Do you know if you can get to the East Boston Greenway from the Sumner Street overpass? If you haven’t tried, here’s the answer: Not directly. That applies to the Maverick Street overpass as well. If you find yourself on Sumner Street or Maverick Street, you’ll realize you have to walk to the Marginal Street entrance or to the Gove street entrance respectively. That stretch of the Greenway without any access in between is a good third of a mile. If we had access from Sumner and Maverick would that be a good thing? The Friends of East Boston Greenway talked to over a 100 people over the course of 3 hours on a busy weekend day on the Sumner Street overpass. The passers by were mostly East Boston residents, old and new, across an age range of 7 to 70, both genders, and several ethnic and racial backgrounds. Turns out not all people feel the same way.
- “Sure! Can’t see why it would hurt.”
This was by far the majority of the response. The more accessible the Greenway is, the better, for those who already use the Greenway, and find themselves wanting to get to it from different parts of the neighborhood. It will likely lead to more people using it, too.
- “Of course! I would love that.”
This came from people who use Sumner or Maverick streets often, and would love to be able to get to the Greenway directly. There were a few families that live right on the intersection of Sumner and Bremen, with their parking lot overlooking the Greenway, and they seem particularly excited about being able to get to the Greenway, which is practically their backyard, from their parking lot.
This response also came from some who were concerned for their safety while traversing this stretch of the Greenway. We have heard this response previously during neighborhood association meetings, referring to other sections of the Greenway. The responders in this case prefer many ways to leave the Greenway and get on to a street if they feel the need to.
This response came from people who have already noticed undesirable activity (drinking was mentioned explicitly and other illicit activity was hinted at) on the Greenway, and were concerned more access would lead to more such activity. One mother, in particular, said because sometimes her young children (preteens) go on the Greenway on their own, she’d like to be able to trust the space to be safe, and therefore less access is better.