The Dorchester Coast Greenway project involves a coalition of stakeholders – DotBike, Boston Natural Areas Network, Boston Cyclists Union, Dorchester Environmental Health Coalition, National Grid, local neighborhood associations, Mass Highway – working as a team to connect the existing Lower Neponset River Trail aka Neponset Greenway (which now peters out at Tenean Beach) and the Harbor Trail at UMass Boston. Completing this 1.5 mile “missing link” will provide a robust, safer and regionally accessible link to the Boston HarborWalk. At the June 2011 Neponset Greenway Council meeting, it was announced that the master plan study of this project, completed with input by local community residents by the Tufts University Urban & Environmental Policy & Planning Field Projects Team, is available online, click here to learn more!
On Thursday December 16th, hear DEHC present the latest on Dorchester’s community gardens projects at the Codman Sq. Health Council meeting, 4 to 5:30 PM at 637 Washington Street (Codman Sq Health Center) – also presentations on other local sustainable living resources, including a green, healthy home under construction on Brent Street.
On Friday December 17th, join us at 230 Bowdoin Street to hear the DIRT…
This fall, Bowdoin Street Health Center’s student interns, in collaboration with The Food Project’s DIRT (Dynamic, Intelligent, Responsible Teenagers) crew, conducted research on healthy food access Continue Reading »
Here’s an update to our 5/3/2010 posting: the latest new station to start taking shape on the Fairmount Commuter Rail Line (also called the Indigo Line) is now under construction on Talbot Avenue – see this recent Dorchester Reporter article. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts agreed to improve the Fairmount Line as part of a legally binding commitment in 2005 to mitigate increased air pollution from the Big Dig. Improvements also include Continue Reading »
The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) is expanding its Green Triple Decker project from two to five structures and is now accepting applications. In partnership with the federal Energy Star program, local utilities NSTAR and National Grid, and Historic Boston Inc., the BRA has developed a strategy to improve the energy efficiency of Boston’s triple-deckers which will result in lower energy costs for occupants, Continue Reading »
The Fairmount Line opened in 1855 and was one of Boston’s first commuter railroads, running approximately 9 miles between South Station and Hyde Park. After long years of declining ridership, the line was closed down in 1944 – it was reopened by the Mass. Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in 1979, but without any Dorchester or Mattapan stations. In 1987, two new stations opened in Mattapan (Morton Street) and Uphams Corner due to community pressure. Carrying about 2,000 riders daily, it is the smallest commuter line in the MBTA system and the only one entirely contained in Boston, MA. Currently there are four stations – Uphams Corner, Morton Street, Fairmount and Readville – and the line runs through communities (Dorchester, Mattapan and Hyde Park) that constitute more than 30% of Boston’s population.
Over the years, the Fairmount Corridor Collaborative (FCC), a group of local housing and economic development agencies, realized the commuter line was travelling through rather than serving the transit needs of the neighborhoods. Dorchester and Mattapan communities are served mostly by bus Continue Reading »
View Biking Franklin Park in a larger map
Proposal to Allow Bicycling in Franklin Park – Starting in January 2010,
the Franklin Park Coalition, Dot Bike, DEHC and other local groups and individuals joined together to try and change the city of Boston’s rule that does not permit bicycling in Franklin Park. This new bike advocacy alliance hopes that the Boston Park Commission will officially allow bicycling on those paths that are wide enough to be classified as “shared use” between bicyclists and pedestrians. Shared paths with frequent use should be 10’, less used paths may be 8’. All paved paths in the park were carefully measured, recorded, and photographed.
While this rule is not enforced, and there are frequently bicyclists on the paths in Franklin Park, removing the rule will:
- Encourage bicycling as a healthy activity for children and adults;
- Offer bike commuters a safe cross-town route off of city streets for part of their ride.
- Enable park entrance and access improvements that will make it easier for bicyclists, wheelchairs, and parents pushing strollers to enter and move throughout the park.
In 2009, advocates in the neighborhood were able to enjoy some hard-earned new and improved open spaces in the neighborhood, like the new Elmhurst Playground in the Talbot Norfolk Triangle neighborhood, the new “Paul’s Park” at Washburn and Howell Streets in the Polish Triangle, and the improvements to the Geneva Cliffs Urban Wild in Bowdoin-Geneva.
DEHC was involved in a number of these efforts as an integral part of the larger community, and we look forward collaborating for a strong 2010 Continue Reading »
Nominations are now open for Mayor Menino’s 2010 Green Awards, which recognize local sustainability and environmental awareness leaders in three different categories - Green Business Awards, Green Residential Awards, and Bike Friendly Business Awards. Constructing offices with recycled plastic bottles, providing a fleet of bicycles for commuting employees, and creating rooftop gardens are just some of the innovative approaches that businesses are taking to green Boston. Residents will be awarded for practices such as sustainable home renovations, pollution reduction, and sustainable landscaping methods. Nominations will be accepted until February 26, 2010.
Dear Boston Park Commissioners:
Franklin Park has incredible potential as a recreation resource for people from all walks of life and all parts of Boston. But as it is currently configured, it has not yet fully become the magnet for fitness activities that it can be, and this is of particular concern as we face a global obesity crisis. Golfers, university and high school track teams and other sports teams use the park, but we at the Dorchester Environmental Health Coalition are concerned about the average Bostonian, and how they use the park.
Getting rid of an outdated law against cycling on Franklin Park’s paths is, we believe, a promising step toward a park that can welcome fitness seekers of all kinds. Cycling is a low-impact but high-intensity exercise that has been proven to aid weight loss and improve cardiovascular health. Many of the park’s paths are wide enough to accommodate both walkers and cyclists, and the more people that are welcomed into the park, the better park security becomes.
Franklin Park is also a safe place where parents can take their children to first learn to ride a bike, and where people of all ages who wish to improve their cycling skills can come with peace of mind for their safety.
In the future, when more funding is available, we hope the commissioners will consider improvements to paths and roadways that would more effectively welcome cyclists to the park. Conflicts between users, when and if cyclists arrive in greater numbers, can then be mitigated with simple signage and road striping that designates separate space for walkers and wheeled traffic such as bikes, rollerblades and other sporting goods.
If our parks and open spaces are not places where all reasonable forms of fitness are possible, to where do we turn?
Dorchester Environmental Health Coalition
BOSTON PARK ADVOCATES: PARK MAINTENANCE MEETING
~January 19, 2009, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. ~
(refreshments at 6 pm)
Boston Public Library, Orientation Room in the McKim Building
If you are concerned about a park in your neighborhood that is not as well-kept as it should be, please attend this Boston Park Advocates (BPA) meeting to discuss maintenance of Boston’s parklands, with Antonia Pollak, Commissioner of the City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department, and Samantha Overton Bussell, Deputy Director, Urban Parks at the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).
Please visit the new BPA website at bostonparks.org and click the event to RSVP.