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Division Of Metropolitan Planning J 



Public Document No. 142. 



®ljr GUmutumwraltlj nf HJaaBarljUBrttB 



ANNUAL REPORT 



OF THE 



DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN 
PLANNING 



(JL*-*^-^ K~ V 



FOR THE 



Year Ending November 30, 192a 



^1 



vj^ y (JY^ 




PlBLICATlON OF THIS DOCUMENT APPROVED BT TltE COMMISSION ON ADMINISTRATION AND FlNANCE 

400. 4-'26. Order 4828. 



P.D. 142 



Division of Metropolitan Planning, 
November 30, 1925. 



To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives in General ( 'ourt Assembled: 
The Division herewith respectfully submits its annual report for the year ending 



November 30, 192 



Improved Transportation Facilities from Boston to East Boston 
Chapter 37 of the Resolves of 1925 directs this Division to submit in conjunction 

with its annual report a report on improved transportation facilities between 

Boston and East Boston. 
Chapter 37 reads as follows: 

RESOLVE DIRECTING THE DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN PLANNING 
OF THE METROPOLITAN DISTRICT COMMISSION TO STUDY 
AND CONSIDER THE TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES EXISTING 
BETWEEN BOSTON AND EAST BOSTON. 

Resolved, That the division of metropolitan planning of the metropolitan district 
commission is hereby directed to study and consider relative to the problems 
respecting the transportation facilities existing between Boston proper and that 
part of said city known as East Boston. Said division shall include its findings 
and recommendations relative to said problems in its annual report for the current 
year. Approved May 1, 192.5. 

This Division has in preparation a comprehensive report dealing with added 
transit facilities for the Metropolitan area. Accordingly in this report we deal 
only with the construction of vehicular tunnels or a vehicular bridge between 
Boston and East Boston. 

Prerious Studies 

There have been many reports and studies of bridges and tunnels between 
Boston and East Boston, the most important of these studies being listed below. 

In 1868 plans for a bridge were discussed, and a tunnel was recommended by 
the United States Army Engineers in Boston as being preferable. 

In 1892 the city engineer reported upon a tunnel with a 27-foot roadway, with 
a maximum grade of 4 per cent. 

In 1908 the Boston Transit Commission reported upon a tunnel, suggesting 
elevators instead of inclines at the ends. 

In 1909 a joint board composed of the Boston Transit Commission and the 
Board of Railroad Commissioners studied the question, but did not recommend 
the passage of legislation for the construction of a tunnel. 

In 1911 the same joint board reported again upon this problem. Its conclusions 
were that the construction of this tunnel would not do away with the necessity 
of operating the ferries; that under conditions existing at that time, with large 
use of animal power, the construction of a teaming tunnel would be inadvisable, 
but that when mechanical power is more generally substituted for animal power 
the matter might be properly revised. 

Tunnel Reports of 1920 and 1921 
In 1920 and 1921 the Division of Waterways and Public Lands of the Public 
Works Department and the Transit Department of the city of Boston submitted 
a joint report on a vehicular tunnel between Boston and East Boston. This report 
was prepared in response to an order of the Legislature, chapter 73 of the Resolves 
of 1920, and the estimates were based upon careful surveys and borings. The 
tunnel was to consist of parallel twin tubes located substantially six hundred 
feet apart, each tube capable of carrying two lines of vehicles. The Boston ter- 
mini of the tubes were placed near the intersection of Hanover and Richmond 
Streets and the East Boston termini about one thousand feet -southerly of Central 



; rU 



P.D. 142 3 

Square. The engineers of the two departments made careful estimates of cost, 
their estimates being $16,150,000 for the two tunnels with their separate plazas. 
They pointed out, however, that one tube could be constructed at a cost of approx- 
imately $8,000,000, which would be capable of carrying the estimated traffic for 
ten or fifteen years, and that it would be unwise and unnecessary to construct 
both tubes until the traffic required such construction. Our estimates would 
indicate that a single tunnel could carry somewhat under five million vehicles as 
against somewhat over ten million for two tunnels, and that in all probability a 
traffic of five million vehicles per year will not be reached before 1940. We accord- 
ingly heartily agree with the report of the joint board that if a tunnel is con- 
structed, only one tube should be constructed at the present time. 

Our engineers have discussed the estimates of the joint board with its engineers 
as to the cost of the vehicular tunnels and we believe that they can be constructed 
within their estimates. We, however, feel that certain details in width and loca- 
tion may need to be slightly changed to meet new traffic conditions at the time 
of construction. As such changes would require additional expenditure, and for 
the purposes of caution, we have assumed in this report that any vehicular tunnel 
would cost $9,000,000. We believe this figure to be conservative and we hope 
to see the actual cost somewhat less. The exact terminals on both sides of the 
harbor should be left for determination to whatever board is authorized to con- 
struct the tunnels. We strongly feel, however, that on the East Boston side the 
termini of the two tubes should be located somewhere between Maverick Square 
and Central Square, and that on the Boston side they should be located near the 
junction of the proposed Intermediate Thoroughfare and Hanover Street. Pos- 
sibly one of the termini should be located south of that location and one north. 

Arguments have been presented to this Division in favor of a vehicular tunnel 
between South Boston and East Boston, the East Boston portal being east of the 
tracks of the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn Railroad. Such a location would 
be admirable for traffic bound from Lynn to Quincy, but would not, in our opinion, 
best serve the bulk of traffic between the north shore and Boston. Furthermore, 
a tunnel between South Boston and East Boston would be much longer than a 
tunnel from Central Square to the old city and would probably cost twelve or 
thirteen million dollars for a single tube and twenty-five million for double tubes. 

Tunnel Ventilation 

The Commission have given most careful consideration to the question of ven- 
tilation and several of its members have visited Pittsburgh, where there is now 
in operation the only large vehicular tunnel in this country, and have visited 
New York, where there is under construction and nearly completed a vehicular 
tunnel under the Hudson River, costing approximately $40,000,000. The Pitts- 
burgh tunnel is giving admirable satisfaction and is much used. Pittsburgh thinks 
so well of its first tunnel that it is planning a second vehicular tunnel in the heart 
of the city. The Pittsburgh tunnel is somewhat longer than the proposed tunnel 
under the harbor and the system of ventilation adopted is that of a central shaft 
exhausting air on one side and pumping in air on the other. 

The length of the tunnel under the Hudson River will, when completed, be over 
nine thousand feet and its ventilation problem is much more complicated than 
that of the Pittsburgh tunnel, not only because of its length, but because of its 
gradients, dropping as it does some ninety-eight feet at its lowest point below its 
portals and also on account of the distance between the air shafts which are near 
the pierhead lines. New York has accordingly adopted a continuous ventilation 
scheme which pumps in air through a continuous slot located near the pavement 
on each side and which also draws out the contaminated air through openings in 
the ceiling over the roadway. This results in practically a continuous upward 
movement of air throughout the tunnel, and with the very liberal fan capacity 
provided, it is estimated that the air in the tunnel, if necessary, could be com- 
pletely changed every one and one-half minutes. This system of ventilation 
was adopted after very extensive experiments under the direction of the Bureau 
of Mines in an abandoned mine near Pittsburgh. A short section corresponding 
to the tunnel was built in the mine and actual experiments made with cars stand- 
ing in line and emitting waste gases and with a car actually on fire. The 



4 P.D. 142 

experiments showed that proper ventilation could be supplied even under the most 
adverse conditions. The problem in Boston is far simpler than the problem in 
New York because our tunnel is only about half as long as the New York tunnel 
and because the distance between the air shafts at pierhead lines will be about 
twenty-two hundred to twenty-seven hundred feet as against thirty-three hun- 
dred feet in New York. As the difficulties of the ventilation problem increase 
almost as the square of the length between shafts, the problem here is much simpler 
than the problem in New York. As in the Joint Board estimates, we have as- 
sumed the New York system of ventilation with liberal and duplicate fan capacity, 
with power supplied from two independent sources, and with a police patrol located 
not more than one thousand feet apart and with a system of signalling which 
would clear the tunnel in case of accident. The Division coincides with the view 
of the joint board that the problem of ventilating a harbor tunnel between Boston 
and East Boston is not difficult and is practical of solution. 

Bridge 

Business men interested in East Boston and other cities and towns along the 
north shore were the chief proponents of Chapter 37 under which this report is 
submitted. These gentlemen have earnestly advocated the construction of a 
suspension bridge between Boston and East Boston rather than the construction 
of tunnels. Their arguments were certainly deserving of every consideration 
and we have accordingly had plans and estimates prepared for a suspension bridge. 
For this purpose we employed Mr. Ralph Modjeski, a consulting engineer of New 
York City, who has had wide experience in the construction of large suspension 
and cantilever bridges. We believe no better authority can be found in this 
country on the construction of that type of structure. He has submitted to us 
a carefully prepared report and estimate for a bridge, the East Boston terminal 
of which would be near Central Square and the Boston terminal near the corner 
of Hanover Street and the proposed Intermediate Thoroughfare (Cross Street). 
The site appeals to us as the best possible site for a bridge because it crosses the 
harbor at its narrowest point and because there is sufficient room for the approaches 
at either end without the necessity of taking or damaging an excessive amount 
of real estate. Also a bridge in that location is on the natural axis of travel and 
in a line with the chief arteries leading to the north shore. The report covers 
the construction of a suspension bridge clearing the harbor at a height of one 
hundred thirty-five feet above high water with a distance between piers of approxi- 
mately 1,550 feet and an over all length of 6,240 feet. The grades at either end 
would be five per cent. 

The estimates cover the cost of two types of bridges — first, a bridge which would 
have a forty-foot driveway, two sidewalks, and room for two rapid transit tracks, 
his estimate for this type of bridge being approximately $20,000,000; and second, 
a vehicular bridge with a roadway forty feet in width and two sidewalks, his esti- 
mate for this bridge being $15,300,000. As, however, we are not discussing rapid 
transit facilities in this report, we confine our discussion to a purely vehicular 
bridge. As there is come question as to the type and depth of foundation that 
would be required, and as it is extremely difficult to estimate the damage to 
property underneath and adjacent to the approaches to a suspension bridge, 
we believe that the actual cost may well be substantially in excess of Mr. Mod- 
jeski's estimate. For the purposes of comparison, we have assumed a cost of 
$18,000,000 for a suitable vehicular bridge, such an estimate being in our opinion 
no more conservative than the estimate of $9,000,000 for a single vehicular tunnel. 

The Division has conferred with the War Department as to the location and 
height of the bridge. There can, of course, be no official action taken by the 
Department until after formal hearings when all parties can be heard, but there 
has been unofficial expression that the plans seem reasonable so far as navigation 
is concerned. The only serious objection raised has been an objection to the 
limitation of the clearance of one hundred thirty-five feet above high water to a 
width of four hundred feet in the centre of the span; and it has been suggested 
that the bridge clear high water by one hundred thirty-five feet for the entire 
width between harbor lines of approximately 1,500 feet. If this requirement 
should be made, it would preclude the construction of a suspension bridge because 



P.D. 142 5 

of the added cost and the added length of approaches. There are other objec- 
tionable features connected with the approaches to a bridge which are mentioned 
later in the report. 

Traffic 
Traffic studies convince us that there is a demonstrated need for either a vehic- 
ular tunnel or bridge between Boston and East Boston. The traffic studies made 
by Mr. Modjeski in connection with his report and by the joint board in 1921 
substantially agree, although the estimates made in '21 before the vehicular traffic 
had shown the remarkable growth of the last four years did not anticipate a traffic 
of five million vehicles per year until 1944, whereas Mr. Modjeski estimates that 
such volume of travel will be reached in 1940. We refer to a traffic of five million 
vehicles per year, because that is the estimated capacity of a single vehicular 
tunnel. According to Mr. Modjeski's traffic estimate, a second tunnel would 
be required in 1940, whereas the estimate of the joint board indicates that it would 
not be required until 1944. Mr. Modjeski's studies of traffic were based upon 
counts of traffic over the East Boston Ferries, the Charlestown and the Warren 
Bridges, the population of the territory served and the growth of traffic over large 
bridges in other cities. It is evident that the traffic in the proposed tunnel or 
bridge would be that diverted from the East Boston ferries and from the traffic 
between Boston and the north shore using the Chelsea Bridges over the Mystic 
River. To such traffic should be added traffic due to the normal increase in 
population and also the traffic that inevitably develops as the result of the open- 
ing of a new route. Mr. Modjeski estimates that the traffic for the first year 
will be not less than two million four hundred thousand vehicles, or more than 
four million two hundred thousand vehicles with a probable traffic of three mil- 
lion three hundred thousand vehicles, and the following tables show the basis 
on which his estimates of traffic for the first year are computed: 

Minimum Traffic 

Diverted from Ferries 60% of 1,200,000 vehicles 720,000 vehicles 

Charlestown and Warren Bridges 15% of 10,000,000 " 1,500,000 

Traffic developed by new utility 180,000 " 



2,400,000 



Maximum Traffic 

Diverted from Ferries 70% of 1,400,000 vehicles 980,000 vehicles 

Charlestown and Warren Bridges 25% of 12,000,000 " 3,000,000 

Traffic developed by new utility 220,000 



4,200,000 



Revenue 
The appended table gives the gross estimated income from traffic based upon 
Mr. Modjeski's minimum estimate of the number of vehicles and an average toll 
of fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, and thirty cents per vehicle, respectively. 





Number of 


Tolls 


Tolls 


Tolls 


Tolls 


Year 


Vehicles 


at $0.15 


at $0.20 


at $0.25 


at $0.30 


1929 


2,400,000 


$360,000 


$480,000 


$600,000 


$720,000 


1930 


2,600,000 


390,000 


520,000 


650,000 


780,000 


1931 


2,810,000 


421,500 


562,000 


702,500 


843,000 


1932 


3,030,000 


454,500 


606,000 


757,500 


909,000 


1933 


3,260,000 


489,000 


652,000 


815,000 


978,000 


1934 


3,500,000 


525,000 


700,000 


875,000 


1,050,000 


1935 


3,750,000 


562,500 


750,000 


937,500 


1.125,000 


1936 


4,010,000 


601,500 


802,000 


1,002,500 


1,203,000 


1937 


4,280,000 


642,000 


856,000 


1,070,000 


1,294,000 


1938 


4,560,000 


684,000 


912,000 


1,140,000 


1,368,000 


1939 


4,850,000 


727,500 


970,000 


1,212,500 


1,455,000 


1940 


5,000,000 


750,000 


1,000,000 


1,250,000 


1,500,000 



6 P.D. 142 

The following table gives the estimated receipts from toils using the volume of 
traffic estimated by the Joint Board as a basis, with the same average receipts per 
vehicle: 





Number of 


Tolls 


Tolls 


Tolls 


Tolls 


Year 


Vehicles 


at $0.15 


at $0.20 


at $0.25 


at $0.30 


1929 


1,611,000 


$241,650 


$322,200 


$402,750 


$483,300 


1930 


1,782,000 


267,300 


356,400 


445,500 


534,600 


1931 


1,953,000 


292,950 


390,600 


488,250 


585,900 


1932 


2,124,000 


318,600 


424,800 


531,000 


637,200 


1933 


2.295,000 


344,250 


459,000 


573,750 


788,500 


1934 


2,493,000 


373,950 


498,600 


623,250 


757,900 


1935 


2.700,000 


405,000 


540,000 


675,000 


810,000 


1936 


2,907,000 


436,050 


581,400 


726,750 


872,100 


1937 


3,114,000 


467,100 


622,800 


778,500 


934,200 


1938 


3,339,000 


500,850 


667,800 


834,750 


1,001,700 


1939 


3,573,000 


535,950 


714,600 


893,250 


1,071,900 


1940 


3,807,000 


571,050 


761,400 


951,750 


1,142,100 



Financial Plan 
In our opinion, any tunnel or bridge should be a toll tunnell or toll bridge, the 
tolls being adjusted to at least equal the fixed charges and operating expenses of 
the structure, and in no event would we favor any plan which would place the 
burden upon the general taxpayer of the city or the district. The collection of 
tolls from those passing over large and expensive bridges is of wide usage and 
is being adopted for many new projects as a proper way to meet their cost in an 
equitable manner. There are several ways in which the bridge or tunnel can be 
financed. 

First — It can be built and operated as a municipal structure. 

Second — It can be built as a municipal structure, but leased and operated 

by public trustees of a district on a service at cost basis as is the Elevated 

Road; or 
Third— It can be built by a public utility specially chartered for that purpose. 

The advantages and disadvantages of these three plans are as follows : 

First — A bridge or tunnel owned by a municipality would undoubtedly secure 
its money at the lowest rates and would, therefore, have the lowest carry- 
ing charges. 

The danger of this plan is the inevitable demand that tolls be reduced 
or abolished to a point where the structure would not be self-supporting 
and hence become a burden upon the taxpayers of the city. The present 
East Boston Ferries are being operated at a loss of $800,000 per year. 
The Division is also mindful that the one cent charge for the use of the 
East Boston Transit Tunnel was abolished within a few years after it 
had been opened. 

Second — The second plan for the construction of a bridge or tunnel with 
municipal credit but operated by public trustees on a service at cost basis 
would furnish the money at a low cost and would give greater assurance 
that self-sustaining tolls would be collected. It would also enable any 
possible deficit to be spread over a metropolitan area which would 
include not only Boston, but the cities on the north shore that would be 
benefited. 

Third — The third plan involves the chartering of a public service corporation 
to build, own, and operate the tunnel or bridge. If such a charter were 
granted, the Department of Public Utilities should be given full super- 
vision over rates, the issuing of securities, and the quality of service to 
be rendered. As private capital would cost more than public money, the 
total carrying charges under this plan would be somewhat higher than 



P.D. 142 7 

if built with municipal credit. On the other hand, there is much to be 
said for a plan which in no way involves municipal credit or municipal 
operation, and which provides a public service in the same way as light- 
ing, gas, railroad or street railway service is furnished. 

If such a plan is followed, the charter should grant authority to the city 
of Boston to take over the bridge or tunnel at any time by paying the 
then unliquidated cost and should also provide that when the operation 
of the sinking fund had retired the investment, the bridge should auto- 
matically become the property of the city of Boston. 

It has also been suggested that when a bridge or tunnel is constructed, the city 
of Boston might well re-arrange its ferry service, thus saving perhaps $300,000 
per year which would be available in the case of a municipally owned and oper- 
ated tunnel for operating expenses and carrying charges, thus reducing tolls and 
increasing travel. 

The Division does not recommend any specific financial plan. If private capital 
is interested, it should present its case directly to the Legislature. If, on the 
other hand, the city of Boston desires to construct a bridge or tunnel either as a 
municipal structure or for lease to public trustees, the Division hopes the city will 
make known its position. This report, therefore, should be considered a report of 
progress with data as to the operating expenses and probable revenues of either 
a bridge or a tunnel and with suggestions of various means by which it can be 
financed, our outstanding conclusions being that some additional means of direct 
physical connection should be constructed and should be fully supported by 
adequate tolls. 

The chief comparisons between a bridge and a vehicular tunnel are as follows: 



Length over all 

Maximum rise 

Length of 5% grade .... 

Distance of entrance and exits from 

waterfront 



Total cost, construction and real 

estate 

Real Estate takings and damages . 
Cost of maintenance, policing and 

operation (average) 
Estimated number of vehicles in 

1929 

Estimated number of vehicles in 

1940 

Estimated number of vehicles in 

1948 

Estimated number of vehicles in 

1955 10,000,000 

Ventilation None required 

Stormy weather .... Roadway not 

protected 



Modjeski Plan 

Bridge 

6,240 feet 

144 " 
4,463 " 


Joint Board Plan 
Tunnel 
5,080 feet 

98 " 
3,600 " 


2,350 " 




1,750 " 




Twin Tubes 


Single 
Southerly Tube 


$18,000,000 
6,000,000 


$18,000,000 
3,500,000 


$9,000,000 
1,500,000 


. 150,000 


400,000 


200,000 


2,400,000 




1,600,000 


5,000,000 




3,800,000 


8,000,000 




5,850,000 
(capacity) 



7,500,000 
Forced ventilation required 
Roadway protect ed 



8 P.D. 142 

Bridge Tunnel 

Single 
Ticin Tubes Southerly Tube 
Operating Revenue required to 
meet operating expenses and 

5% on cost (average) . $1,050,000 $1,250,000 $650,000 

Operating Revenue per vehicle re- 
quired to meet cost, assuming 

2,500,000 vehicles use structure . 42c. 22c. 

Operating Revenue per vehicle re- 
quired to meet cost, assuming 
5,000,000 vehicles use structure . 21c. 15c. 

Note: — On a basis of traffic of 8,500,000 vehicles per annum, it is estimated that 
a toll of 15 cents could be maintained if twin tubes were built. 

From the above comparisons, it is apparent that the advantages of the tunnel 
far outweigh the advantages of the bridge. Initially the cost of the tunnel is much 
less, the grades are shorter, the total lift is less, and the roadway is protected from 
ice and sleet in bad weather and the destruction of taxable real estate is much 
less. Accordingly it is our recommendation that the need of increased transpor- 
tation facilities viewed from the standpoint of vehicular traffic only between 
Boston and East Boston be met by the construction of a single tube vehicular 
tunnel rather than by a bridge, and that all fixed charges and operating expenses 
be met by adequate tolls. 

The report of Mr. Modjeski is submitted herewith as an appendix. 

Expenditures 

The Division has an organized staff working under the direction of Edwin H. 
Rogers, chief engineer and secretary. The permanent staff consists of three 
assistant civil engineers, two draftsmen, a senior and a junior stenographer, with 
additional assistants at various times as needed. 

