Big news a-comin' this early evening re: the two-years-in-the-making proposed redesign of the 3-mile Charles River Esplanade. In anticipation, the Phoenix's Jon Garelick sat down with some heavies involved in the process, including architect John R. Shields, chairman of the Esplanade 2020 Vision committee, who laid it on the line:
We come at this with the point of view that we want to create the best park in the world, and Storrow Drive and the Bowker Overpass don't help that. The neighbors, for the most part, people in the neighborhood, agree with us. There's a very strong movement in the Kenmore area to do something about the Bowker Overpass. And what our traffic people have done is they've looked at Storrow Drive and they said, "This is really a very poorly engineered roadway." . . . All of the exit ramps and entry ramps are on the wrong side, literally. You exit off the high-speed lane. It's frankly just 1951 highway engineering with no regard for much of anything.
Right on. Now, whatever became of Boston's own stab at a High Line-style park? We've got some of the basic pieces in place already (see above), enough to start connecting all the major parts of the Hub via one grand, urban walkway.