The idea to create a Fairmount Greenway first emerged in 2008 and the Fairmount Greenway Task Force (FGTF) has been working on the project since then. The Fairmount Greenway Concept Plan was written by a Crosby, Schlessinger, Smallridge, local landscape architecture firm, in 2011 after the FGTF engaged 400 residents in the planning process. The nine-mile Fairmount Greenway route loosely follows the Fairmount Rail Line going through Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan and Hyde Park. Half the greenway is on local-traffic residential streets from Dorchester to Mattapan Square and the other half is a multi-use path section from Mattapan to Hyde Park, and the Greenway connects to the new Fairmount T Stations, schools, business districts, and community centers. To sustain a greenway effort for so long takes consistent efforts from local groups and residents. There is a continuous need for new energy and enthusiasm which the Healthy Community Champions brought to the FGTF. According to the American Trails, a national trails advocacy organization, “there are many benefits of trails and greenways that planners, funders, and the public need to know about: they make our communities more livable; improve the economy through … civic improvement; preserve and restore open space; and provide opportunities for physical activity to improve fitness and mental health.”
It was therefore a natural fit for the active transit Healthy Community Champions (HCCs) in Uphams Corner, Codman Square, and Mattapan to join to together with the Fairmount Greenway to make an explicit connection between healthy communities, active transit and the greenways efforts. The FGTF and HCCs have worked together on planning bike events such as the four-part Slow Rolls to the Beach series, conducting field work at intersections and the Fairmount Greenway streets to evaluate conditions for walking and biking, working with the Boston Transportation Department (BTD)’s new Slow Zones initiative in the Talbot Norfolk Triangle (TNT), play streets, and painting a pavement mural on Elmhurst Street in Codman Square (one of the HCC’s favorite activities).
We’re not slowing down in 2017! This winter the Fairmount Greenway is hosting a series of design charrettes in the five neighborhoods along the Fairmount Corridor. The HCCs have already participated in the kick-off event to introduce the volunteer designers to the Corridor. The HCCs are also assisting in outreach to residents and the local leaders at the charrettes to bring other residents into the discussions about improving infrastructure to promote walking and biking. We hope the creation of Neighborhood Greenway Councils will help working on active transit and meet with the City of Boston to discuss how to improve intersections, crosses walking, new pavement markings for bikes, etc. We hope to paint two more pavement murals on Magnolia Street (Uphams Corner) and Edgewater Drive (Mattapan). The FGTF and HCCs haven’t discussed any fun events yet, but we’re sure there will be a bike ride or two!
For more information, please email Michelle Moon, Fairmount Greenway Project Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.