The appropriations and expenditures of the Division for the year have been as 
follows : 

General Appropriation . . t. $30,000 00 

Salaries $17,961.05 

Services of experts 1,049.00 

Miscellaneous expenses 8,306 . 29 

Total 27,316.34 

Balance $2,683.66. 

Saugus Branch Appropriation — 

Balance from previous year $3,679.08 

Expenditures for current year none 

Balance $3,679.08 

General Matters 
The following three resolves were passed by the Legislature of 1925 calling for 
reports by the Division: 

Chapter 35 — Resolve providing for an investigation relative to the construction, 
financing, and maintenance of a subway under Huntington Avenue and 
Stuart Street and of a certain extension thereof in the city of Boston for the 
use of the Boston Elevated Railway Company. The above resolve provides 
s for a joint study and report by this Division and the Transit Department 
of the city of Boston. 

Chapter 36 — Resolve providing for a further investigation by the Division of 
Metropolitan Planning relative to the construction of a surface transfer 
station for the use of the Boston Elevated Railway Company west of Harvard 



P.D. 142 9 

Avenue in the eity of Boston and relative to providing rapid transit from 
Boston through Cambridge and Somerville. 
Chapter 37 — Resolve directing the Division of Metropolitan Planning of the 
Metropolitan District Commission to study and consider the transportation 
facilities existing between Boston and East Boston. 

In addition to the above resolves, the two following resolves passed by the 
Legislature of 1924 called for reports during the current year: 
Chapter 38 — Resolve providing for an investigation by the Division of Metro- 
politan Planning of the railroad and steamship terminal facilities of 
metropolitan Boston. 
Chapter 45 — Resolve providing in section (a) for a study by the Division of Met- 
ropolitan Planning of a comprehensive rapid transit plan for metropolitan 
Boston. 

The Division has submitted its report on railroad and steamship terminals, 
/on a terminal for the Boston Elevated Railway Company west of Har^rd Ave- 
nue, and in this report has included its report on better transportation facilities 
between Boston and East Boston. The Division has asked for an additional 
year for its report on a general rapid transit plan for the metropolitan area and 
on a subway under Huntington Avenue and Stuart Street. 

Highways 

The Division has during the year spent much time upon the study of a general 
highway plan for the district. 

The Legislature of 1924 passed bills recommended by the division for (a) the 
construction of the Northern Artery, and (6) a modification of plans of the Cot- 
tage Farm Bridge providing for a relocation of the railroad and the construction 
of an under-pass on the Boston side. The takings for the Northern Artery have 
been made by the Metropolitan District Commission and it is expected that 
construction work will be substantially completed during the calender year 1926. 
The Metropolitan District Commission has also substantially completed its re- 
vised plans for the Cottage Farm Bridge and unless delayed by legal proceedings 
will let the contract for the bridge during the coming spring. 

The Legislature of 1925 passed acts providing for the construction of the South- 
ern Artery; the extension of the West Roxbury Parkway to Newton Street; the 
widening and improvement by the city of Boston of Morton Street; the widening 
and improvement of River Street in Hyde Park by the city of Boston; and the 
widening and improvement of lower Main Street and Broadway by the city of 
Cambridge from the Cambridge Bridge to Mechanic Square. Each of the above 
matters was the subject of special investigation, study, report, and recommenda- 
tion by the Division. 

Engineering or construction work on most of these street improvements is 
under way and their completion will signally help the traffic situation in the 
metropolitan district. 

Boston 

There are two important links in the metropolitan highway system which lie 
within the city of Boston and which it is hoped that city will construct or improve. 

(a) The Old Colony Boulevard is nearing completion. This important high- 
way begins at the Neponset Bridge and extends along the shores of Dorchester 
Bay to Columbia Circle. From there traffic will enter the city over a route 
consisting of the City Strandway, Old Colony Avenue and lower Dorchester 
Avenue. The stretch of parkway and Old Colony Avenue are of excellent align- 
ment and of admirable width. Lower Dorchester Avenue, however, is entirely 
too narrow to accommodate the large volume of traffic which will soon pass over 
it and should be widened to a width of not less than 100 feet, at an estimated 
cost of about $800,000. 

(6) Harvard Street in Brookline with Harvard Avenue and North Harvard 
Street in the Allston district of Boston and Boylston Street in Cambridge con- 
stitute a most important north and south highway connecting the Jamaica Plain 



10 P.D. 142 

Parkway and Brookline Village with Harvard Square in Cambridge. It is the 
first important cross-town route west of Massachusetts Avenue. Harvard Street 
in Brookline is in excellent condition, but in Boston there is a serious missing link 
from the northerly end of Harvard Avenue in Allston to Western Avenue. The 
reconstruction and widening of this missing link, including the construction of 
a highway bridge over the tracks of the Boston & Albany Railroad at Allston, 
and the repaving of the section of North Harvard Street from Western Avenue 
to the Larz Anderson Bridge will give a complete north and south highway from 
Brookline Village to Harvard Square. It is one of the street improvements 
most imperatively required. 

Cambridge and Somerville 

The city of Boston has nearly completed the widening of Cambridge and Court 
Streets and upon the completion of this work a great volume of traffic will un- 
doubtedly flow over the Cambridge Bridge to and from Cambridge. 

The widening of Main Street and Broadway to Mechanic Square and the re- 
pavemenT of Broadway to Massachusetts Avenue will greatly relieve the resulting 
pressure upon Massachusetts Avenue and other crowded streets in Cambridge. 
We strongly urge, however, that the cities of Cambridge and Somerville com- 
plete the repaving of Beacon and Hampshire Streets; and that the city of Somer- 
ville construct a suitable connection between the end of Beacon Street and Elm 
Street. All of these improvements can be carried out by the respective cities 
without additional legislation and without undue cost, and will be of very great 
advantage to the highway system north of Boston. 

We are also suggesting to the city of Cambridge — (a) the construction, at an 
estimated cost of $131,000, of a cut-off from the corner of Brattle and James 
Street to Garden Street opposite Waterhouse Street, which will create a by-pass 
from the Memorial Drive around Harvard Square — this improvement will greatly 
relieve traffic congestion in Harvard Square; (b) the extension of Fayerweather 
Street to Sherman Street at an estimated cost of $85,000. The cost of this ex- 
tension should in part be covered by betterments to abutting property. 

Brookline 

The completion of the Cottage. Farm Bridge will make essential a con- 
necting way from Commonwealth Avenue to the Jamaica Plain Parkway. 
The town engineer of Brookline has laid out a connection which seems to us 
feasible, but there are other possible routes. We feel that the selection of 
the exact route is a local matter, but that the construction of a route is a public 
necessity. 

It is also most desirable that the town of Brookline construct a connecting way 
from Lee Street in the Jamaica Plain District to the Jamaica Plain Parkway. We 
urge its completion, as it will serve as a very useful part of a metropolitan 
thoroughfare. 

Maiden and Medford 

There is now an east and west highway beginning at Squires Road and Broad- 
way in Revere and running through Maiden to Medford Square. It is made 
up of a new state highway, sometimes known as Squires Road in Revere; Beach 
Street; Salem Street, Maiden; Pleasant Street, Maiden; and Salem Street, 
Medford. The pavement is in excellent condition and the road is much used. 
The central part of this route has, however, one very serious drawback as a through 
highway, to wit, that Salem and Pleasant Streets in Maiden pass through the 
heart of the city, are narrow and have car tracks. Pleasant Street in particular 
is one of the chief shopping streets of the city. It is, therefore, most desirable 
to have a substitute and parallel through route to relieve congestion in the heart 
of Maiden. Such a parallel route can be provided with ease, the route consisting 
of-the new state highway (Squires Road) in Revere; Eastern Avenue; Madison 
Street; Medford Street in Maiden; and Central Street in Medford. To make 
this through route effective, it will be necessary to extend Central Street in Med- 
ford to Salem Street at an estimated cost of $85,000 and to repave the remainder 
of the present street in Medford. In the city of Maiden, Madison Street and a 



P.D. 142 11 

part of Eastern Avenue are in excellent condition, but Eastern Avenue from 
Beach Street to Ferry Street is much in need of repaving and it would be most 
desirable to widen the street to a width of at least sixty feet before such repaving 
is done. Its present width is fifty feet. 

Our estimate of the property damages because of a widening to sixty feet for 
various sections of Eastern Avenue is as follows: — 

Property 
Length Damage 

Beach Street to Broadway 4,200 feet $50,000 

Broadwav to Faulkner Street 4,200 " 64,000 

Faulkner Street to Ferry Street 2,900 " 220,000 



Total 11, 300 feet $334,000 

It will be noted that the chief expense of the widening of Eastern Avenue is in 
the relatively short section from Faulkner Street to Ferry Street. This is because 
of numerous houses that will be affected by the widening. While it would be 
most desirable to have the entire street widened, yet it would be a substantial 
relief to traffic if the two other sections were widened and the entire street 
repaved. 

We also urge the city of Maiden to repave Broadway, which is, in reality, the 
southerly end of the Newburyport Turnpike, and one of the most used thorough- 
fares of the State. 

Circumferential Highway 

During the year the Division has spent much time upon a general highway 
plan for the District, and its studies lead it to believe that the greatest present 
highway need of the District is the construction of certain missing links in our 
parkway and road systems, which will give a substantially continuous circum- 
ferential highway leading from the north to the south shore, passing around the 
most thickly settled sections of the Metropolitan area. Boston and its environs 
are most fortunate in their local and Metropolitan parks, parkways and boule- 
vards; but most of these boulevards were constructed with the thought of leading 
traffic from outlying districts to the center of the city. The congestion in the 
central district has now become so serious that it is most desirable to keep as 
much through traffic as possible out of the down-town region and permit it to 
circulate freely around the district and in its less congested parts. 

With this thought in mind, the Division has made an extensive study of existing 
parkways and thoroughfares which could properly form a part of an efficient 
circumferential route; and it presents with this report a plan embodying such 
a circumferential highway. It has been laid out with the thought of using, so 
far as possible, existing highways and parkways, uniting them together where 
no adequate connection exists. The route as laid out will start at the Lynn 
Shore Drive in Lynn near the Swampscott line and follow Eastern Avenue or other 
convenient streets to Western Avenue. From Western Avenue, the easterly 
entrance to Lynn Woods can be reached at the Great Woods road entrance over 
excellent streets. It is then proposed to construct a suitable parkway through 
the Lynn Woods to the Newburyport Turnpike and thence by a second section 
of parkway reach the easterly end of the Lynn Fells Parkway. The Lynn Fells 
Parkway and parkways in the Middlesex Fells and along the Mystic River, with 
one short section of street in Medford, will carry traffic to the westerly end of the 
Alewife Brook Parkway at Massachusetts Avenue. It is then proposed to con- 
struct a missing link largely on land now owned by the Commonwealth from 
the southerly end of the Alewife Brook Parkway to the northerly end of Fresh 
Pond Parkway at Huron Avenue. 

From the southerly end of the Fresh Pond Parkway there are adequate streets 
and parkways leading through Boston and Brookline to the Stony Brook Parkway 
which, in turn, will carry traffic to Readville. A short connecting link is required 
in Readville and another short link near Paul's Bridge and the Blue Hills Reser- 
vation is reached. It is then proposed to construct a parkway largely in the Blue 
Hills Reservation to Randolph Avenue; thence follow Randolph Avenue to the 



12 P.D. 142 

southerly edge of the Reservation, thence by a new parkway along the southerly 
edge of the Blue Hills Reservation and West Street to the Five Corners in Brain- 
tree, from which roads of good alignment and low gradients reach all sections of 
the South Shore. Some of these roadways need resurfacing; and we have assur- 
ance that this will be done either by the towns or jointly by the towns and the 
State under the provisions of chapter 90. 

The route has been laid out to make the maximum use of existing parkways 
and streets. Some of these parkways, as, for instance, the roads in the Stony 
Brook Reservation, and some of the roads in the Middlesex Fells Reservation, 
while being entirely usable, are in need of improvement and realignment; but 
we feel confident this will be attended to by the Metropolitan District Commis- 
sion as soon as the volume of traffic, which this route will bring to these roadways, 
warrants such improvements. 

Originally parkways were carriage roads in our parks, and the name "parkway" 
still carries to many the thought of a purely pleasure route. Today, however, 
our parkways are very largely used by automobilists passing in and out of the 
Metropolitan District; and they have become a most important part of the 
through traffic routes of the Metropolitan area. It is particularly desirable that 
they should be so used, because as a rule they have few intersecting streets; they 
have few, if any, houses bordering them; and traffic can move over them in large 
volume and at good speed. In the past these parkways have been used entirely 
for passenger cars, and commercial cars and busses have been excluded. If, 
however, these parkways are to become parts of important through routes, we 
believe that it is proper that they be opened to certain classes of commercial 
vehicles that would not injure the roadways or restrict their use for passenger 
cars. Today 90 per cent of the cars registered as commercial vehicles are light 
delivery cars which, with their full loads, weigh less than 4,000 pounds and are 
capable of traveling at any speed that is safe for automobiles. We accordingly 
recommend that, so far as the new sections covered by the accompanying bill are 
concerned, they be opened to commercial cars which, with their loads, weigh less 
than 4,000 pounds. We think it would be most objectionable to open any of our 
parkways to the heavy truck, and possibly to the large and cumbersome bus; but 
we see no distinction between a Ford car with a delivery body and the same car 
with a passenger body. Furthermore, the registration of trucks is only about 
15 per cent of the registration of passenger cars; and the light truck is used mostly 
for local delivery and not for through business. Accordingly we doubt if the 
opening of the parkways provided for in this act to light commercial vehicles 
would increase the traffic on them by over 2 per cent or 3 per cent. Finally, it 
should be noted that we are not suggesting a complete throwing open of park- 
ways to commercial vehicles, but are merely suggesting an experiment of that 
nature on the new sections of parkways provided for in this act. The bill accom- 
panying this report provides specifically that the Metropolitan District Commis- 
sion may close these parkways to commercial vehicles, if, after a reasonable period 
of actual use by light commercial vehicles, it is found that such use is detrimental 
to the public interest. 

The total length of the missing links provided for in the bill accompanying 
this report is 12.6 miles. The total length of the circumferential route combining 
both parkways and general traffic streets is about 37 miles. It will thus be seen 
that the construction of a relatively few miles of missing links will complete a very 
important circumferential route. The estimated cost of the missing links of the 
circumferential highway herein recommended is as follows: 



Sections in Lynn, Saugus and Melrose 
Section in Cambridge 

Sections in the Blue Hills district . 

Total 



Land 






Damage 


Construction 


Total 


$10.3,000 


$591,000 


$696,000 


50,000 


600,000 


650,000 


54,000 


589.000 


043,000 


$209,000 


$1,780,000 


$1,989,000 



P.D. 142 13 

The bill provides that as the sections are all parkways they shall be built by 
the Metropolitan District Commission, and shall be paid for, one-half by the 
District and one-half from the Highway Fund. 

The Division heartily recommends this entire route as the most important 
Metropolitan highway project of the year. It is the primary recommendation 
of the Division. It believes that each of the sections will serve, not only as a 
part of a circumferential route, but will serve as valuable by-passes for local traffic. 
For instance, the connecting section between the Alewife Brook Parkway and the 
Fresh Pond Parkway will complete an important route around the crowded sec- 
tion of Cambridge and will enable traffic to avoid the congestion of Harvard 
Square and Massachusetts Avenue. The connection through the Blue Hills 
will enable traffic from Dedham and other sections to the west to reach the South 
Shore. The section through the Lynn Woods will open up a very beautiful dis- 
trict now almost inaccessible, and make its beauties available to great numbers 
of people who now never see them, and greatly relieve the congestion now existing 
on those roads leading to Revere Beach and the North Shore. 

Charles River Parkway 

The Board also recommends the construction, at an estimated cost of $550,000, 
of a parkway along the Boston shore of the Charles River from the end of Bay 
State Road under the Cottage Farm Bridge to the Stadium. This will furnish 
a much-needed additional route from Boston to the west, and will cause to be 
used sections of the parkways along the Charles River now little used. 

Hammond Woods Parkway 

Last year this Division in response to a resolve of the General Court submitted 
a report on the construction of the so-called Hammond Woods Parkway. The 
Legislature acted favorably on one section of the route, to wit, the extension of 
the West Roxbury Parkway from Weld Street in West Roxbury to Newton Street 
in Brookline. 

In line with the ultimate construction of the parkway, it would seem to us 
desirable in the near future to authorize the construction of that section of the 
parkway in Hammond Woods lying between Boylston Street and Beacon Street. 
Our estimate of the cost of this section is $185,000. 

Newton Street, Hammond Street and Boylston Street will form a suitable 
connection between those two parkways until the section between Newton Street 
and Boylston Street is authorized by the Legislature. 

Bills covering the circumferential highway and the Charles River Parkway 
accompany this report and are most heartily recommended by this Division. A 
bill covering a portion of the Hammond Woods Parkway also accompanies this 
report. We feel that link is desirable, but by no means as important as the other 
two projects, which we feel should be given preference. 

Rapid Transit 

Following the recommendations of the Division, the Legislature passed Chapter 
21 of the Resolves of 1925, providing for an extension of time within which the 
Division should submit its report relative to the use of the Saugus Branch as a 
part of the Metropolitan Rapid Transit System. 

On recommendation of the Division, the Legislature also passed Chapter 123 
of the Acts of 1925 repealing certain acts relative to a subway and subway sta- 
tion proposed to be constructed in the cities of Maiden and Everett. The last- 
named act referred to a subway terminal in Everett near the Revere Beach Park- 
way and it was agreed that the repeal of this act would relieve the Boston Elevated 
Railway from the obligation to construct a terminal which undoubtedly would 
not be in accord with future plans for the extension of rapid transit service from 
the present Everett elevated terminal towards the north. 



14 P.D. 14-2 

Port and Terminal Development 
This subject matter was fully covered in a special report of the Division sub- 
mitted during the present year in response to the order of the Legislature contained 
in Chapter 38 of the Resolves of 19^24. 

Respectfully submitted, 

DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN PLANNING. 

By Henry I. Harriman, Chairman. 
A. C. Ratshesky. 
Ralph S. Bauer. 
Richard K. Hale. 
Everett E. Stone. 
Frank G. Hall. 
Francis E. Slattery. 



Appendix with the following title is published separately: 

THE EAST BOSTON BRIDGE 
A PRELIMINARY REPORT 



THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS 

Division of Metropolitan Planning 

t 

by 
Ralph Modjeski 

'dting Engineer 



<£V£T£ 3 



Public Document No. 142 



®tj? (ttommnnroealttj of MuBBm^nBtttB 



ANNUAL REPORT 

OF THE 

DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN 
PLANNING 

FOR THE 

Year Ending November 30 ; 1926 




Publication of this Document aim-roved bt the Commission on Administration and Finance 
400 2-'27 Order 7941 



<w^. //,/?*£ RD>142 



Division of Metropolitan Planning 
44 School Street, Boston, November 30, 1926. 

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives in General Court Assembled: 
This Division herewith respectfully submits its annual report for the year ending 
November 30, 1926. 

CIRCUMFERENTIAL HIGHWAY 

The primary highway recommendation contained in our report of last year was 
for the construction of what has been termed the "Circumferential Highway"; 
that is, the construction of certain missing links in our parkway and highway sys- 
tem which will give a substantially continuous route leading from the North to 
the South Shore and passing around the most thickly settled sections of the Metro- 
politan area. The congestion in the central part of the city is becoming more 
and more serious; and it was then, and is now, our feeling that substantial relief 
can be afforded the downtown congestion by the construction of this circum- 
ferential route. 

The Legislature of 1926 made the initial appropriations for the route and author- 
ized the purchase of the necessary lands for the extension of the Lynn Fells Park- 
way to the Newburyport Turnpike and for a missing link in the Readville section. 
The large expenditures necessary for the completion of the Northern Traffic Artery, 
the Southern Artery, and the Old Colony Boulevard, however, prevented the 
authorization of the entire route. We accordingly now repeat our recommendation 
of last year and urge that authorization be given for the completion of the Circum- 
ferential Highway along substantially the same lines as indicated last year. 

Certain minor changes have been made in the route; but it is substantially the 
same route as suggested last year, starting at the Lynn Shore Drive in Lynn, near 
the Swampscott line, and following Eastern Avenue or other convenient streets to 
Western Avenue. From Western Avenue the easterly entrance of the Lynn 
Woods can be reached at the Great Woods Road entrance over excellent streets. 
From that point it is proposed that a suitable parkway be constructed through 
the Lynn Woods and over a portion of the Lynn waterworks reservation, crossing 
the southerly arm of the reservoir near the Lynn-Saugus line, thence over public 
or private ways and private lands to the Newburyport Turnpike at or near Walnut 
Street, and thence, by a second section of parkway from a point near the Saugus 
River on the Newburyport Turnpike, reach the easterly end of the Lynn Fells 
Parkway. The Lynn Fells Parkway and parkways in Middlesex Fells and along 
the Mystic River, with a short section of streets in Medford, will carry the traffic 
to the westerly end of the Ale wife Brook Parkway at Massachusetts Avenue. 

It is then proposed to construct a missing link largely on land now owned by the 
Commonwealth from the southerly end of the Alewife Brook Parkway to the 
northerly end of Fresh Pond Parkway on Huron Avenue. From the southerly 
end of the Fresh Pond Parkway there are adequate streets and parkways leading 
through Boston and Brookline to the recently constructed extension of the West 
Roxbury Parkway, which in turn will carry traffic to the Stony Brook Parkway, 
which in turn will take traffic to Readville. A short connecting link is required 
on the westerly side of the tracks in Readville. Thence the improvement of East 
Milton Street and a new bridge over the Neponset River will carry traffic over 
existing parkways and streets to the southerly side of the Blue Hill Reservation. 

