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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2827         FILED ON: 1/21/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 2029

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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PRESENTED BY:

Martha M. Walz and Jonathan Hecht

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To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act establishing a Charles River parkways and parklands commission .

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PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Martha M. Walz

8th Suffolk

Thomas M. Stanley

9th Middlesex

Jason M. Lewis

31st Middlesex

Denise Provost

27th Middlesex

Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

Jonathan Hecht

29th Middlesex

Alice K. Wolf

25th Middlesex

William N. Brownsberger

 

Sal N. DiDomenico

Middlesex, Suffolk, and Essex


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2827        FILED ON: 1/21/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 2029

By Representatives Walz of Boston and Hecht of Watertown, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 2029) of Martha M. Walz, Jonathan Hecht and others for the establishment of a Charles River parkways and parklands commission (including members of the General Court) to make recommendations for the preservation and increased use of the parklands along the Charles River.  Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

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In the Year Two Thousand Eleven

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An Act establishing a Charles River parkways and parklands commission .
 

              Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to establish a commission for the increased use of parklands on the Charles River, therefore, it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

                          Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, there shall be a Charles River Parkways and Parklands Commission which shall consist of:  two members of the senate whose districts include a parkway located adjacent to the Charles River west of the Harbor Dam and east of the Galen Street Bridge who shall be appointed by the president of the Senate and one of whom shall be named by the president of the Senate as co-chair of the commission, two members of the House of Representatives whose districts include a parkway adjacent to the Charles River west of the Harbor Dam and east of the Galen Street Bridge who shall be appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives and one of whom shall be named by the speaker of the House of Representatives as co-chair of the commission, the commissioner of the department of conservation and recreation, the parks commissioner of the city of Boston, a representative from the city of Cambridge appointed by the Cambridge City Manager, a representative from the town of Watertown appointed by the Watertown Town Manager, a representative of the Charles River Conservancy, a representative of the Livable Streets Alliance, a representative of WalkBoston, a faculty member of the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University named by the dean of the school, and a faculty member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology named by the president of the school.  All members shall serve without compensation.  The commission may consult individuals and entities outside of its membership for research, advice, support and other functions necessary and appropriate to accomplish the commission’s objectives. Staff of the department of conservation and recreation and the department of transportation shall be made available to assist the commission with its work.

                          The commission shall have as its goals the preservation for recreation and increased use of the parklands along the Charles River by non-vehicular users.  The commission shall make an investigation and study relative to the parkways located adjacent to the Charles River west of the Harbor Dam and east of the Galen Street Bridge. Said investigation and study shall include all intersections and all streets that intersect the parkways for a half mile in each direction from the intersection with the parkway.  The commission shall study and report on (i) whether traffic on the parkways can be directed to regional arteries, including but not limited to the Massachusetts Turnpike, Route 128 and Route 93; (ii) whether vehicle travel lanes on parkways can be narrowed or eliminated, and, if so, where such lanes can be narrowed or eliminated; (iii) whether parkland alongside the parkways can be enlarged, and, if so, where such enlargement could occur; (iv) whether walking and bicycle facilities can be improved or added and, if so, where such improvements or additions could occur, and the maintenance and capital costs associated therewith; (v) whether and where connections across and along the river for non-vehicular parkland users can be make easier and safer; (vi) how to improve the ease and safety of access to the parklands from the adjacent neighborhoods; and (vii) the possible maintenance savings from reducing road surfaces from active use by cars. The commission shall study how traffic can be directed away from the parkways in order to strengthen their intended use of providing access to the parklands and the riverfront. 

                          In completing its report, the commission shall reference and incorporate the goals of the Historic Parkways Initiative, the masterplan for the Charles River Basin completed by the Metropolitan District Commission, the Massachusetts Healthy Transportation Compact and the Pathway study.

                          The commission shall submit a report of its findings together with legislation, if any, to the clerks of the House of Representative and the Senate who shall forward the same to the chairs of the joint committee on environment, natural resources and agriculture no later than November 30, 2012.

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