$1 Billion Mass Pike Redesign Offers a Second Chance for Urban Design
A column by Renée Loth reveals details and an opinion about the ongoing planning of a new route for the elevated section of the Mass. Pike in Allston [pdf].
Loth notes the challenges facing the project, which has many stakeholders to satisfy. A group of urbanists has emerged to push Massachusetts Department of Transportation to "unchoke the throat"—the throat referring to the area under and to the east of the viaduct that elevates the section of the Pike. The idea to "unchoke the throat" would add an elevated boardwalk extending over the river, widen pedestrian and bicycle paths, add a landscape buffer, and improve public transit—in addition to "knitting together the south side of Allston with the burgeoning new enterprise campus Harvard University is building to the north."
Loth builds the case for these urban design improvements by providing a history lesson on the development of the Pike's current route, and a reminder that it's the citizens of Massachusetts that really lost out from the litigious process that conjured the current arrangement.