Several years ago authorization was granted for the construction of a highway 
along the southerly edge of the Blue Hill Reservation by joint action of the towns of 
Milton, Canton, and Braintree and the Metropolitan District. There was much 
delay in securing necessary local action of all of the towns concerned. We are 
glad to report that all parties now as a unit desire the construction of this highway 
along the south side of the Blue Hills; and it will constitute' an important link in 



P.D. 142 3 

the circumferential route carrying traffic to South Braintree. The appropriation 
available for the use of the Metropolitan District Commission expires on December 
first and we recommend the re-appropriation of a sufficient sum for the construc- 
tion of the district's share of this improvement. Thence the improvement of cer- 
tain streets in Braintree, Weymouth, and Hingham will carry traffic to the main 
arteries reaching Plymouth and other points on the South Shore. 

We also recommend the construction of a missing link between the Blue Hills 
Parkway and Randolph Avenue, so that traffic arriving at Mattapan can pass over 
the Blue Hills Parkway and this missing link to Randolph, and thence via the 
circumferential route to the South Shore, without the necessity of passing through 
the crowded sections of Quincy, East Milton, and Weymouth. 

OTHER HIGHWAYS 

In addition to the Circumferential Highway, we are this year recommending 
the construction of: 

(a) An extension of the Fellsway East from its northerly terminus, across the 

Middlesex Fells Reservation to a connection with the Lynn Fells Park- 
way. The construction of this parkway will greatly relieve pressure 
on other parkways in the Middlesex Fells and shorten the distance 
from Melrose and towns to the north to Boston ; 

(b) The extension of Squires Road, Revere, from its present terminus at 

Broadway across private property to Revere Street, so that the large 
traffic now using Squires Road can have a direct outlet to Revere Beach. 

Bills providing for the above enumerated highways have been introduced. 

EAST BOSTON BRIDGE OR TUNNEL 

Last year in our annual report we reported, as directed by Chapter 37 of the Re- 
solves of 1925, on improved transit facilities between Boston and East Boston 
by means of either a vehicular tunnel or vehicular bridge. In that report, we stated : 

"The Division does not recommend any specific financial plan. If pri- 
vate capital is interested, it should present its case directly to the Legis- 
lature. If, on the other hand, the City of Boston desires to construct a 
bridge or tunnel, the Division hopes the City will make known its position. 
This report therefore should be considered a report of progress with data 
as to operating expenses and probable revenue of either a bridge or tunnel, 
and with suggestions of various means by which it can be financed, our 
outstanding conclusions being that 

a. Some additional means of direct physical connection should be constructed; 
and 

6. That they should be fully supported by adequate tolls." 

Private capital did show strong interest in the project; and a bill was presented 
and passed by the Legislature for the construction by private capital of a bridge 
between Boston and East Boston. This bill was vetoed by His Excellency the 
Governor, not because he was opposed to a bridge or tunnel, but because he felt 
that in many details the bill did not adequately protect the public interest; and 
because he was fearful that the cost of private capital would result in excessive tolls. 
We have reviewed the situation; and it is still our conclusion that a bridge or 
tunnel is required; we also feel that if built by public capital as a toll bridge it 
can be made self-supporting either at once or within a very few years. Public 
money can be obtained for approximately 4 per cent. Private money will un- 
doubtedly cost 8 per cent, and a bridge or tunnel built with private money may 
not pay its way for a number of years, though we recognize fully that all statistics 
as to possible travel are at the best but estimates, and that thus far nearly every 
toll bridge — private or public — has soon become crowded to its capacity. 

We believe it wise that the cities and towns which would be most directly bene- 
fited by the bridge or tunnel, to wit : Boston, Chelsea, Revere, Winthrop and Lynn, 



4 P.D. 142 

should have an opportunity, by a referendum at the next election, to state whether 
they desire to be created a District for the construction, maintenance, and opera- 
tion of such a bridge or tunnel. If the vote is affirmative, then we believe a com- 
mission should be authorized to construct the bridge or tunnel with the State credit 
and to establish tolls which in their opinion will make the construction self-support- 
ing. Such a commission should then operate the bridge or tunnel on a service-at- 
cost basis, and in case of a deficit it shall be charged back upon the cities or towns of 
the Bridge District in proportion to the assessed value of their property, or in some 
other equitable proportion. We have named certain cities which we know will be 
benefited by the construction of such a bridge or tunnel; but there may well be 
other cities and towns that will be benefited ; and if the referendum vote is in the 
affirmative, then we believe that a commission appointed by the Supreme Court 
should decide whether other cities and towns will be benefited and should be in- 
cluded in the Bridge District. 

We do not recommend the construction of either a bridge or tunnel as a free 
structure, but merely as a bridge or tunnel on which adequate tolls are charged 
to cover all maintenance, operating cost, fixed charges, and depreciation. We also 
feel that provisions should be included in any bill making it a contract between the 
bondholders and the State that adequate tolls shall be charged until the bonds have 
been paid off by the sinking fund. Our estimates of cost and annual operating 
expense of a bridge or tunnel are as follows : 



Tunnel or Bridge Built and Operated by the State 



Cost 



Single Tube Tun- 
nel with Annual 
Capacity of 5,- 
000,000 Vehicles. 

$9,000,000 



Twin Tube Tun- 
nel with Annual 
Capacity of 10,- 
000,000 Vehicles. 

$18,000,000 



Bridge with An- 
nual Capacity of 
10,000,000 Vehi- 
cles. 

$18,000,000 



Operating expense . 
Interest at 4 per cent 
Sinking Fund, 1 per cent 



$200,000 

360,000 

90,000 



$400,000 
720,000 
180,000 



$150,000 
720,000 
180,000 



$1,050,000 



Cost 



$650,000 $1,300,000 

t 

Tunnel or Bridge Built and Operated by a Private Company 

$9,000,000 $18,000,000 $18,000,000 



Operating expense . 
Interest at 8 per cent 
Sinking Fund, 1 per cent 



$200,000 

720,000 

90,000 



$1,010,000 



$400,000 

1,440,000 

180,000 

$2,020,000 



$150,000 

1,440,000 

180,000 

$1,770,000 



It is our feeling that under no circumstances should the average toll to be charged 
exceed 30 cents per vehicle, as larger tolls would probably discourage traffic, which, 
of course, can avoid the use of the bridge or tunnel by circling to the north and west. 
On the basis of a 30-cent toll, our estimates of the number of vehicles and income 
are as follows : 



1930 
1935 
1940 
1950 



Number of Vehicles. 

2,500,000 

3,500,000 

5,000,000 

10,000,000 



Income. 

$750,000 
1,050,000 
1,500,000 
3,000,000 



- Our estimates are, we believe, conservative, and indicate that a bridge or tunnel 
built with public money would be self-supporting by 1935, and might well be so 
before that date. East Boston and Boston are now connected by two ferries, the 
annual deficit of which amounts to about $800,000. If the bridge or tunnel is con- 
structed it will probably not be wise to entirely discontinue ferry service but 



P.D. 142 5 

undoubtedly ferry service can be lessened — possibly cut in two — and thus a saving 
of from $300,000 to $400,000 effected to the city of Boston. 

A bill providing for a referendum as to the public construction of a bridge or 
tunnel, and providing for its construction by public money, if the referendum is 
favorable, has been prepared. If the vote of the cities and towns is against con- 
struction, then the question may well be revived as to whether a charter may be 
granted to private interests for the construction of the bridge or tunnel. 

SPECIAL REPORTS 

The Legislature of 1926 directed the Division to make certain special reports by 
Resolves which are quoted by title as follows : 

Chapter 20 — Resolve Providing for an Investigation by the Division of Metro- 
politan Planning of the Metropolitan District Commission Relative 
to the Construction of a New Bridge over the Mystic River in the 
City of Medford. 

The report of this Division on this Resolve was submitted to the Legislature on 
the date specified. 

In Chapter 45 of the Resolves of 1924, Section (a) called for an investigation and 
report by the Division on a comprehensive scheme for the extension and develop- 
ment of rapid transit service within the Metropolitan District and vicinity. 

Chapter 38 of the Resolves of 1926 extended the time for filing this report to 
December first, 1926. The preparation of this report required much study by the 
members of the Division and its staff of engineers and consultants, and it is need- 
less here to repeat our recommendations made thereon. We desire, however, to 
emphasize our recommendations for the settlement of the future status of the 
Boston Elevated Railway. Until the Legislature determines whether public con- 
trol is to continue or to be abolished or the railway taken over by the Common- 
wealth, it is unlikely that authorization for any large expenditures for rapid transit 
improvements may be given. 

Chapter 48 — Resolve Providing for a Further Investigation by the Division of 
Metropolitan Planning of the Advisability of Changing the Harbor 
Lines on the Boston Side of the Charles River. 

The report on this resolve was submitted as directed. 
The Legislature of 1926 also passed the following order : 

House 14-91 — Ordered, That the Division of Metropolitan Planning of the Metro- 
politan District Commission be directed, in connection with its further 
study and investigation under the provisions of Chapter 45 of the 
Resolves of 1924, to investigate and report on the advisability of 
extending the Dorchester Tunnel, so-called, from Andrew Square 
in the city of Boston along Columbia Road to a point at or near the 
corner of Blue Hill Avenue and Columbia Road, known as Franklin 
Park Station; thence to a point at or near the corner of Blue Hill 
Avenue and Talbot Avenue, known as Franklin Field; thence to a 
point at or near the corner of Blue Hill Avenue and Morton Street; 
thence to Mattapan Square to meet the extension of said tunnel 
provided for by chapter 480 of the Acts of 1923. Said division also 
is directed to report relative to the financing and maintenance, and 
to the necessity, advisability, feasibility, cost and distribution of cost, 
of such tunnel. 

The investigations and conclusions of the Division were submitted to the Legisla- 
ture on the subject matter of this order. 

MISCELLANEOUS PROJECTS AND IMPROVEMENTS 

Charles River Basin 

Last year this Division recommended the construction of a parkway along the 
southerly bank of the Charles River Basin from Bay State Road to North Harvard 



6 P.D. 142 

Street at the Larz Anderson Bridge. The Legislature approved the project by 
Chapter 365, authorizing its laying out by the Metropolitan District Commission, 
and made appropriations totaling $120,000 for the construction of portions of the 
route (from North Harvard Street to Western Avenue and at the Cottage Farm 
Bridge) with, as we understand it, the expectation of completing the necessary 
appropriation this yestr. Accordingly, the Metropolitan District Commission 
have included in their budget for the coming year a request for funds to complete 
this important parkway link. We heartily second their recommendation and urge 
this as one of the most important boulevard improvements before the Legislature. 

Boston 

As the result of conferences with the Boston City Planning Board and the Street 
Commissioners of the city of Boston, we have jointly recommended to His Honor 
Mayor Nichols, the introduction of legislation authorizing the construction by the 
city of Boston, without the debt limit, of the following much needed street im- 
provements, to wit: 

(a) A street or streets extending from the junction of Charles and Leverett 

streets at the easterly end of the Charles River Dam, thence over 
existing ways or private lands or both to Causeway Street ; 

(b) Dorchester Avenue, South Boston, from Fort Point Channel to Old 

Colony Avenue to a width of not less than ninety-two feet; 

(c) North Harvard Street, Brighton, from Cambridge Street to Western 

Avenue, to a width of not less than sixty feet; 
{d) The easterly corner of Cambridge Street and Harvard Avenue, in the 

Brighton district; 
(e) Morton Street, Dorchester, from Codman Street to a point about 

opposite Druid Street, and Washington Street, Dorchester, from a 

point about opposite Sanford Street to a point about opposite River 

Street to a width of not less than eighty feet; 
(/) Main Street, Charlestown, at the easterly corner of Alford Street, by 

a taking from the Charlestown playground, and the westerly side of 

said Main Street by a taking from the park known as Sullivan Square. 

t 
Atlantic Avenue and Commercial Street Elevated 

Our studies of the use of the Atlantic Avenue elevated railway structure indicate 
to us that it would undoubtedly be much more useful as an elevated highway than 
an elevated transit way. In our report on a comprehensive rapid transit plan for 
the District, we have referred to the conversion of the elevated structure for use as 
a highway, and presented a plan showing how it could be reconstructed, extended 
and adapted to the use of the Downtown District in connection with certain sug- 
gested street widenings and improvements. One of its great advantages would 
be its almost entire freedom from intersections and consequent rapid movement 
of vehicles. If the East Boston Bridge is constructed, such use of the Atlantic 
Avenue elevated will become almost a necessity. Incidentally the cost of convert- 
ing the elevated to highway use, including a fair payment to the Elevated, is very 
much less than the cost of the Intermediate Thoroughfare; and, while it would not 
serve all of the purposes of the Intermediate Thoroughfare, it would greatly aid the 
movement of traffic in the Downtown District. 

Brookline 

The contracts for the Cottage Farm Bridge have now been let; and this long 
delayed improvement will soon be a reality. This makes essential a connecting 
way from Commonwealth Avenue to the Jamaica Plain Parkway. We earnestly 
hope the town of Brookline will take the necessary action to make this connecting 
link a reality. It is also most desirable that the town of Brookline construct a 
connecting way from Lee Street, in the Jamaica Plain District, to the Jamaica Plain 
Parkway. It will-serve as a very useful part of the Metropolitan System of high- 
ways. 



P.D. 142 7 

Cambridge and Somerville 

Cambridge Street, Boston, has now been completed and is open to service from 
Scollay Square to the Cambridge Bridge. The need is very manifest for the widen- 
ing of Main Street and Broadway to Mechanics Square and for the completion of 
the repaving of Broadway for the balance of its length and of Beacon and Hampshire 
streets for their entire length. Two years ago a bill was passed permitting the city 
of Cambridge to widen Broadway as far as Mechanics Square to a width of one 
hundred feet. Opposition developed because of the extreme width, and last year, 
with our approval, an amendment was passed reducing the width to eighty feet. 
We are glad to learn that the city of Cambridge will probably accept this act in the 
near future. 

Revere, Maiden, and Medford 

We again repeat our recommendations of last year regarding the need of a through 
way from Revere Beach via Squires Road in Revere and other streets in Maiden 
and Medford to the proposed new connection across the Mystic River from Harvard 
Street to Spring Street. As previously stated in this report, we have recommended 
that the Department of Public Works extend Squires Road from Broadway to 
Revere Street in the city of Revere. We have also in a special report recommended 
the construction by the Metropolitan District Commission of a connection in Med- 
ford across the Mystic River and the marshes of the Mystic River reservation from 
Harvard Street to Spring Street, provided the city of Medford will widen Harvard 
Street and Spring Street from Boston Avenue to the Fellsway. With these two 
improvements made there will be a through way from Revere Beach to the center 
of Medford, via Revere Street, Squires Road, Eastern Avenue, Madison Street, 
Medford Street in Maiden, and Central Street in Medford, and to Somerville via 
the suggested Mystic River connection. However, to make such a route entirely 
effective, it will be necessary for the city of Maiden to widen and repave parts of 
Eastern Avenue, as suggested in our report of last year, otherwise such traffic will 
perforce be routed via Salem Street and Maiden Square, already busy localities. 

Recent Highway Improvements 

It is most gratifying to note the very substantial progress which is being made in 
improving the highway and parkway system of the Metropolitan District. Part 
of this work is being done by the Department of Public Works, part by the Metro- 
politan District Commission, and part by the cities and towns; and there is gradu- 
ally evolving a network of excellent through streets which we believe will ade- 
quately serve the public. Among the most important of these recent improvements 
completed or authorized in the outlying districts are : 

(a) The widening of Broadway, by the Department of Public Works, 
across the Saugus marshes to Lynn. We are glad to note that the 
city of Lynn is repaving portions of Western Avenue, which is a 
continuation of Broadway, thus effecting an excellent through 
route to Salem and the North Shore. 

(6) The widening and improvement, by the Department of Public Works, 
of the main road from Quincy to Nantasket Beach. 

(c) The Northern Traffic Artery now under construction by the Metro- 

politan District Commission. This should be open to service by 
the first of the year; and will furnish much needed relief to traffic 
passing from Boston to the Middlesex Fells, the Revere parkways 
and beyond. 

(d) The Southern Artery, the contract for which we understand will be let 

by the Department of Public Works before the first of the year. It 
is hoped that it will be open for service throughout its length by 
January, 1928. 

(e) The Old Colony Boulevard extending from the Neponset Bridge to 

Columbia Road. The Metropolitan District Commission hopes to 
have this completed during the coming calendar year. 



8 P.D. 142 

(/) The extension of the West Roxbury Parkway, which lias just been 
opened to service from Weld Street to Newton Street. 

(g) The widening and improvement by the city of Boston of Morton 
Street from Forest Hills to Blue Hill Avenue and from Norfolk 
Street to Washington Street. This will become a still more im- 
portant route upon the completion of the Southern Artery. 

(h) The widening of the Quincy Shore Driveway along Wollaston Beach 
will be greatly appreciated by many thousands of people, not only 
for reaching a popular bathing beach but also as an essential 
adjunct to both the Southern Artery and the Old Colony Boulevard. 

(0 The repaving of a through route from Arlington Center to Waltham 
through the towns of Arlington, Belmont, Waverley and Waltham. 
This w r ork was done by the towns themselves, aided along Pleasant 
Street in Arlington and Belmont by the replacement of pavement 
occasioned by the laying of a metropolitan water main. 

(j) The repaving of Common Street by Watertown and Belmont, and the 
important improvements being made in Watertown Square. 

(k) The widening and repaving of Oakland and Ashland streets from Mat- 
tapan to West Roxbury. The city of Boston was authorized to do 
this work by last year's legislature. It will be an important route 
when completed. 

(0 In the central district of Boston we note in the last few years such im- 
portant street improvements as the widening and extension of 
Stuart Street, Kneeland Street, Tremont Street, Cambridge Street, 
Charles Street, Broadway and Dock Square. All of these afford 
great relief to traffic conditions in the Downtown District, but 
there still remains unsolved the location of an important circum- 
ferential way such as was proposed by the Special Commission 
under the general name of the "Intermediate Thoroughfare." 

Intersections 

Our studies of street congestion lead us to believe that one of the most important 
future problems to be undertaken is the study of the elimination of intersections 
by putting one street under or over the other at points of special congestion. New 
York led the way in this work by the Park Avenue overpass above 42ncf Street. 
Chicago followed suit when it carried Michigan Avenue over the intersecting streets 
near the Chicago River, and more recently when it constructed a two-deck street 
parallel to the south bank of the river. We have recently made a study of an 
overpass from Commonwealth Avenue to Beacon Street, to relieve the congestion 
of Governor Square. We also believe in the practicability of an underpass of 
Commonwealth Avenue under Massachusetts Avenue, and of the Cambridge 
Memorial Drive under that same street. We are also very glad to know that the 
Metropolitan District Commission, in their plans for the Cottage Farm Bridge, 
have provided for the future construction of an overpass above Commonwealth 
Avenue. 

The Boston City Planning Board is now making studies for the relief of conges- 
tion at the junction of Cambridge and Charles streets. With the widening of 
Cambridge Street this has become one of the worst intersections in the city, and 
the value of that improved street would be much increased by remedying the 
difficulty at this crossing. 

City Problems 

The parking problem still continues to be one of the most important and difficult 
problems connected with our city streets. During the last three months the Police 
Commissioner of Boston, with the added police force now available, has conducted 
an active campaign against illegal parking, and has very substantially improved 
conditions in that city, but the problem is still far from solved: 

We are of the opinion that the time has not yet come when automobile- should 



P.D. 142 9 

be excluded from the business section of Boston, and we doubt whether that time 
ever does come. Nor do we believe it is desirable to entirely prohibit parking in 
the downtown section, but we do feel that very substantial relief could be afforded 
by increasing the number of through streets upon which parking is entirely pro- 
hibited. Such action has already been taken on many streets like Washington 
Street and a large portion of Tremont Street, and we believe the principle should 
be extended to other streets like Devonshire, Congress, Federal, and other ways 
that are distinctly through streets. 

The parking problem is not confined to cities like Boston. It is an increasingly 
live and vital issue in all except the smallest communities. 

In many western cities the use of the automatic electric signal light, together 
with the boulevard stop, is working successfully, and we should like to see an experi- 
ment of this type tried on some street like Commonwealth Avenue. We see no 
reason why it should not be as effective in Boston as in Cleveland, Detroit and Chi- 
cago. Experiments along these lines are already being made in some of the sub- 
urban municipalities. We are informed that the city of Lynn has installed such a 
system on-Western Avenue, which is working admirably in allowing freer movement 
of traffic and has reduced the number of traffic officers. 

We have noted with much interest and satisfaction the increase in the number of 
high-grade garages already completed or now under construction or contemplation, 
and we look forward to the time when large numbers of people who daily use their 
automobiles will have garage space in town as well as at their homes. Again many 
western cities have led the way in leasing for $100 per year the annual right to 
store a car in a city garage. Experience is continually pointing the way to many 
improvements in traffic regulation and traffic handling, and despite the enormous 
increase in the number of cars in the last three or four years, we doubt whether 
actual congestion is more serious today than three or four years ago. Rigid enforce- 
ment of carefully drawn ordinances and sympathetic enforcement by the courts 
will do much to solve the street traffic problems of our great cities. 

CHANGE IN PERSONNEL OF DIVISION 

Owing to the resignation of Mr. Francis E. Slattery as Commissioner of the 
Transit Department of the City of Boston to accept an appointment as Chairman 
of the Board of School House Commissioners of the City of Boston, he was ineligible 
to serve longer as a member of this Division. He was a member of the Division 
from its organization in 1923, and the commissioners who were associated with 
him desire to record their appreciation of his helpful and constructive assistance 
in the numerous problems before the commission and of his interest in the work. 

