Community Transportation

Boston Receives $400,000 From National Park Service To Connect Historic Downtown Sites

The National Park Service has awarded a $400,000 grant to Boston Transportation Department to “Connect Historic Boston” through walking and bicycle infrastructure between the T and NPS sites in the North End, West End, Charlestown and Downtown Boston. According to the release at today’s event:

The “Connect Historic Boston” initiative will be driven by an extensive community process.  Open public meetings will be held at key points in the design process.  Consultations with key stake holders, including community groups, non-profits and advocacy groups active in downtown Boston, the North End, West End, Bulfinch Triangle and Charlestown will be held as well.  The first meeting of what is expected to be a year and a half of public process will be held in January, 2012.

The full press release is shown below:

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE AND BOSTON TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCE “CONNECT.HISTORIC BOSTON” INITIATIVE

The Boston Transportation Department and the National Park Service launched the Connect Historic Boston initiative at an event today.  They were joined by neighborhood, business and advocacy groups at the announcement.  The two agencies are partnering to design pedestrian and bicycle connections between transit hubs at North Station, Aquarium and State Street, and National Park sites including visitor centers at Faneuil Hall, the Charlestown Navy Yard and the Harbor Islands Pavilion on the Greenway.  The National Park Service has conveyed a $400,000 Federal Transit Administration “Paul Sarbanes Transit in Parks” grant to the City of Boston to fund the design project.

“I am committed to creating safe and attractive pedestrian and bicycle connections between two of Boston’s most prominent assets, its public transit system and its historic treasures,” Mayor Thomas M. Menino said.  “As part of our Complete Streets mission we want to encourage neighborhood residents and tourists to walk, bike and ride the T to our public destinations to reduce pollution from single-occupancy cars.”

“The National Park Service is pleased to forward these funds to our partners in the City of Boston to demonstrate how access to parks and historic sites can be optimized for visitors and city residents,” said Boston National Historical Park Superintendent Cassius Cash. “Our urban and national parks can be cornerstones of health for visitors, employees, neighboring communities, and the environment.”

Today, tourists and residents from communities throughout the state often drive to Boston’s historic sites directly or seek nearby downtown garages.  Well-signed, marked and accessible pedestrian and bicycle paths connecting MBTA stations to key attractions will encourage the use of public transportation.

The Boston Transportation Department will commence design work this coming winter.  The phased process includes:

Development of an overall vision and corridor-wide guidelines,
Routes analysis and selection,
Preliminary engineering designs for improvements to streets and sidewalks along the connecting routes,
“Smart” way-finding signs, and a
Unified management agreement between responsible public agencies and abutting private property owners.

Cost estimates to implement the final design will also be prepared to enable the Park Service and the City of Boston to seek construction funding.

The “Connect Historic Boston” initiative will be driven by an extensive community process.  Open public meetings will be held at key points in the design process.  Consultations with key stake holders, including community groups, non-profits and advocacy groups active in downtown Boston, the North End, West End, Bulfinch Triangle and Charlestown will be held as well.  The first meeting of what is expected to be a year and a half of public process will be held in January, 2012.

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