The following is the text of a letter sent today by Boston’s Chief of Streets Chris Osgood to Secretary Stephanie Pollack, regarding the City’s feedback on MassDOT’s Invitation to Bid for the Railroad Right of Way off of McClellan Highway.
Secretary Stephanie Pollack
Massachusetts Department of Transportation
10 Park Plaza, Suite 4160
Boston, MA 02116
July 22, 2019
Dear Secretary Pollack,
We write to offer comments and a request with respect to MassDOT’s Invitation to Bid for the Railroad Right of Way off of McClellan Highway.
As you know, the parcel of land that is the focus of this ITB parallels Route 1A and serves as a buffer between East Boston and Chelsea Creek. Consequently, this parcel presents important transportation and resiliency opportunities — opportunities we want to thoroughly examine given the growth in East Boston and the region, as well as projections for sea level rise in the harbor. Moreover, as you are probably aware, the BPDA is currently in the process of a community driven, neighborhood-wide plan for East Boston (“PLAN East Boston”), for which transportation planning is a significant component. As written, the ITB does, in part, consider these transportation opportunities, particularly by requiring space for a shared use path and reserving the opportunity for the MBTA to use any future roadway infrastructure.
We want to ensure, however, that this ITB does not preclude any critical opportunities. Consequently, we ask that you rescind this ITB, so that the State, the City, other municipalities and the community can discuss how this land can best meet our shared goals.
This will give us the opportunity to engage the community and conduct an analysis on the ability of this land to improve mobility and resilience in the Route 1A corridor and have that analysis and engagement inform the next steps. We understand the effort that has gone into the ITB already by your team, and we will work with you on the next steps for planning and engagement with this parcel.
We appreciate your consideration of this request.
Chris Osgood Chief of Streets