Mr. Slattery's successor in the Transit Department is Mr. James B. Noyes, 
who, under date of July 9, 1926, was designated by the chairman of the Transit 
Department to fill the vacancy in this Division. 

Respectfully submitted, 

DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN PLANNING. 

Henry I. Harri.max, Chairman. 

A. C. Ratshesky. 

Ralph S. Bauer. 

Richard K. Hale. 

Everett E. Stone. 

Frank G. Hall. 

James B. Noyes. 



Public Document 



No. 142 



Efje Commontuealtf) of jfflaggacfjugett* 



U ' 



ANNUAL REPORT 

OF THK 

DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN 
PLANNING 

FOR THE 

Year Ending November 30, 1927 




h 



Publication of this Document approved by the Commission on Administration and Finance 
400 4-'28 No. 2066 



/ P.D. 142 



(Ef)e Commonwealth of fflaaaacfjusettg 

Division of Metropolitan Planning 
44 School Street, Boston, November 30, 1927. 

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives in General Court Assem- 
bled. 

This Division herewith respectfully submits its annual report for the year 
ending November 30, 1927. 

The year has witnessed most gratifying progress in the construction and 
improvement of important thoroughfares in the Metropolitan District, this 
work being carried on in part by the Metropolitan District Commission, in 
part by the Department of Public Works, and in part by the cities and towns 
of the District. 

The Northern and Southern Arteries are now completed and open to 
traffic and the wisdom of their construction is demonstrated by the extent 
to which they are used, the Northern Artery now carrying the heaviest 
traffic of any street entering the downtown section of the Metropolitan 
District. The only authorized projects remaining uncompleted are the Old 
Colony Boulevard and the Cottage Farm Bridge, both of which it is expected 
will be finished and open for traffic by July 1 next. 

The completion of the Old Colony Boulevard draws attention to the need 
for the widening of Dorchester Avenue from Old Colony Avenue to the Fort 
Point Channel in order that it may properly carry the heavy traffic which 
will come to it with the opening of the new boulevard. 

The completion of the Cottage Farm bridge also emphasizes the great need 
of an adequate connection between the Boston end of this bridge and the 
Riverway and its continuation, the Jamaicaway. There are two possible 
connecting routes, one leading along the line of Essex Street to 3eacon 
Street and thence over private property and public ways to the Longwood 
Avenue Bridge over the Boston & Albany Railroad, the other bending 
easterly over private property from the Boston end of the Cottage Farm 
bridge to the junction of Mountfort Street and Carleton Street in Brookline, 
and thence following Mountfort Street to Audubon Road, and Audubon 
Road to a point south of the Boston & Albany tracks and thence by a new 
short section of parkway to the Riverway. The latter route appeals to us 
as the more desirable. 

We present no bills dealing with these extensions, believing that any 
necessary legislation should be presented by the local authorities. We be- 
lieve that if a new roadway is constructed from the end of the Cottage Farm 
bridge to Carleton Street, it should be of sufficient width to provide for a 
ramp of an overpass over Commonwealth Avenue, which will undoubtedly 
be needed in the near future. We also think it might well be argued that the 
new roadway extending from the bridge to Carleton Street can properly be 
considered an approach to the bridge. 

The cities and towns of the district, both with and without the aid of the 
Department of Public Works, have undertaken and completed during the 
current year many important projects. Boston has been particularly active 
in street improvement. The Dock Square improvement has been finished; 
the widening of Kneeland Street is nearly done; the widening of Oakland 
and Ashland Streets, the widening and extension of Morton Street to Wash- 
ington Street near the Lower Mills, and the improvement of River Street 
in the Hyde Park district are also under way. We also note the very im- 
portant improvements carried out by the Boston Park Department, particu- 
larly in the Fenway District. 

Undoubtedly one of the most important and far-reaching street improve- 
ments that has been undertaken by the city of Boston for many years is the 
extension of the Northern Artery from the Boston end of the dam along 



P.D. 142 3 

Nashua Street to Causeway Street and the widening of Causeway Street to 
Beverly Street. This improvement has recently been ordered by the mayor 
in accordance with the provisions of a bill introduced by this Division at the 
last session of the Legislature. Not only is it important as a highway pro- 
ject, but it makes possible the entire reconstruction of the North Station 
with the group of correlated buildings planned by that corporation, work 
upon which is actually started. 

Other cities and towns have been equally active in street improvements. 
Lynn has repaved Western Avenue from the Saugus River to a point near 
the Common, rebuilt both streets along the Common and has carried out 
other extensive street improvements in the downtown district amounting 
to $400,000 total cost. Cambridge has started the widening of Broadway 
to Mechanic Square and has done extensive repaving on Cambridge Street, 
Broadway, and other important thoroughfares. Somerville has repaved 
Highland Avenue for its entire length. Medford and Maiden are improving 
Middlesex Avenue and Highland Street. In fact, all of the cities and towns 
of the district have shown commendable activity in the improvement of 
their main thoroughfares.. 

We think it most important that the missing links of the Metropolitan 
Parks system be completed at an early date. The metropolitan parkways 
are among the most important vehicular thoroughfares of the district. 
Many of them, however, are not used to their best capacity because of certain 
missing links. 

Accordingly, we recommend this year the following parkway projects: 

MISSING LINK PARKWAYS 

First — The extension of Bay State Road under the Cottage Farm Bridge 
and along the banks of the Charles River to Western Avenue. 

This will give a continuous way along the river from Bay State Road to 
the Arsenal Bridge. The estimated cost of the completion of this parkway 
is $250,000. As this item is included in the budget of the Metropolitan 
District Commission, we do not present any bill for its construction. 

Second — The extension of Alewife Brook Parkway from the present ter- 
minus of that parkway at Massachusetts Avenue southerly to the northerly 
end of Fresh Pond Parkway. 

This extension has been twice recommended by this Division and is be- 
lieved to be a most important and much needed link in the parkway system. 
This matter was referred by the last Legislature to the Department of 
Public Works for investigation and report. We await with much interest 
their report and trust their views will coincide with ours. 

Third — Two sections of parkway needed to connect the Newburyport 
Turnpike in Saugus with the Northern Artery. 

The two missing sections are (a) the extension of the Lynn Fells Parkway 
over property recently acquired by the Commonwealth from the easterly 
end of the parkway in Melrose to the Turnpike: and (6) a short section 
across the Middlesex Fells Reservation sometimes known as Jerry Jingle 
Parkway connecting Washington Street in Melrose with the northerly end 
of the Fellsway East. 

As a substitute for this section (b) it is possible to construct a parkway 
through the Middlesex Fells from a point on the Lynn Fells Parkway near 
the Melrose-Stoneham boundary to a point on the parkway in the Fells 
known as Woodland Road. The choice between these two routes will rest 
largely upon the detail surveys. We are inclined to prefer the so-called 
Jerry Jingle route as better dividing traffic. 

The proposed parkway will also greatly relieve traffic from Wakefield and 
Melrose, which now must pass through the thickly settled section of Maiden 
to reach Boston. The estimated cost of these two pieces of parkwav is 
$450,000. 

Fourth — The construction of a short parkway between the present ter- 
minus of the Neponset River Parkway at the Neponset River and Hyde 



4 P.D. 142 

Park Avenue and the resurfacing and improvement of a short section of the 
Neponset River Parkway extension along Regent Street. 

The completion of these two sections of parkway will provide a continu- 
ous parkway from the Blue Hills Reservation through the Stony Brook 
Reservation and along the West Roxbury Parkway to a connection through 
existing streets to Commonwealth Avenue in Newton. The estimated cost 
of this work is $150,000. A bill providing for the construction of three of 
the parkway sections above described accompanies this report. 

TRAFFIC WAYS 

In addition to the parkway sections above outlined, we recommend the 
construction by the Department of Public Works under the provisions of 
chapter 90, but with certain aid from the Metropolitan District, of the 
following streets: 

First — A street from South Braintree through South Weymouth to the 
main state road leading to Plymouth. This is really the continuation of 
the important road south of Blue Hills, which has been jointly constructed 
during the present year by the Department of Public Works and the Metro- 
politan District Commission. 

Second — The extension of Squires Road from its present terminus at 
Broadway, Revere, to Revere Street near its junction with Hutchinson 
Street. This will connect Squires Road, which was built at large expense 
by the Commonwealth some years ago, to Revere Beach. 

Third — The resurfacing of Broadway in Maiden. This street is really 
the southerly entrance of the Newburyport Turnpike into the Metropolitan 
District. 

We recommend that the cost of the construction or improvement of these 
three streets be divided in four ways, between the city or town, the county, 
the highway fund and the district. They are all parts of through routes of 
moderate value to the city or town in which they are located, but of great 
value as through arteries, and we think that the division of cost above 
outlined, which is similar to the division of cost of the Southern Artery, is 
fair and represents the relative importance of the streets to the various 
parties in interest. A bill covering these recommendations accompanies 
this report. 

The Department of Public Works, with the aid of this Division, has been 
studying a route east of Medford Square from the Fellsway West to Mystic 
Avenue and Main Street. We understand that the Department will rec- 
ommend its construction. We think most highly of this route, but present 
no bill for its construction, as we understand that matter will be covered in 
the report of the Department of Public Works. If this route is constructed, 
Medford should be required to extend Central Avenue westerly from its 
terminus at Park Street to Salem Street. 

During the year, the Division has caused to be made very extensive 
counts of vehicular traffic in all parts of the Metropolitan District, exclusive 
of Boston. This work has been largely done through the courteous co- 
operation of the governments of the various cities and towns and of the 
Metropolitan District Commission. These agencies have done the actual 
work of counting through their police departments, and the Division is 
greatly indebted to them for their assistance. This work has been con- 
ducted under the supervision of Mr. Robert Whitten, an experienced engi- 
neer in this class of work. 

The Mayor's Street Traffic Survey, under the direction of Professor 
Miller McClintock, has done similar extensive work in Boston in consulta- 
tion with the Boston City Planning Board and Mr. Whitten, also adviser 
for that Board. The Division and the Mayor's Street Traffic Survey have 
together made volume counts and intersection counts at some five hundred 
localities, and origin and destination counts at one hundred fifty-five places, 
each authority having about an equal number of counts made. The origin 
and destination counts entailed the stopping of about 185,000 vehicles and 
the ascertaining whence they came and whither they were going. 



P.D. 142 5 

In addition to this work, counts were taken for the Division by the Depart- 
ment of Pu-blic Works at places where previous counts were taken three 
years ago, for comparative purposes. These counts indicated increases in 
traffic of one-third over three years ago, and in some places the traffic showed 
an increase of over 50 per cent. 

During the year the Division has prepared a complete street plan of all 
of the cities and towns of the District, and this plan will soon be published 
in the form of a large map comprehensive of the entire district. This map 
has been greatly needed for proper studies of the highways of the district. 
With this map completed and with the data derived from Mr. Whitten's 
studies of vehicular traffic movements, the Division will, during the ensuing 
year, prepare a comprehensive thoroughfare plan for the district. 

Our recommendations for work by the city of Boston are limited to two 
projects: 

NEW HIGHWAY IN ALLSTON SECTION OF BRIGHTON 

First — The extension of Harvard Avenue from its present northerly ter- 
minus at Cambridge Street across the tracks of the Boston and Albany 
Railroad and over public ways and private property to North Harvard 
Street near Western Avenue and thence along North Harvard Street to the 
Charles River. 

Our vehicular counts show that there is great need for this important 
crosstown thoroughfare. There is now no adequate crosstown street west 
of the Harvard Bridge, and the completion of the extension above described 
will give a through way from Harvard Square and the Charles River through 
Coolidge Corner to Brookline Village and the Jamaica way leading south. 
The estimated cost of this extension is $750,000. 

AERIAL HIGHWAY FROM NORTH END TO COTTAGE 

FARM 

Second — The conversion of the elevated railway structure on Atlantic 
Avenue and Commercial Street into an elevated roadway with possible 
future extensions at either end. 

This project was recommended by us last year. Figures furnished us by 
the Boston Elevated Railway show that the so-called Atlantic Avenue rapid 
transit division carries a relatively light traffic and is run at a heavy net loss. 
We accordingly recommend that the city of Boston purchase from the 
Elevated its elevated structures on Commercial Street, Atlantic Avenue, 
Beach Street, Harrison Avenue and Castle Street and convert the portion 
of those structures on Atlantic Avenue and Commercial Street into an ele- 
vated roadway which would start at the junction of Commercial Street and 
Washington Street, North, and extend over existing structures along Com- 
mercial Street and Atlantic Avenue to Beach Street, and thence by a new 
structure along Beach Street across the property of the Boston and Albany 
and the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroads to or near the 
junction of Albany Street and Broadway, and thence over the railroad or 
an extended and widened Castle Street to a point beyond Harrison Avenue 
to be determined by the mayor. 

The value of such an elevated roadway cannot in our opinion be over- 
estimated. It would be a roadway with few if any intersections, and it is 
well known that such a roadway will carry from four to five times as much 
traffic as a surface roadway of the same width with the frequent interruptions 
of a surface street. We have prepared a general plan of this roadway with 
certain ramps and approaches indicated thereon. We appreciate, however, 
that detail study may make desirable changes in the suggested locations of 
such approaches. 

We think it very desirable that this elevated roadway be extended beyond 
the junction of Broadway and Albany Street at least as far as Arlington 
Square. Arlington Square has many approaches from various sections of 
the city, and would be an excellent place for a terminal of the elevated road- 



6 P.D. 142 

way, although we believe that at some time in the future it may well be 
extended even as far as the Cottage Farm Bridge. This elevated highway 
may also at some future date be extended from its northerly terminus on 
Commercial Street over the bridge and in the rear of the North Station to 
the Charles River Dam. We, of course, appreciate that the elevated road- 
way might end at the intersection of Broadway and Albany Street and a 
surface street be used from that point on, but its usefulness will be greater 
if it is extended to Harrison Avenue or Arlington Square. 

The project for the conversion of the Atlantic Avenue elevated road from 
a rapid transit route to a thoroughfare serves the double purpose of effecting 
a saving to the Elevated and furnishing at a relatively low cost an important 
traffic thoroughfare. Our studies would further indicate that a bus line 
operating over the elevated roadway from the North Station to the South 
Station will adequately and quickly care for the traffic between those two 
points. 

The portions of our report dealing with the extension of Harvard Avenue 
and the conversion of the Atlantic Avenue elevated into an elevated roadway 
are recommendations both to the Legislature and to the city government 
of Boston. Without the approval of the mayor, we shall not press these 
matters before the Legislature. We accordingly earnestly hope that these 
two projects will be approved by the city government of Boston. 

EXCISE TAX ON GASOLENE, ETC. 

The Division has long felt that the present method of licensing cars was 
unsound and unscientific and has favored the imposition of a gasolene tax 
as the fairest method of providing a fund for the support of the highways, 
which in a large measure represented the wear which each car puts upon 
the highways. 

The arguments for the gasolene tax have been so often stated that it is 
unnecessary to repeat them at this time. New York and Massachusetts 
are now the only states without such a tax, and we are informed that the 
Governor of New York will this year recommend a gasolene tax for that 
state. The universality of the tax must be some indication of its fairness. 

Undoubtedly if a gasolene tax is imposed it would be wise to change the 
present registration fees. It has been suggested that a two-cent gasolene 
tax be imposed, plus a small registration fee, say three or five dollars, for all 
types of cars. We believe it would be fairer to grade motor vehicles into, 
say, three classes, to wit: a first class consisting of the light cars, a second 
class consisting of cars of medium weight, and a third class consisting of 
heavy commercial vehicles. We also advise the retention of a reduced 
license fee, based on seating capacity, for motor buses. 

It is essential that the sum of the gasolene tax and the registration fees 
should at least equal the average amount now collected by the state per 
motor vehicle. To properly carry out the highway program of the state, 
including the aid which it is giving to city and town roads, it is necessary 
that the amount collected for motor vehicles should not be less than the 
amount now collected. It is further felt that the cities and towns of the 
state are now carrying a very heavy burden for the improvement of their 
own main highways and that it is reasonable that motor vehicles should 
make some additional contribution to aid in the construction of such main 
city and town thoroughfares. 

A special gasolene tax of 1 cent per gallon for the benefit of the cities and 
towns would amount to about $4.50 per vehicle, and would be a substantial 
contribution towards the construction of main city thoroughfares. Accord- 
ingly we would recommend that an extra gasolene tax of 1 cent be imposed 
for the benefit of cities and towns, this amount to be in addition to the 2 
cents suggested for state thoroughfares. 

We would suggest that this additional tax be deposited in a special fund 
to be known as "The City and Town Gasolene Fund," said fund to be ex- 
pended under the direction of the Department of Public Works for the bene- 
fit of main city and town thoroughfares, the proportion of such fund alio- 



P.D. 142 7 

cated to each city and town being based upon a ratio dependent upon both 
the population and the valuation of said city or town. 

Summarizing, then, we would favor the reduction of the registration fees 
and the levying of a gasoline tax of 3 cents per gallon, 2 cents of which 
would go to the Highway Fund for general purposes and 1 cent to "The City 
and Town Gasolene Fund" for use on through ways in the cities and towns 
of the State. The principle governing the amount of the registration fee 
should be that the revenue from said fees plus a gasolene tax of 2 cents per 
gallon going to the Highway Fund should produce a per car revenue equal 
to the present revenue from the higher registration fees. We would suggest 
a fee of $3 or $4 per car for light vehicles, a fee of $5 per car for heavy vehi- 
cles, and a fee on heavy trucks and buses equal to half of the present regis- 
tration fees for such vehicles. 

FUTURE METROPOLITAN RESERVATIONS 

It has been suggested that the powers of this Division be extended to in- 
clude studies of additional metropolitan parks and reservations. It is now 
over forty years since the existing Metropolitan Park System was laid out 
and acquired. In that time the population of the Metropolitan District 
has more than doubled. The value of the parks already acquired is acknowl- 
edged by everybody, and it is quite possible that the time has now come to 
consider whether, at a still further distance from the center, additional park 
areas should not be acquired. A bill thus amending the power of this 
Division accompanies this report. 

BOSTON ELEVATED RAILWAY 

The Legislature adopted an order on April 26, 1927, directing the Divi- 
sion, on receipt of the valuation of the property of the Boston EleVated 
Railway which the Department of Public Utilities had been requested to 
make, and of the answers of the Supreme Judicial Court to certain important 
questions submitted by both branches of the General Court in connection 
with pending legislation affecting the railway, to review the conclusions 
contained in its report on improved transportation facilities in the metro- 
politan district as submitted to the General Court in January, 1927, and to 
submit not later than December 1, 1927, such revised report and suggestions 
for legislation as it might deem desirable. The Division reviewed its report 
in accordance with this order. 

METROPOLITAN AVENUE, BOSTON 

Chapter 11 of the Resolves of 1927 provided that the Division investigate 
and report on the feasibility, desirability, and cost of construction of bridges 
and approaches over the Providence Division and the Midland Division of 
the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad on the line of Metro- 
politan Avenue in the Hyde Park District of Boston. 

This report was prepared and transmitted to the Legislature as a special 
report on November 21, 1927. 

THROUGH TROLLEY CAR SERVICE FROM BOSTON TO QUINCY 
AND FROM BOSTON TO CHELSEA AND REVERE 

Chapter 13 of the Resolves of 1927 directed the Division to investigate 
and report as to the feasibility and desirability of through trolley car service 
over the rails of the Boston Elevated Railway Company and the Eastern 
Massachusetts Street Railway Company from Fields Corner in Boston to 
Quincy Square and from Maverick Square in East Boston to Winnissimet 
or Bellingham Squares in Chelsea and to Revere. 

The Division made a special report in accordance with this resolve and 
filed the same with the clerk of the House of Representatives on November 
25, 1927, and noted therein that through service had already been estab- 
lished on the Fields Corner-Quincy route by agreement between the two 
railway companies. 



8 P.D. 142 

STONY BROOK PARKWAY EXTENSION 

Chapter 18 of the Resolves of 1927 provided for an investigation and report 
by the Division relative to the construction of a parkway or boulevard from 
the Stony Brook Reservation to the Blue Hills Reservation following a route 
in the vicinity of West Glenwood Avenue in the Hyde Park District of 
Boston. 

This report was prepared and filed, as directed, with the Clerk of the 
House of Representatives on November 21, 1927. 

Respectfully submitted, 

DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN PLANNING 

Henry I. Harriman, Chairman. 

A. C. Ratshesky. 

Ralph S. Bauer. 

Richard K. Hale. 

Everett E. Stone. 

Frank G. Hall. 

James B. Noyes. 



Public Document No. 142 



ttty? (Enmrnomuraltlj of ffflaaaarffuartta 
ANNUAL REPORT 

OF THE 

DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN 
PLANNING 

FOR THE 
YEAR ENDING NOVEMBER 30, 1928 




Publication of this Document Approved by the Commission on Administration and Finance. 
300— 8-'29. No. 6417. 



ety* (E0mm0mtn>aitlj of MaBBath,uBtttB 

Division of Metropolitan Planning 
44 School Street, Boston, November 30, 1928. 

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives in General Court 
Assembled. 

This Division respectfully submits its annual report for the year end- 
ing November 30, 1928. 

Many important projects authorized in previous years have been com- 
pleted and put in useful service. Probably the most important of these is the 
Old Colony Boulevard, first authorized by chapter 699 cf the Acts of 
1912, to extend from Columbus Park Circle at the end of Columbia Road 
southerly along the shores of Dorchester Bay to the Neponset Bridge. 
In connection with Dorchester Avenue and Old Colony Avenue, this 
boulevard forms a direct route from the vicinity of the south station to 
Quincy and other places along the south shore. Within a few days after 
its opening, it became one of the heavily used arteries of the Meropolitan 
District, and it is to be hoped that the city of Boston will in the near 
future widen Dorchester Avenue from the Fort Point Channel to Old 
Colony Avenue, thus completing the improvement of the route of which 
the Old Colony Boulevard is an important link. 

