Did you know that the East Boston Greenway connects two bodies of water? The Inner Harbor and Constitution Beach.
The Friends of the East Boston Greenway were out on the Greenway (Gove Street intersection) with Somali chai, chatting with neighbors who use the Greenway. We recorded no fewer than 150 users in those 3 hours. We chatted with about 50 of them about their knowledge of, and use of the Greenway to access the waterfront. Here are the responses:
- “Of course! We go to Piers Park all the time via the Greenway.”
- “What? The Greenway extends beyond Bremen Street Park?”
- “Constitution Beach? We go there, but by car. Didn’t know the Greenway goes there.”
- “We tried to go to the beach by the Greenway and got lost.”
Turns out this is not uncommon. People get lost at Frankfort street intersection, because they are not expecting to have to cross the street. Like everything in Massachusetts, it’s not hard once you know what to do.
Let’s say you are going along the Greenway at Bremen Street Garden passing by the library (on your left, and then Excel academy). You’ll then go under the highway. When you emerge, you’ll be at the intersection of Martin A Coughlin bypass Road and Frontfort Street. You cross Martin A Coughlin bypass road first. Then you cross Frankfort Street. (See below). Voila! Now you are on the Greenway connector leading all the way to Constitution Beach!
- “We only use the Greenway to go from home to the library and to Bremen Street park.”
- “I bike the entire 2-mile stretch regularly.”
- “We know we can access Constitution Beach via the Greenway but we don’t like it [Constitution Beach] because you can smell the airplane exhaust. We go to better beaches further north.”
- “I know you can get to Constitution Beach if you go this way.”
This question about waterfront access and the conversation that ensued turned out to be a learning experience for most people, including many regular users of the Greenway.