Wednesday, April 24, 2024

From Marilyn Wellons, of the Riverside neighborhood, Oct. 7, 2016: As I remember, all agreed that closing Beacon Park Yard – on Allston land now owned by Harvard – and moving its freight operations to Worcester in 2013 would inevitably increase 18-wheelers within Interstate 495. The focus was on air quality and damage to roads and bridges from ever-heavier trucks, not cyclists’ deaths.

LetterThe Worcester site’s environmental impact report allowed a calculation of air quality improvements in Allston to offset air quality decreases in Worcester. This is contrary to federal Environmental Protection Agency and state requirements for such analysis, but the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs let it go through.

A Harvard-funded report by the company HNTB analyzing environmental consequences of the move, possibly including additional truck accidents within I-495, was deep-sixed, so who knows? Part 2 of the two-part report would “never see the light of day,” one of the consultants told me.

Again, state analysis certainly didn’t factor in further collateral damage of cyclists’ deaths by truck, but here we seem to have it.