The Cottage Farm Bridge has been completed and is carrying a heavy 
traffic. The 1928 session of the Legislature authorized the construction 
of an extension from the Commonwealth Avenue end of this bridge to 
Mountfort Street, and the town of Brookline is to widen Mountfort 
Street to St. Mary's Street, thus making a direct connection between the 
Cottage Farm Bridge, Audubon Circle and the Jamaica Plain Parkway. 
The Boston Park Department also has plans for the elimination of the 
grade crossing at the intersection of the parkway with Brookline Avenue 
and Audubon Road. These improvements will make a valuable connection 
between the highways on the north of the Charles River and the important 
routes leading to the south. 

The most important highway link authorized by the Legislature of 1928 was 
the so-called Alewife Brook Parkway. This parkway in conjunction with the 
Fresh Pond Parkway will furnish a direct route from the Mystic River Valley 
to the valley of the Charles and will enable the traffic on upper Massachusetts 
Avenue to avoid Harvard Square and the congestion on lower Massachusetts 
Avenue. The Department of Public Works is preparing the plans and will let 
the contracts early in 1929. 

The cities and towns in co-operation with the counties and the Department 
of Public Works have resurfaced important through routes. Among the most 
important of these is the resurfacing of Arsenal Street in Watertown and 
Main Street in Waltham. With this work completed and with the resurfacing 
by Boston of a portion of Western Avenue there will be an important automo- 
bile and trucking route from the heart of the metropolitan district to its 
western border. 

We also note the completion of the resurfacing of Highland Avenue in Mai- 
den and Medford, thus creating a short and important route from the Middle- 
sex Fells to the Northern Artery. 

The Department of Public Works has completed the resurfacing of five miles 
of the Newburyport Turnpike and proposes to reconstruct another five miles 
during the year 1929. This makes even more necessary the resurfacing of 
Broadway, Maiden, and a bill to that end will be introduced in the Legislature. 

During the present year the Metropolitan District Commission has com- 
pleted the Blue Hill River road south of the Blue Hills Reservation, thus 
making an excellent connection between Washington Street, Canton, and the 
Five Corners in Braintree. This makes most necessary the resurfacing of the 
so-called Braintree — Weymouth — Hingham route from Braintree to the main 
road leading to Plymouth and the south shore. 






The Metropolitan District Commission has also completed an important cut- 
off in the Stony Brook Reservation and plans during 1929 to resurface Regent 
Street in the Hyde Park district. 

The Division of Metropolitan Planning has submitted to the Budget Com- 
missioner a request for funds to complete the Charles River boulevard ex- 
tending from the end of Cottage Farm Bridge to Western Avenue; for the 
completion of the Lynn Fells Parkway and the connection to Woodland Road; 
for the completion of the so-called Braintree — Weymouth — Hingham road 
which has been before the Legislature for several years; for the repaving of 
Broadway in Maiden, this street being in reality an extension of the Newbury- 
port Turnpike; and for a short section of parkway in Readville to connect the 
Blue Hills and Stony Brook Reservations. 

This Division has also submitted a special report and plan for the improve- 
ment of the roadway through Nantasket Beach. 

The Division has assisted the recess commission which was appointed to 
study new rapid transit extensions. A proper solution of the elevated problem 
and the construction of routes 1 and 2 as laid out by this Division, which we 
understand will be recommended by the recess commission, are of vital impor- 
tance to metropolitan Boston. 

The Division is deeply interested in the enactment of legislation authorizing 
the construction of the East Boston Tunnel. It considers this project one of 
the most important which will come before the Legislature. 

One of the most important park and parkway projects which will be pre- 
sented to the Legislature is the plan for the improvement of the Charles River 
Basin, which will be presented by the Special Commission appointed to study 
needed improvements in that Basin. This Division is familiar with the work 
which will be recommended by the Special Commission and most heartily en- 
dorses it. The construction of the missing links in the parkway system along 
the Charles River together with projects recommended by this Division will 
go far towards completing the parkway plan for the metropolitan district. 

Respectfully submitted, 

DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN PLANNING 
Henry I.Harriman, Chairman. 

A. C. Ratshesky. 
Ralph S. Bauer. 
Richard K. Hale. 
Frank A. Bayrd. 
Everett E. Stone. 
James B. Noyes. 



Public Document No. 142 

(Lift QlnmtmmmFalth of MuBBUt^iXBtttB 



ANNUAL REPORT 

OF THE 

DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN 
PLANNING 

FOR THE 
YEAR ENDING NOVEMBER 30, 1929 




( P' 



Publication of this Document Approved by the Commission on Administration and Finance. 
300— 8-'30. No. 9863. 



(Sty? (Hotmnanroraltl? of fHaBBarhitBrtts 

Division of Metropolitan Planning 
88 Broad Street, Boston, July 1, 1930. 

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives in General Court 
Assembled. 

This Division respectfully submits its annual report for the year ending 
November 30, 1929 and also embodies in its report a statement of important 
legislation authorized by the 1930 session of the General Court, and a list of 
the more important projects to be undertaken by the various cities and towns 
of the Metropolitan District during the current year. 

Highways 

For two years the Division has been working on plans for a comprehensive 
highway scheme for the Metropolitan district, the plans including the im- 
provement of certain existing highways, the construction of certain missing 
links and new highways, and the separation of grades at numerous highway 
intersections where traffic is now greatly delayed. It is obvious that such a 
metropolitan plan must tie in with the numerous state highways that lead 
into the district in order properly to accommodate through traffic, and the 
Division has had the very valuable assistance of the commissioners and engi- 
neers of the Department of Public Works and of the Metropolitan District 
Commission. 

As a preliminary to the laying out of a highway plan for the district, it 
was necessary to have counts made at numerous points in the district and 
to determine not only the number of vehicles passing the place where the 
count was taken but to determine the origin and destination of the vehicles. 
Counts were made at 773 locations, these being taken in the city of Boston 
by the Mayor's Street Traffic Advisory Board under the direction of Dr. 
Miller McClintock, by the Department of Public Works on certain state high- 
ways, by this Division at certain places and by the police officials of the 
various cities and towns of the district. The counts covered a period from 
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. At 178 points origin and destination counts were also taken, 
cars being stopped by the officers who questioned drivers as to the point of 
starting and stopping of their trips. In all 188,000 drivers were questioned. 

An analysis of the information thus obtained in the city of Boston was 
made by the Boston Planning Board and outside of the city by this Division, 
both analyses being under the charge of Mr. Robert Whitten, an expert on 
city planning. Numerous diagrams were prepared showing the volume of 
traffic moving from point to point and the capacity of highways required for 
the handling of the traffic at the time of the counts and thirty years later. 

The Division will issue its comprehensive report during the year 1930. The 
program which will be submitted in its comprehensive report is large, but the 
problem is great and the Division is convinced that any piecemeal plan would 
be entirely inadequate and that the Metropolitan District must fairly and 
squarely face the problem of an adequate solution of its highway problems. 
The automobile has ceased to be used primarily for pleasure. It is essential 
to business and industry and present delays cause serious financial losses 
running into many millions of dollars annually. 

The Division will include in its comprehensive report a study of the separa- 
tion of grades at important highway junctions. Its studies thus far made 
clearly indicate that the capacity of many highways can be increased by at 
least fifty per cent by the separation of grades and the consequent elimina- 
tion of delays at important intersections. 

The specific projects recommended by the Division for the consideration 
of the Legislature of 1930 included the following: — 

(1) A state highway starting at the end of the Blue Hill River road south 
of Blue Hills and passing through parts of Canton, Westwood, Ded- 
ham, Needham, Newton and Wellesley to a point on Boylston Street 
(which will become the new Worcester Turnpike) near its crossing of 



OnmmnnuiQQ 



Ith 



3 

the Charles River. This circumferential highway will avoid congested 
centers in Dedham and Needham, will tie together most of the state 
roads to the west and south of Boston, and will go far to complete the 
so-called ten-mile radius circumferential highway around metropolitan 
Boston. 

(2) A highway from the intersection of Washington Street and the West 
Roxbury Parkway in the West Roxbury district to Blue Hill Avenue 
at its intersection with Canterbury Street. 

(3) A parkway to connect the Jamaica Plain Parkway with Spring Street 
at its crossing of the Charles River, thus giving an adequate approach 
for travel from Providence and the south. 

(4) A state highway for the relief of traffic on Massachusetts Avenue in 
Arlington and Lexington, involving the construction of a new high- 
way to the north of Massachusetts Avenue and including also the im- 
provement of parts of the Mystic Valley Parkway. 

(5) A by-pass for through traffic around the heart of Stoneham. 

(6) The land for a state highway along the Neponset River from Paul's 
Bridge to Mattapan, to be used in connection with a new state high- 
way to Providence. 

(7) The land for a parkway leading from the end of Reedsdale Road in 
Milton to the Furnace Brook Parkway and Granite Ave. 

(8) Several overpasses and underpasses. 

All of these projects were authorized by the Legislature except the one for 
the state highway in Arlington and Lexington, which was referred for fur- 
ther study to the Department of Public Works and the project for a by-pass 
around Stoneham. This was dropped because £he state, the county and the 
town agreed upon a plan for repaving with concrete the main street of Stone- 
ham and it was felt that this improvement would make unnecessary the con- 
struction of the by-pass. 

An overpass carrying the Revere Beach Parkway over Broadway, Revere 
was authorized as was also a circle at the junction of the Revere Beach Park- 
way and the Middlesex Fells Parkway. Further land takings were authorized 
at the Cambridge end of the Larz Anderson Bridge, which can be used either 
for an underpass or a circle as further study may warrant. 

An appropriation was also made for the widening and improvement of 
Forest Street in the Middlesex Fells, this road being a part of the main state 
highway to Lawrence. 

Appropriations were also made to complete certain highway work author- 
ized by the Legislature of 1929 for which only partial appropriations had 
been made. 

The large highway appropriations made, on the recommendations of this 
Division, both in 1929 and 1930, go far toward carrying out the ultimate 
main highway plan for the district. The. success of the Division's program 
can be largely attributed to the full discussions had with the Department of 
Public Works, the Metropolitan District Commission and the various cities 
and towns in which the projects are located. 

Heretofore the cost of metropolitan highway projects that were not state 
highways or parkways has usually been divided twenty-five per cent each to 
the state, the county, the district and the city or town in which the project 
was located. This year the Legislature adopted a policy of placing sub- 
stantially fifty per cent of the cost upon the Highway Fund, thus lessening 
the burden upon both the district and the city or town. 

Much important highway work authorized in preceding years has, during 
the past year, been completed and placed in use. Among such projects may 
be mentioned 

(1) The portion of the Newburyport Turnpike in the city of Maiden; 

(2) The Alewife Brook Parkway connecting Massachusetts Avenue with 
the Fresh Pond Parkway; 

(3) The important highway connecting the Blue Hill River Road with the 
State Highway to Plymouth in the towns of Braintree, Weymouth 
and Hingham; 

(4) The extension of the Lynn Fells Parkway to the Newburyport Turn- 
pike; 



(5) The Charles River Parkway running from Western Avenue along the 
Boston bank of the Charles River to the westerly end of Bay State 
Road. 
In addition to specific highway work authorized by legislative enactment, 
much important resurfacing and improvement of highways in the district is 
being carried on either as state highways or under the provisions of Chapter 
90. Among such projects may be mentioned the following: 
Pleasant St., Canton; Washington St., Dedham; a new bridge over the 
Charles River between Dover and Dedham; Main St., Weymouth and Hing- 
ham; Massachusetts Ave., Lexington; Randolph Ave. in Milton and Quincy; 
Salem St. in Reading and Stoneham; Woodbury Ave. in Saugus; Belmont St. 
in Watertown; the main state highway to Natick in Wellesley; a bridge over 
the Boston and Maine Railroad at Stony Brook in Weston; South Avenue in 
Weston; Summer St. in Westwood; and Wyman St. in Woburn. 

The various cities and towns of the district are also carrying on extensive 
and important highway work on main thoroughfares. By special act of the 
Legislature the city of Boston will soon widen and reconstruct Summer 
Steet and L Street in South Boston. Other important resurfacings and 
improvements in Boston include Boylston Street between Charles Street and 
Berkeley Street; Boylston Street between Tremont and Washington Streets; 
Washington Street between Boylston and Stuart Streets; Bunker Hill Street, 
Charlestown between Main Street and Chelsea Street; Columbus Ave., Rox- 
bury from Northampton Street to Roxbury Crossing; Massachusetts Avenue 
from Southampton Street to Edward Everett Square; Massachusetts Ave. 
from Columbus Ave. to Huntington Ave.; River St., Dorchester from Matta- 
pan Square to Duxbury Road; Blue Hill Ave. from Washington St. to Talbot 
Avenue; Cummins Highway, Dorchester from Richmond Street to River 
Street; Ipswich Street from the Muddy River to VanNess Street; 
Franklin Street from Washington Street to Federal Street; Green 
Street from Bowdoin Square to Chambers Street; Chambers Street for its 
entire length; South Street in the West Roxbury District; Granite Avenue 
from the Southern Artery to the bridge; parts of Centre Street, Dorchester; 
Warren Street in the Brighton District; parts of Albany Street; parts of 
Belgrade Ave.; and preliminary .work on upper Beacon Street, Bay State 
Road and North Harvard Street. 

Important resurfacings and improvements in cities and towns outside of 
Boston include the following: 

Belmont — Beacon St., northerly road from Corey Road to Ayer Road; Ham- 
mond St. from Boylston St. to Newton St.; Boylston St. from Reservoir 
Rd. west; Newton St. from Hammond St. to South St.; 
Cambridge — Important parts of the following streets — Massachusetts Ave., 
Cambridge St., Central St., Prospect St., Webster Ave. and Vassar St.; 
Everett — Broadway between Glendale Square and Summit Ave. and between 

Bowes St. and Dane St.; 
Lexington — Massachusetts Ave. from Marrett Street to Lincoln Street; Wo- 
burn Street from Utica St. to Massachusetts Ave.; Concord Ave.; 
Lynn — Western Ave. from Market St. to Franklin St.; Lynnfield St. from 

Great Woods Road to the Lynnfield line; 
Maiden — Exchange St. and Cross St.; 
Medf ord — High Street to Playstead Road ; 
Needham — Parts of Webster Street; 

Newton — Traffic is to be divided on Commonwealth Ave. from the top of the 
hill west of Lake St. to Norumbega, out-bound traffic using the northerly 
road and in-bound traffic the southerly road. This is an important 
highway change which will require extensive resurfacing. Newton is 
also to repave parts of Centre St., Washington St. and Beacon St.; 
Quincy — Sea Street from the Southern Artery to Hough's Neck and Wash- 
ington Street from City Square to the Southern Artery; 
Somerville — Beacon St. for its entire length; Elm St. for its entire length; 
parts of Davis Square; section of Powder House Boulevard and section 
of Broadway. All these are particularly important as parts of important 
through ways; 
Stoneham — Main St. for its entire length; 



5 

Stoughton — Parts of Washington St. and parts of Canton St.; 

Waltham — Moody St. from Central Square to Taylor St. and part of Beaver 

St. and Warren St; 
Watertown — Parts of Mt. Auburn St., Belmont St. and North Beacon St.; 
Wellesley — Parts of Washington St.; Central St.; and Weston Road; 
Winchester — Parts of Wildwood St.; Main St.; and Highland Ave.; 
Woburn — Parts of Wyman St. and Main St. 

Rapid Transit 

By chapter 394 of the Acts of 1930, the Legislature modified the provi- 
sions of chapter 341 of the Acts of 1925 providing for alterations in, and 
extensions to, the Boylston Street subway at Governor Square, with exits on 
Commonwealth Avenue and Beacon Street. 

Work upon the Governor Square extension will undoubtedly be under way 
within a few weeks. 

The Trustees of the Elevated have accepted the provisions of chapter 444 
of the Acts of 1924 providing for the construction of a station on the Cam- 
bridge subway at the intersection of Charles and Cambridge Streets. This 
station will be of great convenience to patrons of the Massachusetts General 
Hospital, to the residents of Beacon Hill, and to the increasing numbers who 
will use the improved and enlarged park along the banks of the Charles 
River. 

East Boston Tunnel 

The Legislature of 1929 by chapter 297 authorized the construction of 
the East Boston Tunnel at an estimated cost of $16,000,000. Mayor Nichols 
requested this Division and the City Planning Board to join with the Boston 
Transit Department in advising him as to the location of the tunnel. 

Early in 1930 Mayor Curley determined upon the location and ordered 
the immediate construction of the tunnel. In his approval of the location 
he stated his intention to follow the recommendations of the two Planning 
Boards for the construction of a new highway along the general line of 
Cross Street, leading from Haymarket Square by the entrance of the tunnel 
to Atlantic Avenue. In approving the location of the tunnel, he also author- 
ized the widening of North Street from the tunnel plaza to Dock Square and 
the widening of Porter Street in East Boston. 

This Division has prepared a plan for a highway leading from the East 
Boston entrance of the tunnel northerly to connect with the three main 
highways to the north, to wit, the shore road, Broadway and the Newbury- 
port Turnpike. This highway will undoubtedly when constructed be built as 
a state highway and the general plans prepared by the Division have been 
approved by the Department of Public Works. 

Respectfully submitted, 

DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN PLANNING 
Charles R. Gow, Chairman 

Frederic H. Fay 
Richard K. Hale 
Everett E. Stone 
Frank A. Bayrd 
James B. Noyes 



Public Document No. 142 



ahe (Enmmauuipaltb of ittaBsarhusrttB 



*£ it s 7 ^^r 



ANNUAL REPORT 

OF THE 

DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN 
PLANNING 

FOR THE 
YEAR ENDING NOVEMBER 30, 1930. 





Publication op this Document approved by the Commission on Administration and Finance 
S00— 7-'31. Order 2926. 



(HIjp (fiomtttimmraltij of ffiaBBatl-itxetttB 

Division of Metropolitan Planning 
20 Somerset Street, Boston, July 1, 1931. 

T y o the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives in General Court- 
Assembled. 

This Division respectfully submits its annual report for the year ending 
November 30, 1930 and also embodies in its report a statement of important 
legislation authorized by the 1931 session of the General Court, together with a 
list of the more important projects to be undertaken by the various cities and 
towns of the Metropolitan District during the current year. 

Highways 
The Division of Metropolitan Planning is still working on its comprehensive 
highway plan for the Metropolitan District. Many studies have been made 
during the year and it is expected that during 1931 this general highway plan 
will be substantially completed. It is hoped that this plan will be the basis of 
future highway legislation and construction in the Metropolitan District. 
The 1931 session of the Legislature enacted important highway legislation 
for the metropolitan area. Among the important acts affecting highways are: — 
Chapter 2. — Modifying the provisions of the act providing for the recon- 
struction and widening of Centre St. by the city of Boston. 

Chapter ltf.9. — Providing for the construction of a State Highway by the 
Department of Public Works in Hull and Hingham by passing the heavy traffic 
at Nantasket Beach and at the same time improving the vehicular approach to 
the beach. 

Chapter 122. — Providing for an increase gas tax to enlarge the funds 
available for the state highway program in the Commonwealth. 

Chapter U22. — Providing for the construction by the city of Boston of a 
strandway along the E. Boston waterfront. 

Chapter UU5. — Authorizing the Department of Public Works to construct 
a state highway in Revere which will ultimately become a part of the new state 
highway to accommodate E. Boston Tunnel traffic and permit it to reach the 
three main arteries to the north without passing through congested districts. 
The Act also provides for seme important construction local to Revere Beach. 

Chapter 4.50. — This is the blanket Metropolitan Highway bill of the year. It 
authorizes numerous projects, to wit, — 

(a) An extension of the Revere Beach Parkway frcm the Fellsway in 

Medford to Mystic Ave. 
(6) A widening and improvement of the Alewife Brook Parkway in the 
city of Cambridge. 

(c) The construction of a new bridge at the end of East Milton St. in 

the Readville District. 

(d) The construction of the Hammond Woods Parkway in Brookline and 

Newton, 
(c) The resurfacing of Reedsdale Road and Brook Road in the town of 
Milton. 
The Department of Public Works was also instructed in this act to make 
plans for a grade separation at the intersection of the Riverway and Hunting- 
ton Ave. in Boston. 

Chapter U5U. — Amends the Highway Act of 1930 chiefly in increasing the 
appropriation for the circumferential highway and for the important parkway 
that will start on Centre Street and end at the Charles River in the West Rox- 
bury section. It also provides for certain amendments to the Canterbury 
Boulevard with studies of its extension to Washington St.' and to the new 
Providence highway. 

Mass. Secretary of tne Commonwealth 



Rapid Transit 

Chapter 333 provides for an extension of the operation of the Boston 
Elevated Railway by the Public Trustees for an additional period of twenty- 
five years and, by a readjustment of its capital structure, effects savings in 
excess of one million dollars. This is an extremely important matter which has 
been before the Legislature in various forms for the last six years. 

Work is well advanced on the extension of the Boylstcn Street Subway under 
Governor Square. During the year it was decided to extend the subway out 
Beacon Street to a point beyond Audubon Circle. This extension should be com- 
pleted within two years, possibly in less time. 

