I had been hoping to take Doug’s ride for years but usually was on vacation when it happened. I wasn’t disappointed this year when I finally had the opportunity. Some observations:
In contrast to the old and sometimes rather shabby appearance of many parts of Boston, there is much that is new and impressive north of the Mystic River. Massport money and mitigation money from the Big Dig have funded some impressive new parks and paths — see Doug’s photos for examples. Local advocates have worked to shape these gains. Similarly, the mandate to build a new sewage treatment plant has resulted in a stunning structure at Deer Island, with an occasional whiff of sewer gas and a view of a very large wind generator too. It is possible to ride all the way around Deer Island on a path, with some superb scenic outlooks over the harbor as well.
On the East Boston waterfront, there is a park with some impressive outdoor sculptures, which you can see Doug’s and my photos.
Constitution Beach in Revere is a very nice swimming and picnicking beach, with very convenient access from the Blue Line.
All these things create a sense of place and a dynamism which remind me of the Chicago waterfront, which I also had the good fortune to visit this summer.
On the other hand, there are issues with design of bicycle facilities, and I also have documented some of these in my photos. Suffice it to say here that Massport and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority make some mistakes that compromise bicyclists’ safety — which might be expected, as bicycling is only tangential to their missions — but so does the City of Boston, in designing its streets.