On June 9, 2016, the ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the first phase of the Grand Junction Path, including a pocket park at the corner of Main Street & Galileo Way.
The Cambridge Redevelopment Authority led and executed the project, along with the Department of Public Works and significant support from CDD (planning and coordination) and MIT ($$$).
This is a major step toward building momentum for the overall Grand Junction Path, which will ultimately link with the Charles River Paths, the future multiuse path in Allston, and the future extension of the Somerville Community Path.
As Cambridge City Manager Rich Rossi pointed out at the ribbon-cutting, the Grand Junction Path is always an uncontroversial 9-0 proposition at City Council with support throughout the community. As I pointed out, it still took 15 years to get this one small section built, with some planning progress made on the rest, but a long way to go. Since most of the path will be on property owned by either MassDOT or MIT, continuous engagement must take place with those entities. Agreements with developers to construct abutting path sections should be made, and the $10M request from the City Manager toward designing and construction the path north of Binney Street must be followed through proactively.
The Main Street to Broadway section now serves as a “demonstration piece” of what we could have along the entire Grand Junction corridor, and furthers the demand for making this critical walk/bike link between Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville. Urban pathways are central to shifting the mobility paradigm away from cars, complementing transit, and reshaping one’s everyday interaction with the urban environment. The Grand Junction Path is a unique opportunity that’s been studied in depth since 2001, gains universal support, and has momentum, yet it’s taken this long to do the smallest, easiest section. As I said in my remarks at the ribbon-cutting, it’s all about showing up: we have to keep showing up.