East Boston Tunnel 
The Transit Department of the city of Boston has during the present year let 
contracts for the construction of the major portion of the East Boston Tunnel 
and has taken the necessary lands for the Tunnel, for the widening of North 
Street and of Cross Street in Boston and for the widening cf Porter Street in 
East Boston. The Tunnel is going to be one of the great arteries of travel into 
and out of Boston. It is of the utmost importance however that proper ap- 
proaches be built both in Boston and East Boston, the approach in Boston in- 
cluding as a minimum the widening and extension cf Cross Street between 
Haymarket Square and Atlantic Ave. and the approach in East Boston and 
points north of there including a state highway which will connect Day Square 
with the North Shore road, Broadway and the Newburyport Turnpike. An 
important start has already been made on this highway in the enactment of 
chapter 445. 

Local Highway Improvements 

Under the provisions of chapter 90, the State is reconstructing and improving 
in conjunction with the cities and towns the following highways: 

Needham Great Plain Ave. 

Norwood Winter Street 

Reading Salem Street 

Saugus Main and Howard Streets 

Stoneham Maple Street 

Stoughton Central Street 

Pearl Street 
Pleasant Street 
(about 2 Turnpike Street 

Westwood Summer Street 

Westfield Street 
Winchester .. Hierh Street 
Woburn Main Street 



Arlington 


Massachusetts Ave. 




Pleasant Street 




Chapman Street 


Dedham 


Westfield Street 


Hingham _ 


Main Street 




Short Street 




Leavitt Street 




East Street 


Hull-Hingham 


Nantasket Road ( 




miles ) 


Lexington 


Massachusetts Ave. 


Lynn _ 


Walnut Street 


Maiden 


Eastern Avenue 


Milton 


Randolph Ave. 



In addition the various cities and towns are themselves carrying forward an 
important resurfacing program which includes many through ways. 

Resolves 
Chapter 37 of the Resolves of 1931 provides for an investigation by the 
Division of Metropolitan Planning regarding the advisability of extending the 
Cambridge Subway to Arlington and also extending rapid transit from Lech- 
mere Square to Davis Square in Somerville. 

Finances 

Appropriation for the Division for 1931 $31,500.00 

Expenditures 22,602.39 

Unexpended balance $ 8,897.61 

Respectfully submitted, 
DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN PLANNING 

By CHARLES R. GOW, Chairman EVERETT E. STONE 

FREDERIC H. FAY FRANK A. BAYRD 

WILSON MARSH ARTHUR B. CORBETT 

RICHARD K. HALE HENRY I. HARRIMAN, Director 



Public Document No - 142 



ANNUAL REPORT 

OF THE 

DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN 
PLANNING 

FOR THE 

YEAR ENDING NOVEMBER 30, 1931. 





Publication op this Document approved by the Commission on Administration and Finance 
300. 8-'32. Order 6061. 



2ty* (Bnmm0nroealtl? of MuBsut^nBttta 



Division of Metropolitan Planning 
20 Somerset Street, Boston, July 1, 1932. 



To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives in General Court 
Assembled. 

This Division respectfully submits its Annual Report for the year ending 
November 30, 1931 and also embodies in its report a statement of important 
legislation authorized by the 1932 session of the General Court, together with 
a list of the more important projects now under way in the various cities and 
towns of the Metropolitan District. 

Highways 

Owing to the serious financial situation, comparatively little highway 
legislation was enacted by the General Court of 1932. Several matters were, 
however, authorized of distinct importance. 

Chapter 302 provides for the laying out and constructing of a state high- 
way extending from the Alewife Brook Parkway in the City of Cambridge 
westerly through this city and the towns of Arlington, Belmont, Lexington, Lin- 
coln and Concord. This highway when constructed will be the eastern end of the 
Mohawk Trail. Much of this highway has already been constructed and when 
completed it will run from the Alewife Brook Parkway in the Metropolitan 
District to the New York State linq; avoiding nearly all of the important 
centers of population such as Concord, Ayer, Leominster, Fitchburg, and 
Greenfield and forming one of the very important east and west routes across 
the state. 

Chapter 285 will expedite the construction of the Worcester Turnpike. The 
street railway tracks will be eliminated and the new Worcester Turnpike 
will run from Brookline Village to Worcester, connecting easterly of Worcester 
with the important circumferential route around the city. 

Chapter 2U1 provides for the construction of a new bridge over the Saugus 
River between the Point of Pines and the City of Lynn. This is a much 
needed structure. 

Chapter 287 provides for the construction of a new street from the westerly 
entrance of the East Boston Vehicular Tunnel through Haymarket Square to 
the junction of Merrimac and Portland Street. It will form a very important 
outlet for tunnel traffic and will include a large circle in Haymarket Square 
itself. 

Chapter 301 provides for certain changes and extensions in the Hammond 
Woods Parkway. 

The Division is continuing its studies of both radial and circumferential 
routes in the Metropolitan District and will have important suggestions to 
make when funds are properly available for their construction. 

Rapid Transit 

Chapter 306 authorizes the City of Boston to construct a subway from Park 
Street under the Common and along Columbus Avenue, Stuart Street and 
Huntington Avenue to a point westerly of Gainsboro Street. This work will 
be started by the Transit Department in the near future and will form an 
important link in through route No. 1, suggested by this Division. 

Chapter 299 provides for the purchase by the Boston Elevated Railway Com- 
pany of the property of the Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway Company 
in Revere, Chelsea, Everett, Maiden and Boston. This is another step toward 
the improvement and unification of transportation service in the Boston 
Metropolitan District. 



fno P 



r\ PY1 m r%. nin * «* 1 



The new subway under and in the vicinity of Governor Square will be com- 
pleted during the present year, in six months less time than estimated and at 
a substantial saving in cost. It will be an important link in the transportation 
system of the Elevated Road. 

East Boston Tunnel 

The Boston Transit Department is making rapid progress in this major 
project and it is expected that the Tunnel will be opened to traffic within 12 
months. 

Local Highway Improvements 

Under the provisions of Chapter 90, the State is reconstructing and improv- 
ing in conjunction with the cities and towns the following highways in the 
Metropolitan District: 

Arlington, Massachusetts Avenue . . $ 45,000 Between Menotomy Road 

and Winter Street. 

Belmont, Mill Street 54,000 From Trapelo Road to 

Concord Avenue. 

Malden, Eastern Avenue 80,000 Continuation of 19 3 1 

work. 
Newton, Washington Street .... 223,000 From West Newton Rail- 
road Bridge to Pea- 
body Street. 

Reading, Reading Square 21,000 40' Roadway through 

Square. 

Stoneham, Maple Street 14,400 Continuation of 19 3 1 

work. 
In addition, the various cities and towns are themselves carrying forward an 
important resurfacing program, which includes many through ways. 

Finances 

Appropriation for the Division for 1931 $23,235.99 

Expenditures 21,927.72 

Unexpended Balance $ 1,308.27 

Respectfully submitted, 

DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN PLANNING 

By CHARLES R. GOW, Chairman EVERETT E. STONE 

FREDERIC H. FAY ARTHUR B. CORBETT 

WILSON MARSH WILLIAM F. ROGERS 

RICHARD K. HALE HENRY I. HARRIMAN, Director 



Public Document No. 142 



Oil}? (Cammnnuiralil) of fHaaaar^UBPttB 



ANNUAL REPORT 

OF THE 

DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN 
PLANNING 

FOR THE 

YEAR ENDING NOVEMBER 30, 1932. 




Publication op this Document Approved 3y thr Commission on Administration ami Finance 
300. 11-'3S. Order 9658. 



*P 



:. ? D 



2 
2% QJommnmnpatttj of iHaaaar^nflrtta 

Division of Metropolitan Planning 
20 Somerset Street, Boston, November 30, 1932. 



To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives in General Court 
Assembled: 

This Division herewith respectfully submits its annual report for the year 
ending November 30, 1932. 

This year has witnessed gratifying progress in the construction and improve- 
ment of important thoroughfares in the Metropolitan District, both on the part 
of the Metropolitan District Commission and the Department of Public Works, 
and also to some extent by the cities and towns of the District. The following 
projects are of particular importance: 

1. The Circumferential route from Hingham on the south via the Braintree, 
Weymouth, Hingham cut-off to Braintree, thence via the Blue Hill River Road 
to Washington Street in Canton and thence over the recently opened route 
through Westwood, Dedham and Needham to intersect the Worcester Turn- 
pike in Wellesley. This is proving of great value to the District and is already 
carrying a heavy traffic. 

2. The Worcester Turnpike is completed from Worcester to the Natick line. 
This is an excellent piece of work, thoroughly modern and an example to be 
followed in much future highway work throughout the State. The same type 
of construction will be followed through Wellesley and Newton and should be 
completed to the Brookline line by the summer of 1933. 

3. The Canterbury Highway. This has been completed and opened for 
traffic from Blue Hill Avenue to the Cummins Highway in the Hyde Park 
section. It will not carry its full traffic or realize its full value until it is 
extended to Washington St. in accordance with the original plan and also 
perhaps southerly to the Neponset River. 

4. The Brook Farm Parkway from the West Roxbury Parkway to Spring 
Street at the Charles River near the Dedham line. This parkway is completed 
and only needs the short section to be built by the city of Boston from the 
West Roxbury Parkway to Center Street near Walter Street to be a valuable 
addition to the parkway projects of the District. It is hoped that this may be 
extended through Caledonia Grove to Route No. 1. in Dedham. 

5. The Hammond Pond Parkway. This has been completed from the circle 
at Newton and Hammond Streets and the West Roxbury Parkway to within 
a short distance of Boylston St. and the extension to Beacon Street will be 
completed probably by the Fall of 1933. 

6. The Revere Beach Parkway Extension from the Circle at the Fellsway 
westerly to Mystic Avenue. This is under construction and will require the 
removal of peat and its replacement by gravel fill. When it will be ready for 
use will depend upon the decision on the type and size of drawbridge that 
must be built across the Mystic River. 

7. The underpass carrying Memorial Drive under Massachusetts Avenue 
in Cambridge. This is completed and has changed that heavily congested point 
to one where traffic is able to move with speed and efficiency. 

8. Paul's Bridge at the intersection of Neponset River Parkway p.nd Brush 
Hill Road in the Hyde Park District. Bids have been opened for the recon- 
struction of this bridge. 



9. The Charles River Basin improvement. This work is proceeding satis- 
factorily and it will ultimately be of great benefit to the city of Boston. 

10. The extension of Soldiers Field Road in the Brighton District across 
Weston Avenue to North Beacon Street. This project will be advertised for 
bids within a month and it will shortly be under construction. It is a desirable 
and necessary route and will connect the Soldiers Field Parkway with 
Nonantum Road leading toward Newton, making what will be practically a 
continuous parkway all along the southerly side of the Charles River from 
Bay State Road in Boston to Watertown. It should be open for traffic in the 
summer of 1933. 

11. Nantasket cut-off. This is a new highway from Rockland Street in 
Hingham to Nantasket Avenue in Hull and is a great aid to the heavy 
Nantasket Beach traffic. The Nantasket Beach road has also been resurfaced. 

12. The Roosevelt Circle. This is the circle at the intersection of Forest 
Street and the Fellsway which is nearing completion. It will prove an attrac- 
tive and valuable improvement facilitating traffic at this intersection. 

13. The East Boston Vehicular Tunnel. The work on this tunnel is pro- 
gressing rapidly. The work has proceeded from the East Boston side and was 
holed through under North Square into the already completed portion on July 
23, 1932. It will take all of next year to complete the paving, lining, etc. It 
should be ready for traffic early in 1934. Studies for traffic ways connecting 
the tunnel with the various highways to the north are under way and some 
construction work has already been done. 

The recommendations of this Division for highway and parkway projects 
have been listed in House Bills 130, 131, 132, and 133 of this year. 

House Bill No. 43 is a special report of the Division of Metropolitan Planning 
relative to extending the Cambridge Subway to Arlington and rapid transit 
lines from Lechmere Square in Cambridge to Davis Square in Somerville. 
This report was made as a result of chapter 37 of the Resolves of 1931. 

Senate Bill No. U00 is a report to the Boston Metropolitan Council by the 
Trustees of the Boston Metropolitan District relative to the advisability of 
extending Washington Street tunnel in the city of Boston to Sullivan Square 
in the Charlestown district of said city and removing the elevated structure 
from Main Street in Charlestown. This Division has made many studies and 
estimates in connection with this report. 

Chapter 299, Acts of 1932, authorized the purchase of the property of the 
Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway Company in Revere, Chelsea, Everett 
and Maiden by the Boston Elevated Railway Company to provide unified 
transportation in those parts of the Boston Metropolitan District. 

Chapter 306, Acts of 1932, authorized the city of Boston to construct the 
Huntington Avenue Subway in said city. This act referred to a plan calling 
for an appropriation of eight and a half million dollars and was not ac- 
cepted by the Boston Elevated Railway Company. The plan of this Division 
requiring an appropriation of only five million two hundred thousand dollars 
for this project has not had much consideration up to the time of the refusal 
of the Elevated to accept the act, but it has since been more favorably received. 

Chapter 302, Acts of 1932, authorized the laying out of a state highway from 
the Alewife Brook Parkway in the city of Cambridge westerly through Arling- 
ton, Belmont, Lexington, and Lincoln to Concord. When completed this will 
be the gateway to the Mohawk Trail. 

Chapter 241, Acts of 1932, provides for the construction of a bridge over the 
Saugus River between Point of Pines in Revere and the city of Lynn. 

Chapter 258, Acts of 1932, makes further provision for certain highways 
and highway improvements in Revere. 

Chapter 32, Resolves of 1932, calls for the preparation of plans and specifi- 
cations for a new high level bridge over the Weymouth Fore River between 
Quincy and Weymouth. .„«lik 

M<*ss Secretary of tne Ctnmonwealtn 



Studies made by this Division during the year 1932 include the following: 

1. The Circumferential Route and its extension to the north and east. There 
are many factors that make this a difficult and complicated problem. 

The congestion and development encountered through Newton, Waltham, Lex- 
ington, Woburn, Stoneham and Wakefield would seem to point to a more 
westerly and northerly route passing around these crowded places and travers- 
ing more open country. Both inner and outer routes are being studied, so that 
this long needed highway may soon be continued northerly from its present 
terminus at the Worcester Turnpike in Wellesley. 

2. The Stoneham- Wakefield-Reading by-pass which would enable the heavy 
traffic to the north of Boston to pass around the already congested portions of 
the three towns mentioned. 

3. The Watertown-Waltham boulevard along the Charles River beginning 
at and proceeding westerly from the intersection of Galen St. and California 
Street in Watertown. 

4. Many traffic circles, underpasses and overpasses of great desirability, 
a few of which are — 

(a) Huntington Avenue and Riverway overpass near the Boston- 
Brookline line; 

(b) Southern Artery and Old Colony Parkway-Circle; 

(c) Center Street and West Roxbury Parkway-Circle; 

(d) Northern Artery and Prison Point Viaduct in East Cambridge 
near the end of the Charles River Dam Circle. 

5. Many additional studies, some of which were made at the request of the 
various cities and towns of the District. 

6. Further rapid transit studies to which reference has already been made. 

7. This Division has given considerable study to rehabilitation and slum 
clearance, as in its estimation these factors enter into highway and parkway 
projects to a great extent. It is typical of many cities which take pride in 
their parkway systems, their general appearance and their highways, that 
the approaches to the city are unsightly, unpleasant and neglected, and often 
times what might have been beautiful parkways or boulevards leading to the 
city have been permitted through neglect or indifference to become a serious 
liability instead of a valuable asset. 

This Division has been engaged for some years in preparing a comprehensive 
traffic plan for the district. Although the registration of automobiles has fallen 
off slightly in the last year or two due to the depression, tha returns from the 
gas tax indicate that about the same amount of gasoline is being used as in 
1929, and there is an enormous mileage of highway and parkway travel 
throughout the district, to such an extent in fact, that were it not for the 
efforts of this Division and the cooperation of the General Court in authorizing 
projects in recent years, conditions would be almost impossible due to the con- 
gestion that would have been encountered on the roads that were previously 
available for travel. Much remains to be done, and there are many studies 
still to be made of the improvement of existing routes, studies for the relief 
of congestion at heavy intersections and studies of individual problems as 
presented by some of the cities and towns in the District. 

This Division has anticipated the need for economy by curtailing its expen- 
ditures and its ecomomies may be seen from the fact that its expenditures 
for the current fiscal year were the lowest in its history, totaling cnly 
$19,300.37. 

Respectfully submitted, 

DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN PLANNING 

By CHARLES R. GOW, Chairman RICHARD K. HALE 

FREDERIC H. FAY ARTHUR B. CORBETT 

WILSON MARSH WILLIAM F. ROGERS 

HENRY I. HARRIMAN, Director 



Public Document 



No. 142 



Clje CommontoealtJ) of Jttag£acJ)u£ettg 

ANNUAL REPORT 

OF THE 

DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN 
PLANNING 

FOR THE 

YEAR ENDING NOVEMBER 30 

1933 




r r. T B L I C 

Publication of this Document Approved by the Commission on Administration and Finance 
500. 7-'34. Order 1891. 



C&e Commontoealt!) of Jftaaaaciwaette 



Division of Metropolitan Planning 
20 Somerset Street, Boston, November 30, 1933 

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives in General Court Assembled: 

This Division herewith respectfully submits its annual report for the year ending 
November 30, 1933. 

Many projects that have been underway have been completed and others of 
great merit are now under way, their construction having been expedited by the 
direct grant of six and one-half million dollars received from the Federal Govern- 
ment, authorized and made available by the National Industrial Recovery Act 
which was passed in June of this year. 

The projects that have been completed and those that are underway include the 
following: 

1. Worcester Turnpike continuation to Sumner St., Brookline, including an 
overpass over the Hammond Pond Parkway. 

2. Hammond Pond Parkway from Boylston Street to Beacon Street, Newton. 

3. Veterans of Foreign Wars Parkway, Boston from Centre Street to connect 
with the Brook Farm Parkway at its intersection with the West Roxbury Parkway. 
A large and attractive traffic circle has also been completed at the intersection of 
the three parkways. 

4. Mystic Valley Parkway Extension from Mystic Avenue easterly to the 
Fellsway at its intersection with the Revere Beach Parkway, Medford. This is 
under construction and work on the drawbridge will begin shortly. 

5. Pauls Bridge, crossing the Neponset River at the Milton-Hyde Park line, 
has been widened and reconstructed and this part of the Neponset River Parkway 
much improved. 

6. Soldiers Field Road Extension from Western Avenue to North Beacon 
Street continues the parkway system along the Charles River to a point near 
Nonantum Road. This parkway was opened in July and is already carrying a 
heavy east and west-abound pleasure traffic. 

7. The Roosevelt Circle at the intersection of Forest Street and Fellsway 
West, Medford is an attractive and efficient aid to traffic movement. 

8. Northern Outlet — This highway leading northerly from Day Square in 
East Boston is under construction and some portions have been completed. Event- 
ually it is intended to extend this highway to the Salem Turnpike and the Newbury- 
port Turnpike to expedite traffic to and from the East Boston Tunnel. 

9. The East Boston Tunnel is rapidly nearing completion (paving completed 
May 4, 1933) and should be opened for traffic during the first half of 1934. 

10. Boston Tunnel connections — The widening of North Street, Cross Street 
and Haymarket Square are progressing rapidly. Paving will start early in 1934 
so that access to the vehicular tunnel on the Boston side will be much improved 
in readiness for the tunnel's opening. 

11. Charles River Basin Improvement — This improvement is nearly finished. 
The work along the Boston shore will be completed about June 1934. 



3 

12. Blue Hill River Road has been widened and resurfaced from Hillside to 
Randolph Avenue and is greatly improved. Other improvements in the Blue Hill 
Reservation have been accomplished by the aid of the C. C. C. and the C. W. A. 
forces. 

13. The Cambridge-Concord Highway which will be the gateway to the Mo- 
hawk Trail is underway from the Alewife Brook Parkway to Pleasant Street, 
Belmont, and the contract for the second section from Belmont through Lexington 
and Lincoln to the Concord line should be let in the near future. 

14. Point of Pines Bridge. — Preliminary work has been started. 

15. Weymouth-Fore River Bridge. — Work is underway and a temporary 
bridge utilizing the old draw span will be opened in February, 1934. 

The recommendations of this Division for highway and parkway projects have 
been listed in House Bills 112, 113, and 114 of tins year. These recommendations 
include: — 

1. The completion of a state highway from Day Square in East Boston north- 
erly to suitable connections with the North Shore Road, Broadway, Revere and 
the Newburyport Turnpike in Saugus. 

2. Completion of the new gateway to the Mohawk Trail through Arlington, 
Belmont, Lexington and Lincoln to the Concord line. This was authorized by 
chapter 302 of the Acts of 1932. 

3. Completion of the Worcester Turnpike through Brookline including an 
overpass at the intersection of Huntington Avenue and the River way. 

4. Continuation of the Circumferential Route northerly and easterly from 
its present terminus at the Worcester Turnpike in Wellesley. 

5. Extension of the American Legion Highway to the intersection of Washing- 
ton Street and the West Roxbury Parkway. 

6. Gerry's Landing Bridge and connecting parkways. 

7. New highway to Lowell. 

8. Quincy-Milton highway. 

9. Watertown-Waltham route along the Charles River. 
10. Stoneham-Wakefield-Reading cut-off. 

The final report of the Special Commission on Zoning and Planning of which 
Senator Hollis was the Chairman was published in January as House Bill 1240. 
This was a masterly and comprehensive report and it was expected that its recom- 
mendations for a State Planning Board might be realized, but the banking crisis 
and the closing of all the banks called for emergency legislation the urgency of 
which crowded all other legislative matters into the background. It is hoped that 
the need of a State Planning Board will be realized and such a board created in the 
near future. 

The passing of the National Industrial Recovery Act on June 16, 1933, called 
for special legislation to enable the Commonwealth on one hand and the cities and 
towns on the other to secure the benefits provided by the N. I. R. A., and these 
acts are found as chapter 365 and 366. 

