Reader Expresses Concern Over Potential Closure of Portion Of Dartmouth Street
I write to you today concerning the potential closure of Dartmouth Street between St. James and Boylston streets.
I wanted to give my perspective as both a biker and a driver in the South End/Back Bay area. I have lived in the South End for a few years now and commute daily to Cambridge for work and I typically do it by bicycle. My route takes me through Back Bay via Dartmouth Street and on to Comm Ave.
Shutting down that 200 feet of roadway will have no appreciable impact on the safety of my commute however I am concerned about the effect it will have on the traffic situation in Back Bay. Indeed, as others have mentioned in previous letters to the editor, there is a real possibility that increasing the traffic load on surrounding streets, particularly at rush hour will create a greater risk. This could come in the form of delays for ambulances and firetrucks getting to emergencies or frustrated drivers making aggressive maneuvers thus endangering bikers.
I am also concerned that the decision to shut down this connection appears to be under consideration without the voice of the residents in the area being heard. While interviews with random people who happen to have been in Copley as performed by the BPDA are a useful data point, this is a neighborhood and the residents of that neighborhood deserve to have a say in what happens. I would ask any of your readers who live inside or outside the city limits to consider how they would feel if a key street they used daily to commute was shut down without them ever being asked for comment.