Saturday bike tour to travel Fairmount ‘Greenway’ route from South Bay Center

By 
Brianna MacGregor, Special to the Reporter
Aug. 15, 2013

The Fairmount Greenway Task Force will host “Fairmount Greenway on the Move,” a guided bike tour along the proposed Fairmount Greenway route this Saturday.

According to Fairmount Greenway Project Manager Michelle Moon, the event aims “to show people the proposed route [of the Fairmount Greenway] and raise awareness with other biking advocates.”

The bike tour will start at 10:30 a.m. at the South Bay Shopping Center on the Mass. Ave. side of the parking lot near the Hubway station, arrive at the Mattapan Square MBTA station at 12 p.m. for bathroom and water breaks, and loop back to Uphams Corner to arrive in time for the Uphams Corner Street Festival.

At the festival, the Fairmount/Indigo Line CDC Collaborative will have a table with people available to answer questions about the Greenway, housing, transit, and other Fairmount Projects. The Fairmount Greenway will include an on-street six-mile boulevard for pedestrians and bikers. The route will mostly be on low-traffic streets and it will loosely follow the MBTA Fairmount “Indigo” commuter rail line.

In addition to the Greenway “path,” over 100 parcels of vacant, city-owned land have been identified as potential community spaces along the Fairmount Greenway. Pilot projects include an urban agricultural project on Ballou Avenue near the Talbot Avenue Station and “urban wild” enhancements with native trees and shrubs on Washington Street near the Four Corners/Geneva Avenue Station.

The team working on the Fairmount Greenway has been planning since 2008 and Moon said the “Fairmount Greenway on the Move” event represents an important step in reaching out to the community and informing people of the project’s status.

“We’re getting close to putting something in the ground,” she said. She added that the proposed route for the path has been selected and nearly finalized, and ideally, signage and pavement markings would be laid out along the route by next year. “There is an overall vision, but neighborhood by neighborhood, and site by site, they all have their own timeline,” she said, explaining that each neighborhood has taken responsibility for the city-owned lots in its perimeter.

Moon said that there have been several other community outreach events on proposed open spaces along the Greenway, including a barbeque on the proposed site in Codman Square hosted by the Codman Square NDC and activities like Zumba in Mattapan hosted by the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition.

According to Moon, the project is meant to beautify spaces that are currently vacant and provide a link between the different Fairmount neighborhoods.

“We’re trying to create a calmer, more attractive route to walk through,” she said.