Chapter 49 is an act establishing an Emergency Finance Board. 

Chapter 344 is an act covering the receipt and disposition of the Federal funds 
under the Relief Act of 1933. 

Chapter 364 establishes the State Housing Board. 

Chapter 192 is an act to relieve cities and towns in the Metropolitan District of 
the cost of maintenance of boulevards. 

Chapter 215 provides for a topographical survey of the Commonwealth. 



Chapter 370 transfers $8,028,320 of the gasoline tax from the Highway Fund 
to the General Fund. 

Chapter 16 of the resolves provides for an investigation bj r the Department of 
Public Works of the Milton-Quincy highway. 

Chapter 46 of the resolves provides for an investigation by the Division of Met- 
ropolitan Planning and the Boston Transit Department of the 
removal of the Washington Street Elevated structure. 
With the passing of the acts enabling the Commonwealth and the cities and towns 
to benefit under the provisions of the National Industrial Recovery Act, came the 
appointments of the following Boards, Commissions and personnel: 

Emergency Public Works Commission 
State Advisory Public Works Board 
A State Engineer for Public Works 
A Regional Advisor for New England 

At this time the Emergency Finance Board was given broader powers. 

It was fortunate that this Division was ready with a comprehensive plan for 
highways and parkways for the district, for thus much time was saved that would 
have been wasted otherwise searching for plans and projects of real desirability 
in order to put men to work expeditiously, which was the object desired. 

With the establishment of the C. W. A., this Division was also ready with a 
list of suitable and most desirable projects. 

It was the opinion of the Board of the Metropolitan Planning Division that, 
in view of Massachusetts' very substantial contributions to the cost of the Federal 
Government, there was ample justification for Massachusetts' applying for its 
share of the money to be alloted and a list of sixteen projects with a total estimated 
cost for construction of $7,275,000 was approved for submission to the Emergency 
Public Works Board. 

This Division was called upon to furnish various maps and statistical data to 
many departments, both legislative and other committees, and commissions, 
and there are few, if any, departments which have failed to apply for various 
services of this kind. This service has also been available to various cities and towns 
in the District. 

Studies made by the Division during the year 1933 include the following: — 

Rapid Transit Extensions 
(a) Further studies of the Huntington Avenue route. 
(6) Further investigation of routes to Somerville and Arlington. 

(c) A new series of studies of East Boston rapid transit extensions. 

1. — Via Orleans Street to Day Square. 

2. — Via Porter Street, the airport and Wood Island Park. 

(d) Elevated Structure removal, Washington Street, Boston — chapter 46, 
Resolves of 1933. 

Highways, Streets and Parkways 
(a) Outer circumferential route 
(6) Inner circumferential route. 

(c) Northern Outlet — northerly from East Boston. 

(d) Miscellaneous plans for the facilitation of traffic in the city of Bosto.. to 
and from the tunnel. 

(e) Hammond Pond Parkway Extension — various routes being studied and 
considered. 

(/) Various studies of traffic circles and grade separations within the Metro- 
politan District, with the idea of increasing the efficiency of existing routes and 
eliminating dangerous conditions where accidents have been frequent. 



The following Table is of particular interest at this time, as it shows the effect 
of the depression on motor vehicle registrations, the cessation of automobile re- 
placement, the loss in value of motor vehicles in service in the state; but opposed 
to these effects of the depression stands out the fact that gasoline consumption 
and the accompanying revenue from the gasoline tax shows very little decrease. 
The gasoline tax is the one source of revenue practically unaffected by the de- 
pression. 

In 1932 the Legislature appropriated five million dollars from the Highway 
Fund to be paid to the cities and towns for highway purposes. In 1933, chapter 370 
transferred eight million dollars of the gasoline tax from the Highway Fund to the 
General Fund. In 1934, it may be ten millions or more. It is hoped that with the 
return of prosperity the funds available from the gasoline tax may again be de- 
voted to highway uses. 

Table I. — Motor Vehicle Statistics — Massachusetts 





Total Automo- 


Taxed value 


Average 




Total tax- 






tive vehicle 


of 


car 


Excise 


able gal- 


Gasoline* 




registration 


vehicles 


value 


tax 


lons gas 


tax 


1929 


1,025,072 


$389,777,027 


$389.75 


$10,363,325 


459,781,366 


$9,195,627 


1930 


1,013,118 


352,760,905 


354 . 20 


8,534,837 


528,740,317 


10,574,806 


1931 


1,010,526 


304,113,291 


308 . 14 


7,611,555 


565,717,117 


15,067,888 


1932 


924,095 


240,317,775 


267.75 


6,183,706 


561,905,051 


16,857,151 


1933 


932,041 


212,093,824 


235.61 


5,287,438 


557,013,876 


16,710,416 


Tax rate — 2c. to May 1931; 3c. since. 











Table II shows the monthly consumption of gasoline both in gallons and as a 
percentage of the total for the calendar years 1929 to 1933, the time during which 
the gasoline tax has been in operation. Table No. 1 gives the figures for the fiscal 
year ending November 30. 



Table II. — Monthly Gasoline Consumption 





1929 




193C 




1931 




1932 




1933 






Million 




Million 




Million 




Million 




Million 






Gallons 


% 


Gallons 


% 


Gallons 


% 


Gallons 


% 


Gallons 


% 


Jan. 


26.2 


5.30 


30.3 


5.66 


33.0 


5.82 


35.6 


6.35 


33.5 


6.01 


Feb. 


26.4 


5.33 


29.9 


5.58 


29.8 


5.26 


33.4 


5.97 


32.7 


5.88 


Mar. 


32.3 


6.51 


36.2 


6.76 


37.4 


6.60 


39.9 


7.13 


37.5 


6.74 


Apr. 


37.9 


7.65 


45.2 


8.45 


47.4 


8.37 


45.0 


8.05 


41.0 


7.36 


May 


46.3 


9.37 


47.9 


8.95 


49.4 


8.72 


50.2 


8.96 


51.6 


9.27 


June 


48.4 


9.79 


51.4 


9.61 


53.0 


9.36 


53.3 


9.52 


55.6 


9.99 


July . 


53.0 


10.73 


55.1 


10.30 


59.0 


10.41 


53.6 


9.57 


55.2 


9.91 


Aug. 


54.8 


11.07 


55.7 


10.32 


60.1 


10.60 


58.2 


10.40 


58.4 


10.50 


Sep. 


46.4 


9.39 


50.4 


9.41 


53.6 


9.46 


51.2 


9.15 


51.9 


9.32 


Oct. 


47.1 


9.53 


48.0 


8.97 


53.1 


9.37 


50.8 


9.08 


51.6 


9.27 


Nov. 


40.8 


8.23 


43.4 


8.21 


46.4 


8.20 


45.5 


8.12 


45.4 


8.14 


Dec. 


34.6 


7.10 


41.6 


7.78 


44.4 


7.83 


43.1 


7.70 


42.4 


7.61 


Totals 


494.2 100.00 


535.1 100.00 


566.6 100.00 


559.8 100.00 


556.8 100.00 



Table No. 3 indicates the rapidity with which the automobile has entered the 
lives of the people. Almost unknown in 1904 with only about one vehicle per 1,000 
people, it has increased in thirty years to over a million vehicles, or one for ap- 
proximately every four of the population. The period following the war shows a 
fairly uniform increase with about 100,000 vehicles additional for every two years. 



*1904 
1905 
1908 
1914 
1915 
1918 
1920 
1922 
1924 
1926 
1927 
1928 
1929 
1930 
1931 
1932 
1933 



Table III. — Automobile Registration. 

Commonwealth Metropolitan 

of Massachusetts District 

3,743 
5,442 

19,988 
85,407 

112,153 

206,359 

319,774 

461,513 

683,093 

838,111 

828,795 329,183 

892,501 382,028 

1,025,072 427,645 

1,013,118 418,006 

1,010,526 414,315! 

924,095 378,8801 

932,041 382,1401 



*This is the first reference to the automobile in the State Highway Commission Reports. 
Approximate figures for the Metropolitan District (43 cities and towns). 



The above figures include pleasure vehicles, commercial vehicles, buses and 
motor cycles. 

This Division has realized for some years the need for economy. It has kept its 
expenditures down to a minimum and by strict economy and careful management 
has carried on for the current fiscal year with expenditures totalling only $17,334.91. 



Respectfully submitted, 



DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN PLANNING 
Charles R. Gow, Chairman Richard K. Hale 

Frederick H. Fay Everett E. Stone 

Wilson Marsh William F. Rogers 

Arthur B. Corbett 
Henry I. Harriman, Director 



*6^ 5-7 36" 

Public Document No. 142 

<5hr Cnmmnnruralth nf Mw&aatliUBtttB 



ANNUAL REPORT 

OF THE 



DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN 
PLANNING 

FOR THE 

YEAR ENDING NOVEMBER 30 

1934 




Publication of this Document Approved by the Commission on Administration and Finance 
300 — 4-'35. Order 4293. 



Oil)? Cummnttuw altlj of M&BmtfyuwttB 

DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN PLANNING 

20 Somerset St., Boston, November 30, 1934. 



To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives in General Court' 
Assembled: 

The Division of Metropolitan Planning herewith respectfully submits its 
annual report for the year ending November 30, 1934. 

Special Reports 

In accordance with instructions from the General Court, this Division has 
been engaged this year in the investigation and preparation of reports on the 
following matters having to do with proposed rapid transit extensions or im- 
provements in the District. 

1. Removal of the Washington Street Elevated Structure in Boston, Rox- 
bury and West Roxbury and substitution therefor of a subway in accordance 
with Chapter 36 of the Resolves of 1933. This resolve called for a joint report 
by the Metropolitan Planning Division and the Boston Transit Department. 

2. Advisibility of extending the Cambridge Subway to Arlington and the 
rapid transit system from Lechmere Square in Cambridge to Arlington in 
accordance with Chapter 22 of the Resolves of 1934. 

3. Advisability of extending the rapid transit system in the city of Boston 
from Forest Hills Station to Spring St. or the Dedham line in accordance with 
Chapter 40 of the Resolves of 1934. 

These reports must be filed early in December of 1934. In none of these re- 
ports is the Division making definite recommendations but we feel that a sin- 
cere effort must be made to provide for the future financing of desirable and 
needed rapid transit extensions or improvements and therefore we are filing 
a bill providing for the setting up of a fund which will accumulate for this 
purpose and make such improvements possible without the burden of long- 
term bond issues. 

Projects Authorized in 1934 

Of the projects recommended in 1934 by this Division, the following were 
authorized by the General Court: 

1. An overpass carrying the Riverway and Jamaicaway over Huntington 
Ave. at the Boston-Brookline line. This was authorized by chapter 380 of the 
Acts of 1934 and is a greatly needed improvement inasmuch as this intersec- 
tion carries approximately 30,000 vehicles on Huntington Ave. east and west 
bound crossing 30,000 vehicles on the Parkway north and south bound. 

2. The Neponset Circle at the intersection of the Gallivan Boulevard, Old 
Colony Parkway and Neponset Ave. where the daily traffic totals around 50,- 
000 vehicles. This was authorized by Chapter 341 of the Acts of 1934. 

In addition to these the following projects were authorized: 

1. Chapter 341 authorized the repair and strengthening of Chelsea North 
Bridge over the Mystic River. 

2. Chapter 375 authorized the widening and reconstruction of Ocean Ave., 
Revere. 



Recommendations for 1935 

This Division is filing a report in December with recommendations for 
needed projects to be considered in 1935. The list of projects is as follows: 

1. Bridge across the Charles River at Gerrys Landing and parkway con- 
necting it with the Fresh Pond Parkway in Cambridge and Soldiers Field 
Road in Boston. 

2. Extension of American Legion Highway from Cummins Highway to 
Washington St. at its intersection with the West Roxbury Parkway. 

3. Construction of a portion of the Circumferential Route northerly from 
the Worcester Turnpike in Wellesley and Newton. 

4. Milton-Quincy route from Reedsdale Road in Milton to the new Fore 
River Bridge in Quincy. 

5. The Watertown-Waltham by-pass along the Charles River. 

6. A circle at the Cambridge end of the Charles River Dam. 

7. A circle at the intersection of the Arborway and Washington St. in the 
Forest Hills section of Boston. 

8. A circle at the intersection of the West Roxbury Parkway and Centre 
St. in the West Roxbury section of Boston. 

9. A grade separation or by-pass of the Revere Beach Parkway at its in- 
tersection with Broadway and Main St., Everett. 

10. A circle at the intersection of Park Drive, Riverway and Brookline 
Ave. in the city of Boston. 

11. A circle at the intersection of Quincy Shore Drive and Hancock St. 
with certain changes in Hancock St. between the circle and the Neponset 
Bridge. 

12. A circle at the Cambridge end of the Cottage Farm Bridge. 

The Division is recommending that this whole program be carried out over 
a period of years. This report also goes into some detail on the proposed plan 
for setting up a rapid transit fund, which has been mentioned previously in 
this report. 

During the year, the Division has made many studies of other traffic con- 
ditions, some at the request of various cities or towns in the Metropolitan 
District. One subject of great interest is the matter of protecting the new 
Cambridge-Concord highway from unwise and undesirable development 
through the towns of Arlington, Belmont, Lexington, Lincoln and Concord and 
the harmonious cooperation of these towns is worthy of note and special as- 
sistance. 

Other Legislation passed during the year 1934 of special interest from the 
standpoint of planning is as follows: 

Chapter 21. An act relative to securing the benefits of the NIRA by the 
cities and towns. 

Chapter Jfl. An act relative to securing the benefits of NIRA by the Com- 
monwealth. 

Chapter 338. An act relative to the acquisition of land in the Breakhart 
Hill section of Saugus and Wakefield. 

Chapter 377. An act relative to the diversion of $10,000,000 of the gas 
tax receipts from the Highway Fund to the general fund. 

ss. Secretary 01 trie Commonwealtn 



4 

State Planning Commission 

This Division has decided to file with the 1935 Legislature a bill relative 
to the creation of a State Planning Commission. Planning for the future is so 
necessary for an individual, an organization or a great industry that its im- 
portance to a great commonwealth can hardly be questioned. The health, hap- 
piness and prosperity of our people, the success of our industries and our 
future development in every line of effort should be considered. The benefits 
of planning for the future should not be limited to a small area only but 
should be made available to the whole commonwealth. 

Status of Highways and Parkways Completed or Under Construction 

1. The Worcester Turnpike has v been completed as a double-barreled road- 
way with a central reservation to Sumner Road, Brookline and from that 
point it has been resurfaced as a single roadway to Brookline Village Square. 

2. Hammond Pond Parkway was opened to traffic in July from Hammond 
St., Brookline to Beacon St., Newton. 

3. The Mystic Valley Parkway Extension from Mystic Ave. to the Fells- 
way in Medford is nearly completed. The bridge work is finished and the 
project may be open for traffic about April 1, 1935. 

4. The Northern Outlet, a broad, double-barreled highway from Day 
Square, East Boston to Beach Street circle in Revere is completed, and also 
its extension northerly to a new circle at the State Highway, thence widened 
and reconstructed to the bridge over the Boston, Revere Beach and Lynn Rail- 
road near the Point of Pines station. 

5. The East Boston Tunnel was opened with fitting ceremony on June 30, 
1934 and was named the Sumner Tunnel. The East Boston Plaza and the 
widened Porter St. are completed and also the widening of Cross St. and 
North St. in Boston proper as well as the traffic circle at' Haymarket Square. 

6. The Charles River Basin Improvement (of the lower basin) was com- 
pleted and officially accepted October 10, 1934. 

7. Nonantum Road Extension to Galen St. in Watertown is under con- 
struction and will be completed about May 1, 1935. This will be an attractive, 
broad parkway for four lanes of traffic and a much needed improvement. 

8. The Cambridge-Concord Highway is used by traffic from the Alewife 
Brook Parkway in Cambridge to Sudbury Road in Concord with the exception 
of a short distance in Lexington. Though not officially opened, the amount of 
traffic already using portions of this route indicates that this will eventually 
be a heavily travelled highway with its beautiful long stretches of four lanes 
width traversing new and open country. It will probably be opened for gen- 
eral travel in June. 

9. In the Blue Hills Reservation considerable work has been done. Unquity 
Road has been widened and resurfaced from Harland Ave., a distance south- 
erly of 2800 feet, and the balance will be completed in 1935. The other roads 
have been widened and improved, an outlook and a parking space provided, 
and a general cleaning of brush has improved the reservation and its path- 
ways. 

10. Plans have been prepared for a new highway connecting Route No. 1 
in Dedham with the Brook Farm Parkway at its intersection with Spring St., 
West Roxbury, and this project has been authorized, the cost to be met by 
the Federal grant made in 1934. Bids will be opened soon for this project. 



5 

11. A project also authorized is the proposed grade separation at Beaver 
Brook in Waltham. It is proposed to carry Main St. over the Boston and Maine 
Railroad. 

12. The construction of the authorized overpass to carry the Riverway- 
Jamaicaway over Huntington Ave. near the Boston-Brookline line has not yet 
been started but should shortly be underway. 

13. The same is true of the traffic circle at Neponset Bridge which has been 
referred to above. 

14. Wellington Bridge reconstruction is under contract but the work has 
been delayed through various causes and completion is not expected until 
nearly January 1, 1936. 

15. The new bridge over the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn Railroad just 
southerly of Point of Pines must be completed by June 1, 1935, as it will be 
necessary to detour traffic via the beach road while construction is proceed- 
ing and the beach road must be cleared at an early date. 

16. The Point of Pines Bridge between Revere and Lynn is progressing 
favorably and its completion is expected about September 1, 1935. 

17. The Fore River Bridge between Quincy and Weymouth has met with 
some delays and although the approaches have progressed rapidly and present 
an impressive appearance, formal completion will probably not be possible 
before October. 1935. 

18. Granite Street and Pond Street southerly from Braintree Five Cor- 
ners toward the Randolph line are being widened and will be resurfaced, 
with the work accomplished sometime in the summer of 1935. 

The year 1934 witnessed a slight increase in total registration of motor 
vehicles and a considerable increase in the use of gasoline. For the fiscal year 
ending November 30, 1934, the registration was as follows: 

Pleasure vehicles 827,719 

Commercial vehicles 112,260 

Buses 4,134 

Trailers 752 

Motor Cycles 1,375 

Total 946,240 

Total number of drivers' licenses 1,053,527 

Gas tax income estimated at more than $17,000,000 

The Division's appropriation for the year was $18,300 and its expenditures 
amounted to $17,674.05. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Division of Metropolitan Planning: 
Frederic H. Fay, Vice Chairman 
Wilson Marsh 
Richard K. Hale 
Abraham C. Webber 
William F. Rogers 
Henry I. Harriman, Director 



(>H-57- 3r 



Public Document No. 142 



(Ul?? Gtammnnmraltl? of i$aBBari?ufitftia 



ANNUAL REPORT 

OF THE 

DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN 
PLANNING 

FOR THE 

YEAR ENDING NOVEMBER 30 

1935 




Publication op this Document Approved by the Commission on Administration and Finance 
300— 4-'36. Order 7436. 



rnjA4 



DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN PLANNING 
20 Somerset St., Boston, November 30, 1935. 

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives in General Court 
Assembled: 

The Division of Metropolitan Planning herewith respectfully submits its 
annual report for the year ending November 30, 1935: 

Special Reports 

In accordance with Resolves passed by the General Court in 1935, this 
Division has been engaged this year in the investigation and preparation of 
reports on the following matters having to do with proposed rapid transit 
extensions or improvements in the District: 

1. Chapter 14 of the Resolves of 1935 relative to the advisability of 
electrifying the Saugus Branch of the Boston and Maine Railroad. 

2. Chapter 24 relative to the extension of rapid transit service from 
Mattapan to Forest Hills via Hyde Park. 

3. Chapter 46 relative to extending rapid transit service northeasterly 
from Maverick Square in East Boston to Orient Heights and the 
acquisition of the Boston, Revere Beach and Lynn Railroad. 

These reports will be filed the first of December. In none of these reports 
is the Division making recommendations for the carrying out of these 
projects at this time. 

Rapid Transit 

The reasons for our conclusions in the above listed reports are the same as 
they have been in the past in similar reports, that is, that the projects are 
not justified' under the present financing system*which provides for payment 
of the cost of rapid transit extension by long term bonds, on which the interest 
is provided by rentals paid by the Boston Elevated Railway. This- system has 
resulted in virtual stagnation of rapid transit development because the ex- 
tentions proposed rarely show promise of sufficient additional income for the 
Elevated to offset the rental charges. For this reason, we are again including, 
in that part of our annual report which contains recommendations for 
legislation, a bill providing for the setting up of a so-called "Rapid Transit 
Fund" to finance short term bonds for rapid transit extensions or improve- 
ments. * 

This matter is gone into in greater detail in our report containing recom- 
mendations. It is hoped that the recommendation will be adopted in the 
not-too-far-distant future so that a wise and orderly program for rapid transit 
development may be initiated. 

The Division has also, during the past year, made further studies of the 
rapid transit situation, in general, and of the proposed Huntington Avenue 
subway, in particular. 

* Commissioner Webber dissenting (see his statement in House No. 11' 'of 193G and House 
No. 52 of 1935). 



3 

Projects Authorized in 1935 

With two exceptions, the Chicatawbut Road extension from the Blue Hill 
Reservation to Granite Street in Braintree, and the reconstruction of a portion 
of Beacon Street in Newton, no highway or parkway projects were authorized 
by the Legislature this year for construction within the Metropolitan District, 
excepting those which might be financed through grants from the Federal 
government from monies available under the Hayden-Cartwright Bill, or 
subsequent legislation providing Federal funds for highways and grade 
crossings. The projects which may be constructed through these means are as 
follows : 

Highways 

Saugus and Lynnfield. — The widening and reconstruction of the Newbury- 
port Turnpike.' 

