DCR rolls out $200M parkway plan

Boston Statehouse
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BOSTON (SHNS) – Improving intersections, reducing traffic, and making parkways accessible to bicyclists and pedestrians headline the recommendations in a new master plan that will guide the next two decades of work on more than 100 miles of state parkways.

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation on Friday published a 271-page Parkways Master Plan that has been in development since 2015, outlining short- and long-term priorities across the greater Boston region.

“Historic state parkways are a vital part of the parks system. They not only connect our parks together, but also themselves serve as recreational resources for hundreds of thousands of people in Massachusetts,” DCR Commissioner Jim Montgomery told reporters ahead of the plan’s release.

“As caretakers for the parkway system, it is our vision to restore our parkways to the greenways that they were 100 years ago.” Parkways in Massachusetts are in “a wide variety of conditions,” the plan notes, with some posing “significant barriers to walking and bicycling.”

Montgomery said DCR will target intersection conditions, crosswalks and sidewalks, accessibility, and shared bicycle facilities as major priorities.

The total cost of every project included in the plan would be $200 million over a 20-year period, all of which would be covered by existing appropriations to the department with no need for any additional funding authorization, according to Montgomery.

Several projects are already underway, such as reconstruction of the Arborway between Franklin Park and Boston’s Arnold Arboretum.

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