MassDOT Seeks Public Feedback on Throat Alternatives, Including Modified All At-Grade
October 8, 2020
WRITTEN BY RICK DIMINO, PRESIDENT & CEO
We are pleased to share that MassDOT and the Federal Highway Administration have formally accepted a version of the A Better City/City of Boston all at-grade alternative—now referred to as the “Modified All At-grade option”—as the all at-grade alternative to carry forward in the formal review process for the I-90 Allston Multimodal Project. The consideration of this option brings the Commonwealth closer to realizing a vision that both improves mobility for all while protecting and providing greater access to the Charles River.
We look forward to continuing to work with MassDOT to further refine their all at-grade concept and to ensure that it is ultimately selected as the preferred alternative, including through the additional public meetings scheduled for this month and the extended public comment period that closes October 30th. This announcement is the culmination of extensive technical analysis and advocacy from A Better City’s team and our members—we thank you for your continued support as we work to bring this transformative project to fruition for Greater Boston.
MassDOT Advisory: I-90 Allston Multimodal Project
MassDOT Seeks Public Feedback on Throat Alternatives, Including Modified All At-Grade, Comments Accepted through October 30
BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is beginning a public engagement period seeking input on the designation of a preferred alternative for the “throat area” of the I-90 Allston Multimodal Project from among three options.
Although not required by NEPA, MassDOT has committed to holding additional public engagement. First, a virtual public meeting of the Allston Multimodal Project Task Force has been scheduled for 6 p.m., Thursday, October 15, 2020. Progress on the project will then be discussed at the MassDOT Board of Directors meeting on October 19, and MassDOT will hold an additional public meeting Tuesday, October 20, 2020, and will accept additional public comment through October 30th.
This summer, MassDOT filed a Scoping Summary Report (SSR) containing three options for the throat area. Recently, MassDOT formally requested the substitution of a Modified All At-Grade option in place of the All At-Grade throat option presented in the SSR, one based on extensive discussions with the City of Boston and A Better City.
The Modified All At-Grade Option contains a wider version of the Paul Dudley White Path on a boardwalk, as well as a wider “living shoreline” at the edge of the Charles River. With these changes, the Modified All At Grade does create more significant intrusion into the Charles River, but MassDOT believes that, on balance, the benefits of the variant in terms of bicycle and pedestrian accommodations delivered by the rethinking of the Paul Dudley White Path and the aesthetic and potential environmental benefits of the living shoreline – both of which have received significant stakeholder support – make it a more desirable version of the All At-Grade featured in the Scoping Summary Report.
MassDOT welcomes public feedback on how the three throat alternatives compare against both the project purpose and need and the selection criteria presented in the Scoping Summary Report. Feedback may be emailed to I-90Allston@state.ma.us
through October 30. MassDOT will share this feedback with FHWA and the cooperating agencies.