Statement by Samuel M. Gebru on the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Repair Project and Impact on Cambridge’s Memorial Drive

June 27, 2017

Cambridge, MA—Cambridge City Council candidate Samuel M. Gebru released the following statement on the upcoming repairs to the Commonwealth Avenue bridge above the Massachusetts Turnpike in Boston and the anticipated impact on Memorial Drive in Cambridge:

“As a longtime resident of 812 Memorial Drive, I have come to greatly appreciate the seasonal closure of a portion of my road on Sundays for pedestrian recreational use. This stretch of Memorial Drive along the Charles River from Western Avenue to Fresh Pond Parkway, known as Riverbend Park, has created a sense of summertime community since the 1980s and continues to contribute significantly to our city’s urban open space.

“While I am disappointed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) decision to keep Memorial Drive open on two successive Sundays this summer—July 30 and August 6—I understand the critical necessity of this project to ensure the safety and integrity of the Commonwealth Avenue bridge in Boston. Memorial Drive’s closure will accommodate the anticipated gridlock brought about by lane closures on the Turnpike.

“I am concerned about the possible negative impact of this additional traffic on our Riverside and Cambridgeport neighborhoods. I urge DCR officials to proactively work with abutters and neighborhood groups to explore ways to ensure minimal impact on our city’s residential streets as motorists detour on Memorial Drive.

“The Charles River’s urban parklands remain an integral component of what makes our city an attractive place to live and visit. I encourage DCR to develop a regional integrated plan with the residents of Cambridge and Boston to expand the vitality, beauty, safety, and accessibility of our treasured parklands.”


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