Paul McMorrow has the right idea about the “asphalt moat” that is Melnea Cass Boulevard, but he draws the wrong conclusion about the proposed changes (“Untangling Boston’s mini-highways,” Op-ed, March 19). Boston is not “putting the roadway on a diet.” Boston’s Transportation Department has plans to reconstruct the roadway as six to seven lanes, widening the physical barrier between Lower Roxbury and Dudley Square. Renderings prettified with so many trees you can’t count the lanes are available on the city’s website.
Apparently the planning has been so quiet, even Globe columnists missed the controversy. The phrase “using the existing ROW [right of way]” in the description of the reconstruction in the state’s database doesn’t sound like roadway expansion. However, if the memory of land takings for the Inner Belt Expressway is part of your DNA, you will be asking again: Is this project for the neighborhood or commuters?
The street is tree-lined already. No need to wait for reconstruction. These mini-highways to which McMorrow refers, including the Casey Overpass surface road replacement and Rutherford Avenue, are getting renamed urban boulevards, but a multi-lane stretch accommodating through-traffic remains their gestalt.