|Tuesday, Sep 10, 2013|
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced on September 6th that the City of Boston has been selected as a recipient of a $15.5 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER discretionary grant, to fund alternative transportation projects under the “Connect Historic Boston” initiative.
“Connect Historic Boston” is an initiative between the National Park Service and the Boston Transportation Department to promote improved access for visitors and workers in the downtown historic area. It will make easy to navigate, safe, and engaging links between downtown transit, business, and historic sites.
Funded by the Federal Transit Administration, the initiative has an extensive advisory and interagency group with representatives from neighborhood councils, advocacy groups, non-profits, as well as federal, state, and local government representatives. Over the last twelve months, the project team has developed 25% engineering drawings for safety and navigational improvements.
The mayor was joined at the announcement by U.S. Department of Transportation Undersecretary Polly Trottenberg, Congressman Michael Capuano, Superintendent Cassius Cash of Boston National Historical Park and Boston African American National Historic Site, Historic Boston’s Kathy Kottaridis and community leaders from the North End, West End and Charlestown neighborhoods of Boston.
"This significant Department of Transportation grant will help strengthen Boston’s transportation infrastructure and improve access to historic sites,” Senator Warren said in a statement. “Boston’s rich history attracts millions of visitors from around the world every year, and these funds will support the local tourism industry and encourage economic growth. I applaud Mayor Menino for his leadership in securing this TIGER grant for the city.”
"Connect Historic Historic Boston” will create safe, attractive, and easy-to-navigate pedestrian and bicycle connections between two of Boston’s most prominent assets – the public transit system and the City’s historic treasures. TIGER grant funding has the potential to generate a sea change in the use of alternative transportation modes by residents and visitors to experience Boston’s rich history.
“Boston has some of our country's most treasured historic sites, which attract tourists from around the world.” Representative Capuano said. “These federal funds will improve visitor access to our history by better connecting the sites to public transit through pedestrian and bike paths.”
The grant will fund a number of projects, including a high-quality bicycle facility with connections to regional and local paths, a new pedestrian network to better link the Haymarket bus and subway station to the NPS Faneuil Hall Visitor Center and Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion, the transformation of Constitution Road in Charlestown into a welcoming street with sufficient space for pedestrians and bicycles, and a prominent pedestrian entrance to Boston African American National Historic Site at Joy and Cambridge Streets.
"Under Mayor Menino, the city has made a substantial commitment to construct bicycle lanes and initiate a bike share program, and this project will compliment those efforts and national initiatives, like the First Lady's 'Let’s Move Outside' campaign, by demonstrating how our urban parks can be cornerstones of health for visitors, employees, and neighboring communities," said Superintendent Cash.
The “Connect Historic Boston” initiative reflects Call to Action #4, to improve urban residents’ knowledge of and access to outdoor and cultural experiences close to home by ensuring that every national park located in an urban area has a well-promoted physical connection to the public transportation system or to a pedestrian/bicycle path.