Gov. Deval Patrick, who lives in Milton near the multi-use path along the Neponset River, has declined to weigh in on how the state should make the trail connect Pope John Paul II Park to the Hyde Park neighborhood and Mattapan Square to Milton’s Central Avenue.
The state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is considering several options on how much the trail should veer into Milton or Mattapan. “No, it’s probably best if I don’t express a preference, to you or anybody,” he told the Reporter with a chuckle.
The governor says he bikes and walks along the path that stretches from Central Avenue to South Boston. “There are a lot of interests there,” he said of the proposed extension. “It’s a lot more dense in terms of residents in that section on both the Milton and the Boston side. But you know, the point is to have a continuous loop, or a continuous path and I’m sure they will work through a process to get to that.”
The state senator for Milton, Brian A. Joyce, told the Reporter last week that while no final decision of where to put the trail had been made, he had persuaded the DCR’s commissioner to exclude Capen Street from any plans, since members of the neighborhood objected to potential blasting and destruction of trees near their homes.
A final decision is expected in the fall, according to DCR. The options being considered include:
“Option A,” which would run exclusively along the Milton side of the Neponset River, largely following the high-speed trolley line and separated from homes by the railway.
“Option B,” which would start out on the south side and then cross over to the north side through a bridge and exit through the Mattapan MBTA station and busway onto narrow River Street.
“Option C,” which would stay on the northern side of the river and would be separated from housing through River Street.
Option D,” which would run on the south side of the river but include a connection to the north side in its middle.
“Option E,” which would start out on the south side of the river, cross over to the north side, and then cross back over to the south side, following the trolley line.
The Greenway Council, which has been heavily involved with the trail’s development, has also submitted a proposal that keeps the trail close to the river, having it cross over into the eastern end of Ryan Playground and then include a crossing at Mattapan Station. The council plan includes two “spurs” that would allow additional paths on both sides of the river, including one that would branch into the Capen Street neighborhood.