New Bridges of the Charles River

Earlier this week, Hepstrack contributor Mary Boggs quietly celebrated her three-year wedding anniversary at her home in Pennsylvania.  Her wedding was typical compared to most other American weddings, except for two things: 1) after not being told that there was a fake cake layer, she managed to cut into it during the ceremonial cake slicing, and 2) her older sister getting hit by a car the day before the wedding.

On October 9, 2009, Mary received a phone call from her father that her matron of honor, her older sister Anne, had gotten hit by a car while she was out on a marathon training run earlier that day.  A car had run a red-light and hit her while she was legally crossing at a road/bridge intersection along the Charles River, less than a mile from her house in Cambridge, MA.  Luckily, Anne only came out of the accident with a broken ankle, massive bruising, some road burn, and relief that she had pretty toes due to the pedicure she had done in preparation for the wedding.  She was able to fulfill her matron of honor duties at Mary’s wedding the following day, albeit while going around on crutches and having a number of painkillers in her purse. She did not get to run the marathon that year, but she has since recovered and completed her third Boston Marathon and is training for her first New York City Marathon this November.

Yesterday, Anne sent out an email to all of her running friends via the NACHO Athletic Club about a petition that is going around the Boston/Cambridge running communities.  The petition was originated by the Charles River Conservancy and it calls for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to include underpasses to three bridges that cross the Charles River so that it will improve the safety of both healthy transportation and pedestrian activities along the River.  Governor Deval Patrick had added in an amendment to include the underpasses in the design but MASSDOT has not made it a high priority and the State has not released the funds to authorize the underpass upgrade.  A petition support website shows images of artist renditions of the underpasses as well as applicable bridge locations.  The petition can be seen and signed here.

Mary signed the petition earlier this morning and hopes that no one else will get hit like her sister did over three years ago.  Anyone else care to sign?

Artist rendering: Watercolor of Anderson Bridge underpass looking upriver on Boston side by David Smith (Charles River Conservancy)



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