Letters:Hubway bikes and bridge underpasses could benefit to Watertown

 

Wicked Local Watertown

WATERTOWN — Many thanks to Emily Cataneo for calling attention to the tremendous opportunity offered Watertown residents by the newly expanded Hubway bike share program. (“Watertown wants Hubway — someday,” Aug. 2).

With stations not just in Boston but Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline, Hubway is becoming a truly regional system, and as Cataneo notes, Watertown is the logical next step once planning and contracting are completed. And despite Planning Director Steve Magoon’s assertions, a Hubway station in Watertown Square would indeed be within 30 minutes of other stations in Cambridge or even downtown Boston, especially if riders didn’t have to wait for long traffic lights at the bridge intersections.

All the more important, then, for Watertown cyclists to lend support to the Charles River Conservancy’s campaign to build underpasses at river intersections right now, while the bridges are being rebuilt. With underpasses on the Boston side, riders will be able to travel all the way from the Arsenal Street Bridge to downtown Boston without crossing traffic. And with improved access to the existing river paths, more and more Watertown riders will want to take advantage of this “bicycle superhighway.”

But the time to persuade MassDOT to include the underpasses in its bridge rehabilitation project is now, while planning for the bridge reconstructions is still underway. We encourage Watertown residents to move forward with planning for the community path and for Hubway participation, and we urge them to write to Stephanie.Boundy@state.ma.us at MassDOT to insist on underpasses. With these improvements in place, Watertown can look forward to a great future on wheels.

Renata von Tscharner

President, Charles River Conservancy

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