^ proposed new roadway along Chelsea Creek, showing its direct link to the Suffolk Downs site
Recently Cargo Ventures, Inc.,(“Cargo”) a warehousing business servicing Logan Airport, proposed a major reconfiguration of a half-mile long stretch of East Boston waterfront abutting Chelsea Creek. Cargo’s plans depend in part upon the State conveying the railroad right of way that it owns, as shown on the map pictured above. No sooner had these plans become public than opposition from some moved the State to withdraw, temporarily, its conveyance, pending “further study.” Clearly what the State means by “further study” is time for the various interests affected to weigh in on either the Yes side or the No.
We stand with the “Yes” side. Here’s why :
( 1 ) the plan will create a shorefront roadway that will offer some traffic relief to McClellan Highway, which is the only highway that commuters from coastal communities North of Boston can reasonable take to and from Boston.
( 2 ) Cargo will build a garage and warehouse that will greatly expand its footprint, creating hundreds of jobs for residents of East Boston and other nearby communities.
( 3 ) the planned new road will connect directly to the entrance-way to Suffolk Downs, which will be undergoing enormous development during the next 20 years. Suffolk has already committed to mitigating traffic along McClellan Highway. This connector road serves that commitment beautifully.
( 4 ) the connector road will also relieve the traffic pressure on Boardman Street and Orient Heights’ main intersection, Saratoga Street at Bennington.
Much of the land area to be mitigated by cargo is today an eyesore of junkyards, auto repair shops, parking, and under-utilized old industrial buildings. Cities have learned to maximize their waterfronts’ appeal — and tax assessments. The new Chelsea Creek waterfront buildings will greatly increase these parcels’ City tax revenues.
It is difficult to find an objection to the Cargo plan that stands up to scrutiny. Will all the new jobs impact all traffic, not just the traffic relieved from McClellan Highway ? Maybe. Yet the new roadway’s direct link to Suffolk Downs suggest that it will reroute that development’s traffic increase far more effectively than any alternate suggestion that I have seen.
I invite your criticisms of our argument, yet I am doubtful that any such can overcome all the reasons for supporting this proposal.
Note : many thanks to Bayswater resident Mary Berninger for explaining to me graphically the positive benefits of this proposal.
— Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere