To read a prior SAND comments regarding this CAT/Tunnel Waterways Application, click here.

via fax and e-mail

Mr. Ben Lynch
Waterways Regulation Program
1 Winter Street, 8th Fl
Boston, MA 02108


Waterways Application W91-1038-N CAT/Tunnel C09D2
Fort Point Restoration

Dear Mr. Lynch,

On behalf of the Seaport Alliance for a Neighborhood Design (SAND), please accept these comments regarding the Waterways Application W91-1038-N filed by CAT/Tunnel on March 24, 2004. Over the past five years, members of SAND have attended most of the C09D2 Fort Point Restoration meetings presented publicly by CAT/Tunnel.

NOTIFICATION. As filed with this Waterways Application, CAT/Tunnel apparently did not list either the 249 A Street Association or Beacon Capital Partners as abutters in its 9/29/03 filing with the Register of Deeds. The 249 A Street Association and Beacon Capital Partners have the same geographical relationship to parcels within the scope of this Waterways Application as The Federal Reserve Bank, which is listed as an abutter.

PUBLIC ACCESS. Public access provisions warrant attention, especially considering that a number of “public” areas within C09D2 are small parcels surrounded by large private parcels. Conflicts between private and public rights ensured by Chapter 91 have become a systemic problem throughout Boston’s Harborwalk.

Privatization efforts along the Harborwalk during special events are most instructive. Consider for example the regular use of public ways for premium seating at movie and music events, and the unprecedented lack of public access during the Tall Ships of 2000. The vigilance of civilians has not proven effective as a replacement for City and State enforcement of public access rights. We encourage DEP issuance of a decision that reflects a strong regard for public access provisions outlined in this application.

MAINTENANCE PLAN. The Future Maintenance Responsibilities (section 7) suggests that open space conditions will simply be guaranteed in “good repair.”“Good repair” is an inadequate expectation of conditions for a park along the Fort Point Channel. There has been a lengthy history of feedback provided to CAT/Tunnel and your office with requests for the provision of a long-term maintenance plan. Park and Harborwalk users would certainly expect a reasonable and regular schedule of clean-up, irrigation of plants and trees, etc.

As the South Bay Harbor Trail, the Channel Center and Court Square Press projects are completed, areas near the Broadway Bridge and Cabot Cove will experience an increase in activity. We expect that bicyclists and pedestrians will be walking between South Boston and the South End and between the Broadway Bridge and Summer Street. At present, years after Artery landscaping, many of the plantings along C09D2 pathways are already dead or in a state of disrepair.

TECHNICAL MISMATCH. The illustrated plans do match plans as shown in our public process. As part of the C09D2 process, we understood that CAT/Tunnel was to create a new Binford Street Extension as a City-owned public way. Mt. Washington Street, presently a public street, would be turned over to The Gillette Company for private use. Both of these C09D2 street plans are in the scope of this Waterways Application, yet are not included.

Instead, a “Mount Washington Ave.” open space plan is included, terminating at a park near the intake station. This plan does not coincide with the plans we were made familiar with that illustrated the Binford Street Extension terminating at the park beside the intake station. (A letter from Mr. Breed of The Gillette Company to DEP of October 21, 2003 states “the presently proposed south sidewalk along Binford Street Extension terminates in the proposed park, not at the intake building.”) This Binford Street Extension must be included, documented and illustrated properly in the DEP Waterways Application. Sidewalks, plantings and other elements along the Binford Street Extension should be considered in the same detail as that of the Dorchester Avenue illustration provided with the Application.

We appreciate your consideration of these comments.

Best regards,

Steve Hollinger
on behalf of Seaport Alliance for a Neighborhood Design (SAND)

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