Ask Governor Patrick to Build the Charles River Underpasses

Please click here to voice your support for this important project

The Massachusetts State Government is considering whether to build pedestrian underpasses at the Anderson (North Harvard Street), Western Avenue, and River Street bridge intersections along the Charles River. These underpasses:

  • will be much cheaper to build now vs. 75 years from now during the next bridge renovation project
  • can be very easily integrated into the construction plans while the bridges are being restored next year;
  • will make it safer and easier for cyclists, runners, skaters, wheelchair users, and pedestrians to enjoy the river paths, with gains to public health, recreation, and the environment; and
  • View of the Anderson Bridge from
  • will reduce congestion and traffic jams for vehicular traffic.
Possible Anderson Bridge underpass 


  1. Anonymous10:46 AM

    If I am looking at this properly, wouldn't you have to add a great deal of landfill to the river in order to build this underpass. this would mean that the narrow would be much narrower at this section of the river and therefore; would raise the water level and we would lose existing landmass on the Cambridge side. Or, would we the two lanes of traffice above the existing overpass be made into one? There are sidewalks, several crosswalks and enough lights to press to get safely across in any direction. Anybody who doesn't press for the walk signal and use the sidewalks and crosswalks is an idiot to try it any other way.

  2. Anonymous10:48 AM

    Sorry, meant to say, that would mean that section of the river. Didn't proofread it:)

  3. Hi - You raise some important points about how these underpasses would affect the river, and I've added a photo to show the situation better. The proposals being made would NOT require adding any landfill to the river. At the Anderson Bridge there is plenty of existing land near the bridge to put an underpass. And at the River St and Western Ave bridges the underpass could be supported by pilings. The existing surface intersections are crowded and over capacity, particularly at the River Street bridge across from the DoubleTree hotel.

    Have you ever ridden bicycles with young children along the river and been concerned about their safety while approaching or waiting at these intersections? Have you ever seen accidents or near-accidents caused by people who don't wait for the walk signal or drivers who don't follow the rules?

    Giving people a car-free option so they can ride bikes, roller blade, jog, walk, push strollers, etc. along the river without having to deal with these intersections would be a great improvement in my opinion.

  4. Thank you, Harry. I was hit by a car crossing at River Street when I was pregnant. There is no walk sign or crosswalk at that intersection. It is very dangerous.

  5. Anonymous3:02 PM

    No, I have never gone down the River (except the baby pool) to do anything. My mother wouldn't allow me to go there. Back then, some of us did what our parents told us to do, unlike today's kids. I have walked there on JULY 4, the most crowded day of the year, with a carriage and friends. Did not have a problem, probably because we crossed at the lights and looked both ways before crossing and did not take our sweet time getting across the street the way some pedestrians do. As for the cars; I drive everywhere. The accidents happen at that corner because some drivers can't figure out which way they are going because there aren't any signs. I would love to be a cop and fine every person who crosses out of the crosswalk and against the lights. I almost hit someone wearing all black on Arsenal Street crossing from one mall to the other, headphones on, didn't even look. It's A LOT EASIER for a pedestrian to stop and look than it is to stop a 2,000 lb. or more vehicle on a dime.

  6. Anonymous4:36 PM

    I'm so glad you wrote about this. There are so many organizations that want to support this effort. Just today the Level Renner online magazine ( posted a full article on what this means and how to support the cause via twitter, facebook, and where to add your name to the petition. Here's the full article: