Joint Meeting of the MassDOT Board of Directors and Fiscal Management Control Board

Testimony of Rick Dimino, President & CEO, A Better City | 9/21/2020

Secretary Pollack, members of the MassDOT Board, and members of the FMCB, thank you for the opportunity to provide public comment today.

A Better City remains opposed to the modified highway viaduct proposal for the I-90 Allston Multimodal Project. The highway viaduct presents a host of significant concerns, including roadway safety and construction impacts to both roadways and active passenger transit. Moreover, the highway viaduct is more costly and completely inconsistent with the 21stCentury design approach needed to support the region’s mobility, environmental, land use, and urban design needs and objectives. A Better City urges Secretary Pollack and the MassDOT Board to return to their previous decision to drop the modified highway viaduct as an alternative.

We are grateful that the Secretary and MassDOT are still considering an all at-grade approach and have met with us over the past several weeks to refine the best version of the all at-grade alternative. A Better City has submitted detailed drawings and narrative information to support the viability and quality of the A Better City all at-grade design, which is supported by the City of Boston. The A Better City team has addressed questions associated with lane and shoulder widths, drainage and stormwater, construction feasibility and staging, design flexibility related to the river’s edge.

At this critical juncture, A Better City urges Secretary Pollack and the MassDOT Board to substitute the current all at-grade concept in the Scoping Summary Report with A Better City’s refined all at-grade design concept so that it can be fairly and objectively evaluated and enhanced. As we have demonstrated to the MassDOT team, there are tremendous advantages to the A Better City all at-grade alternative, which can deliver the I-90 Allston Multimodal Project the region needs and deserves.

Given the very short alternative review process, we encourage the MassDOT Board to ensure that the A Better City/City of Boston all at-grade design approach is given every attention to move forward and to be strengthened—and to ultimately be selected as the preferred alternative. As you all know, this project will shape Greater Boston for the next century—we must seize the moment to pursue a truly transformational all at-grade alternative that will advance accessibility, equity, and sustainability.

Thank you for your leadership, time, and consideration

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