In full transparency, the press release & photo were submitted to SOURCE media for publication.
BOSTON – Charles River Watershed Association has strong concerns about MassDOT’s decision to move forward with the existing proposal for a modified at-grade design for the Allston I-90 Multimodal Project, especially in terms of flood risk, polluted stormwater runoff, and impact on river health.The proposed design entails 12 lanes of highway abutting the river, with a narrow pedestrian bridge on a boardwalk in the river.
“Twelve lanes of highway, with the accompanying noise, air pollution, and polluted stormwater runoff into the Charles River, is a 1950s-era road design,” said Deputy Director of Programs Conrad Crawford. “It is 2022 and we should know better. We need to be reducing vehicle traffic, and prioritizing pedestrian, cycling, and public transit. This design keeps the car as king.”
An analysis carried out by CRWA in September 2022 found that out of the three options, the modified at-grade has the highest potential for future flooding, will treat the smallest percentage of impervious cover, will remove one acre of recreational water, and will result in the least amount of new parkland.
“We urge MassDOT to consider the impacts this design will have on the health of the Allston-Brighton neighborhood and the Charles River––increased flooding risks, magnified urban heat island effect and air pollution, increased stormwater runoff pollution, impacts to aquatic life and persistent interrupted public access to the river,” said Urban Resilience Advocate Dira Johanif.
“MassDOT should pursue lane reduction and other design solutions to improve the quality of life in adjacent communities, prioritize stormwater management, and protect Allston Brighton neighbors and the Charles River from increasingly volatile climate impacts and create the climate-resilient future we deserve,” said Conrad Crawford, Deputy Director of Programs.
Charles River Watershed Association’s mission is to protect, restore and enhance the Charles River and its watershed through science, advocacy, and the law. CRWA develops science-based strategies to increase resilience, protect public health, and promote environmental equity as we confront a changing climate.