to see the end result, said Representative Peter Koutoujian. These improvement will create an even more vibrant and enjoyable community. This is a prime example of how our delegation can work with the administration to make something good happen for our constituents.

MassDOT is committed to balancing the needs of all transportation users, whether they be drivers, bikes or walkers,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan. These multi-use paths and intersections will improve accessibility and allow cyclists and walkers to enjoy the outdoors while also expanding commuting options.

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3 Responses to New Multi-Use Paths In Watertown

  1. Marianna January 20, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    This is a little confusing, as the rail corridor is on the SAME side of the street as the Watertown Mall, but nonetheless, THIS WILL MAKE MY COMMUTE SAFER!!

  2. Ray March 6, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

    @Marianna
    I think the wording means the spur will connect to Arsenal Street which is indeed across from the Watertown Mall Parking lot. This spur is along the western edge of the Mall, and was the RoW for the spur serving the arsenal.
    It’s mostly a bank of trees now, I hope they can spare some of them.

    To me, nothing says the great outdoors like a paved sidewalk and a grass monoculture!

    The improvements to the road surface (especially) and the signals at the Nichols/Arlington intersection will be very welcome.

  3. Ray March 6, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

    It will be a useful shortcut from Arsenal Street to Arlington Street and The Belgian Pastry House.

    I hate riding through mall parking lots except in the wee hours so it beats going through the back of the mall to Wheeler Court and Elm.