Revere. — The widening and resurfacing of Ocean Avenue. 

The extension of the northern outlet in Revere, Maiden and Saugus to 
the Newburyport Turnpike. 

Hingham. — A cut-off from Whiting Street at Gardner Street north- 
easterly to Main Street. 

Traffic Circles 

Cambridge. — One at Cambridge end of Charles River Dam. One at 
Cambridge end of Cottage Farm Bridge. 
Grade Separations 

Quincy. — Water Street over the Old Colony Line near the Quincy Adams 
Station. 

Waltham. — Main Street over the Fitchburg Division of the Boston and 
Maine Railroad, near Beaver Brook. 

Braintree. — School Street Crossing. 

Canton. — Dedham Road Crossing. 

Weymouth. — Main Street Crossing. 

Recommendations for 1936 

This Division is filing a report in December with recommendations for 
projects whose construction is most urgent. We fully realize the need for 
economy and careful expenditure and we do not expect to see the construction 
of all these projects immediately but since they are all desirable and must 
eventually be required, we do urge a systematic plan whereby they may be 
constructed over a period of time before their cost becomes excessive and 
before the district suffers from their lack. 

The Highway projects are as follows: — 

1. Extension of the Circumferential Route northerly from the Worcester 

Turnpike through Wellesley, Newton, Weston, Waltham, to Lincoln, 
to connect with the new Concord Highway. 

2. The Milton-Quincy Highway from Reedsdale Road and Randolph 
Avenue in Milton easterly to Washington Street in Quincy, near the 
westerly end of the new Fore River Bridge. 

3. The Watertown-Waltham Highway from Galen Street in Watertown 
westerly along the Charles River to Weston Street in the western part 
of Waltham. 

4. Willard Street from East Milton southerly to West Street in Quincy. 
The widening and resurfacing of this portion of Route 37. 

5. A traffic circle at Forest Hills in Boston where the very heavy traffic 
of the Arborway crosses Washington Street. 



4 
The parkway projects are as follows: 

1. A bridge at Gerry's Landing across the Charles River between Boston 
and Cambridge. 

2. A traffic circle at the intersection of Centre Street and the West 
Roxbury Parkway in West Roxbury. 

3. A by-pass or grade separation at Everett to separate the grades at the 
crossing of Main Street and Broadway by the Revere Beach Parkway. 

Legislation in 1935 

Among the Acts passed by the General Court in 1935 of special interest to 
the Metropolitan District and pertaining to transportation are the following: 

Chapter 336. — An act further extending the time to April 30, 1937, during 
which there shall be collected an additional excise tax of one cent on sales 
of gasoline. 

Chapter 383. — An act authorizing the Metropolitan District Commission 
to lay out and construct a parkway from Chicatawbut Road in the Blue Hill 
Reservation to Granite Street in Braintree. 

Chapter 448. — An act providing for the purchase by the Commonwealth 
of the dam in the Charles River, near Moody Street in the City of Waltham. 

Chapter 456. — An act relative to the appropriation of money for WPA 
projects. 

Chapter 464- — An act providing for a public works program. 

Chapter 469. — An act providing for the construction of a State Highway 
on the route of the Middlesex Turnpike from Arlington to North Chelmsford. 

Chapter 475. — An act providing for the creation of a State Planning Board. 

Chapter 470. — An act transferring a portion of the proceeds of the gas tax 
from the highway fund to the general fund to the extent of nine and a half 
million dollars. 

Chapter 487. — An act relative to the widening and reconstruction of Ocean 
Avenue in Revere. 

Chapter 492. — An act providing for the construction of tunnels or subways 
in the city of Boston and the purchase and removal of certain elevated struc- 
tures in said city with the aid of federal funds. 

Chapter 17. — An act relative to the reconstruction of a portion of Beacon 
Street in the city of Newton. 



Status of Highways and Parkways in the Metropolitan District 
Completed or Under Construction 

1. Mystic Valley Parkway Extension was opened from Mystic Avenue 
to the Fellsway July 20, 1935, but its full value will not be realized 
until the Wellington Bridge is completed because, at present, it is open 
only to south bound traffic. 

2. The Wellington Bridge over the Mystic River is partly open (for 
north bound traffic) but final completion is not expected until June of 
next year (1936). 

3. Nonantum Road Extension to Galen Street in Watertown was opened 
to pleasure traffic May 2, 1935. 

4. The Chicatawbut Road Extension southeasterly from the Blue Hills 
Reservation to Granite Street in Braintree was opened November 15, 
1935. 

5. The Cambridge-Concord Highway from Alewife Brook Parkway west- 
erly to West Concord was completed and accepted July 31, 1935. 

6. The new Dedham-Spring Street Highway across the marshes was 
opened for traffic October 7, 1935. 

7. The Fore River Bridge will be opened about the middle of February, 
and final completion will probably be in April, 1936. 

8. The Neponset Circle in Dorchester will be completed December 
10, 1935. 

9. The overpass carrying the Riverway over Huntington Avenue at the 
Boston-Brookline line will be ready for traffic about the latter part of 
September, 1936. 

10. The Point of Pines Bridge between Lynn and Revere was opened to 
traffic September 29, 1935. 

11. Granite Street in Braintree was opened in October, 1935, and Franklin 
Street in Braintree was completed in November, 1935. 

12. The grade separation at Beaver Brook in Waltham will probably be 
completed in September, 1936. 

13. The grade separation at Main Street in Weymouth will be ready some 
time in June, 1936. 

14. The grade separation carrying Water Street over the Old Colony 
Railroad at Quincy Adams, Quincy, is expected to be completed in 
December, 1936. 

HlNGHAM 

Included among the projects in the WPA list for high .vay construction by 
the Public Works Department is a short cut-off in South Hingham from the 
intersection of Route No. 128, Whiting Street and Gardner Street, easterly 
and northerly to a point in Main Street, a distance of 1.4 miles, at an estimated 
cost of eighty-five thousand dollars for construction alone. At present, Route 
No. 128 (the Circumferential Highway) coincides with Route No. 3 on Whit- 
ing Street as far as Queen Ann's Corner and thence northerly along Main 
Street to Hingham Centre. This is a roundabout route, twice as long as the 
above-mentioned cut-off. 



6 

In September, 1935, the Selectmen of Hingham received a petition signed 
by four hundred citizens of Hingham. A copy of the petition was sent to this 
Division with the following requests: 

1. That the construction of a by-pass highway through Hingham to relieve 
Main and East Streets of Route No. 128 be placed on the roster of 
projects to be considered by the Division. 

2. That a study be made of said project and if funds and facilities are 
available, a plan be prepared of such proposed highway in conjunction 
with officials of the Town of Hingham. 

3. That such project be recommended to the Department of Public Works 
for construction if, after study, the Division considers it worthy. 

Accordingly, considerable study was given to such a plan and a route was 
worked out that seems to have the approval of many of the citizens of Hingham. 
The total length of such a route from Whiting and Gardner Streets northerly 
to the Nantasket Road is five and a half miles, or about four miles longer 
than the portion already mentioned as having been included in the WPA 
program. No one has questioned the desirability of such a by-pass, but there 
is doubt as to its immediate necessity and there is a feeling that economically 
it is not warranted at this time. 

To build a modern highway of adequate width traffic circles where needed, 
and a grade separation at the railroad crossing would require an expenditure 
in the neighborhood of a million dollars. Does the traffic warrant such an 
expenditure now? The Department of Public Works has agreed to take traffic 
counts along Main Street and East Street at points of greatest congestion 
and report their findings to us. Careful surveys will be required, buildings 
located and soundings and borings made before an accurate estimate of cost 
can be arrived at. Also, traffic counts and records of accidents must be studied 
and data must be obtained to learn who is using the highway and the origin 
and destination of the vehicles. With this information, the problem will be 
nearer solution and the economics of the project can be stated with some 
accuracy. 

Hingham is a town of great attractiveness and antiquity, as we measure 
time in this country. It should be preserved from the hordes of vehicles rush- 
ing toward Nantasket. A by-pass through new and open country seems the only 
way to preserve its old time charm, but the matter of financing is a serious one. 

Other Studies of the Division 

Many traffic and other studies in the various cities and tt wns of the P ; 
have been made this year, some at the request 'of municipalities and many be- 
cause we have seen the need for change or improvements. The work has in- 
cluded proposed treatment of busv or dangerous intersections by traffic lights, 
traffic circles or grade separations. 

Changes in Personnel 

Mr. John C. Kiley, who was chairman of this Board last year, resigned the 
first of this year, 1935; his successor has not yet been appointed, so Mr. 
Frederic H. Fay is Acting Chairman as well as Vice Chairman. 

Mr. John F. McDonald was appointed to the Board May 20, 1935, to 
represent the Boston Transit Department. He succeeds Mr. Arthur B. Corbett 
who resigned in 1934. 



Miss Agnes C. Conroy, who has been secretary of this Division since Jan- 
uary, 1924, resigned November 15, 1935, to accept a position with the State 
Planning Board. She has been succeeded by Miss Catherine M. Downey. 

Statistics 

The total of motor vehicles registered in Massachusetts, the number of 
drivers' licenses issued and the income from the gas tax, all continue to in- 
crease despite the depression. The total of drivers' licenses for 1935 was 
1,077,880. The total receipts for the year from the three cent gas tax is well 
over $18,000,000. 

The population of the Metropolitan District, according to the State census 
for 1935, exceeds the two million mark, the actual figures totalling 2,021,670, 
or 46V 2 % of the total state population of 4,350,910. 
The registration of motor vehicles was as follows: 

Pleasure vehicles 838,406 

Commercial vehicles . 114,244 

Buses 4,528 

Motor Cycles 1,375 



958,553 
Trailers 506 



Total 959,059 

Appropriations and Expenditures for the Fiscal Year ending 
November 30, 1935 

Appropriation $18,960.00 

Expenditures 18,509.23 



Balance $ 450.77 

Respectfully submitted, 

Division of Metropolitan Planning: 

By 

Frederic H. Fay, Vice Chairman and 

Acting Chairman 
Wilson Marsh 
Richard K. Hale 
Abraham C. Webber 
William F. Rogers 
John F. McDonald 
Henry I. Harriman, Director 



Public Document No. 142 



Uihe (Commonmraltti nf jflaasartjuafttH 



ANNUAL REPORT 

OF THE 

DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN 
PLANNING 

FOR THE 

YEAR ENDING NOVEMBER 30 

1936 




Publication op this Document Approved by the Commission on Administration and Fjnancb 
300— 5-'37. No. 847. 



uJljc (Enmmomncaitl) of fHasaarljusptts 

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives in the General Court 
Assembled: 

The Division of Metropolitan Planning herewith respectfully submits its 
annual report for the year ending November 30, 1936: 

Special Reports 

In accordance with Resolves passed by the General Court in 1936, this 
Division has been engaged this year in the investigation and preparation 
of reports of the following subjects having to do with proposed rapid transit 
extensions or improvements in the district: 

1. Chapter 12 relative to the advisability of extending the rapid transit 
system from Sullivan Square in Boston to Medford Square, Medford. 

2. Chapter 20 relative to the advisability of extending the rapid transit 
system from Everett Station in the City of Everett to Maiden Square in 
the City of Maiden. 

3. Chapter 21 relative to the advisability of extending the rapid transit 
system in the City of Boston through the Roxbury Crossing and Jamaica 
Plain districts to the Forest Hills district of said city. 

4. Chapter 29 relative to the extension of rapid transit facilities in the 
East Boston district of the City of Boston. 

These reports will be filed the first of December in accordance with the 
requirements of the respective resolves. 

Rapid Transit 

Some years ago, this Division studied and has ever since recommended and 
urged the construction of a subway extension from the Boylston Street 
subway, at or near Exeter Street, via Exeter Street to Huntington Avenue, 
thence westerly along Huntington Avenue. 

Federal funds to the amount of $1,175,000 have been earmarked for this 
project leaving Boston to appropriate only $500,000 to complete it as far as 
Mechanics Building. The public have apparently not been aroused to the 
extent to which conditions in Boylston Street and Huntington Avenue 
would be relieved and improved by the removal from those thoroughfares of 800 
trolley cars each 24 hours, or a peak hourly load of more than a car per 
minute. 

When one contemplates the obstruction to traffic offered by a modern 
trolley car with its stops and starts and the area of highway utilized, the 
removal of all these street-cars would have the same effect on traffic as would 
the diversion to some other route of many thousands of motor vehicles. 
Many cities of size camparable to Boston pay the whole cost, without federal 
assistance, to accomplish such an improvement in the conditions in an area 
the size of the Back Bay district. Boylston Street would be transformed 
from a narrow, congested way to a wide, efficient thoroughfare. Further- 
more, this extension of subway service, with the removal from the surface 
of these trolley cars, would not only benefit the motoring public. The elevated 
car riders, especially those during the peak hours, would gain by the in- 
creased speed of travel as the running time would be reduced to about one- 
third of its present figure. There would also be a saving in cost of operation 
of between $20,000 and $30,000 a year. In view of these savings in time and 



money to the automobilist, the car rider and the Boston Elevated, this 
Division hopes that this extension may be authorized and constructed in 1937. 

Highway Projects Authorized in 1936 

The General Court authorized only one new project in the Metropolitan 
District for construction. That was Chapter 377 for the construction of the 
bridge over the Mystic River between Arlington and Medford. 

Chapter 71 of the Resolves of 1936 calls for a report by the Department of 
Public Works giving recommended plans and specifications for the widening 
and reconstruction of the so-called Middlesex Turnpike from Arlington to 
Chelmsford. 

Recommendations For 1937 

This Division is filing a report in December with recommendations for 
projects most urgently needed. We realize the need for economy and careful 
expenditure. We are also aware that the use of the motor vehicle and its speed 
of operation are both increasing and efforts must be made to provide for these 
trends so that our transportation system may continue to function without 
sacrificing safety and efficiency. 

The highway projects are as follows : 

1. A bridge across the Charles River at or near Gerry's Landing. 

2. A section of the Circumferential Route westerly from the Newbury- 
port Turnpike to Reading. 

3. The Milton-Quincy Highway from Reedsdale Road and Randolph 
Avenue in Milton to Washington Street, near the new Fore River Bridge, in 
Quincy. 

4. The Watertown-Newton-Waltham By-pass. 

5. Widening and resurfacing Willard Street, Quincy. 

The parkway projects are: 

1. A traffic circle at Park Drive, Riverway and Brookline Avenue; double- 
barrelling the Jamaicaway from the Huntington Avenue overpass southerly 
to Prince Street; and a traffic circle at Forest Hills — all in the City of Boston. 

2. A grade separation or by-pass of the Revere Beach Parkway at its 
intersection with Main Street and Broadway in Everett. 

Legislation In 1936 

Chapter 431— An Act transferring $3,650,000 from the Highway to the 
General Fund. 

Chapter 398 — An Act further extending the time during which there shall be 
collected an additional excise tax on sales of gasoline to April 30, 1939. 

Owing to the severe floods in March, 1936, and the serious damage to 
property, highways and bridges, large sums were appropriated from the 
Highway Fund by several acts for the relief of the stricken communities in 
the flood areas; for the repair, construction and reconstruction of permanent 
bridges; for the construction of temporary bridges; and for the reconstruction 
of damaged highways. 

Status Of Highways And Parkways In The Metropolitan District 
Completed Or Under Construction 

1. Mystic Valley Parkway extension in Medford was opened from Mystic 
Avenue to the Fellsway to two-way traffic August 1. 1936. 



2. The Wellington Bridge over the Mystic River was also opened to two- 
way traffic August 1, 1936. 

3. The Fore River Bridge was opened to traffic May 23, 1936. 

4. The Neponset Circle in Dorchester, at the intersection of Gallivan 
Boulevard, Old Colony Parkway and Neponset Avenue, was completed De- 
cember 10, 1935. 

5. The grade separation at Beaver Brook in Waltham, carrying Main 
Street over the Fitchburg Division of the Boston & Maine Railroad will be 
opened to traffic in December, 1936. 

6. The grade separation at Weymouth was accepted August 17, 1936. 

7. The grade separation carrying Water Street over the Old Colony 
Railroad at Quincy Adams, Quincy, will be opened for traffic December 5, 1936. 

8. The overpass carrying the Riverway and Jamaicaway over Huntington 
Avenue at the Boston-Brookline line was opened to one-way traffic August 23, 
1936. Owing to partial subsidence of the fill, the official opening and dedication 
set for August 30th had to be postponed but the overpass continues to be used 
to great advantage in spite of the delayed completion. 

9. The widening and reconstruction of Beacon Street, Newton, has been 
completed and Beacon Street is now in good condition from the Boston line 
westerly to its intersection with Washington Street, near Newton Lower 
Falls. 

Note. All of Beacon Street (Route #16) is now in good condition with the 
exception of that portion in Boston circling the reservoir from Cleveland 
Circle westerly to the Newton line. This is an old two-lane concrete pavement, 
laid in 1916. It is in very bad condition requiring constant patching. The 
bituminous shoulders are also in bad shape and a new pavement forty feet 
wide should be built as a matter of safety and economy. 

10. The traffic circle at the Cambridge end of the Charles River Dam, 
which was expected to be constructed with the aid of federal funds, has been 
given up for the present. 

11. The traffic circle at the Cambridge end of the Cottage Farm Bridge 
which was to have been constructed this year has also been delayed in 
construction. 

12. A portion of the northerly circumferential route between the New- 
buryport Turnpike and Andover Street in Peabody is under construction by 
the Department of Public Works. 

13. The new cut-off from Squires Road, Revere, to the Newburyport 
Turnpike at Fenton Street in Saugus is under construction by the Department 
of Public Works. 

Other Studies 

Many route and traffic studies in various cities and towns in the District 
have been made this year by this Division. Some of these studies have been 
initiated by us because of particular need for changes or improvement due to 
traffic congestion. Other studies have been made at the request of variou.3 
municipalities. Among these studies are the following: 

1. The Concord highway extension toward Boston. 

2. The Hillside Street widening, Milton. 

3. The Coolidge Avenue widening and paving, Watertown. 



5 ' 

4. The Middlesex Turnpike northerly from Arlington. 

5. The Canton-Braintree route. 

6. Various intersections and traffic circles. 

7. The Charles River Basin roadways. 

During the year, the Division wrote to all the Planning Boards in the 
District to keep informed of their problems and to offer its cooperation. 

A study was made of the bus traffic and bus traffic routes covering the 
activities of both local and interstate bus companies and also the movements 
of buses of the Boston Elevated Railway Company. 

Considerable study has been given to the Boston traffic and parking 
problems as this Division was asked to cooperate with the Boston Chamber of 
Commerce, the Boston City Planning Board, the Boston Real Estate Exchange, 
the Boston Police, Park and Traffic Departments, and other civic organiza- 
tions, in the consideration and solution of these difficulties. 

Change In Personnel 
Mr. Richard D. Grant was appointed to the Board this year in June to suc- 
ceed Mr. Abraham C. Webber, resigned, as the member from the Department 
of Public Utilities. 

Stastistics 
The total number of motor vehicle registrations for 1936 in the Common- 
wealth surpassed the previous peak of 1929 and the figures are as follows: 

Pleasure vehicles 910,196 

Commercial vehicles 118,477 

Buses 4,814 

Motorcycles 1,316 

1,034,803 
Trailers 10,405 



1,045,208. 

The total number of drivers' licenses issued was 1,128,516, which is also 
a new record high. 

The number of taxable gallons of gasoline consumed each month and the 
percentage of monthly consumption together with the corresponding receipts 
from the three-cent gasoline tax are given in the following table: 

Gasoline Consumption, Etc., 1936 

Gallons % Tax Receipts 

January 40,754,678 6.23 $1,222,640.36 

February 36,732,084 5.61 1,101,962.52 

March 43,146,314 6.59 1,294,389.4! 

April 50,894,857 7.78 1,526,845.73 

May 59,165,975 9.04 1,774,979.24 

June 61,140,945 9.34 1,834,228.37 

July 67,320,559 10.30 2,019,616.79 

August 65,692,372 10.05 1,970,771.16 

September 60,869,298 9.30 1,826,078.96 

October 60,600,832 9.26 1,818,024.95 

November 53,918,496 8.24 1,617,554.87 

December 54,072,453 8.26 1,622,173.60 

Total 654,308,863 100.00 $19,629,2G5.9r. 



6 

These figures indicate how the use of the motor vehicle is increasing. 

Financial Statement 

Appropriations And Expenditures For The Fiscal Year Ending 
November 30, 1936 

Appropriations $19,340.00 

Expenditures 19,049.20 



Balance $ 290.80 

Respectfully submitted, 
Division Of Metropolitan Planning: 
By 

Frederic H. Fay, Vice Chairman 

and Acting Chairman 
Wilson Marsh 
Richard K. Hale 
Richard D. Grant 
William F. Rogers 
John F. McDonald 
Henry I. Harriman, Director 



- <o ^ o~ 7- 3 ^f~ 

Public Document No. 142 

Sty* (ttnmttumumtttly tA {NLvumtlpx***** 



ANNUAL REPORT 

OF THE 

DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN 

PLANNING 

FOR THE 

YEAR ENDING NOVEMBER 30 

1937 




Publication of this Document Approved by the Commission on Administration and Finance 
300— 5-'38. No. 3996. 



To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives in General Court 
Assembled: 

The Division of Metropolitan Planning herewith respectfully submits 
its annual report for the year ending November 30, 1937: 

Each year, the preparation of our annual report has afforded us an 
opportunity to take stock of past accomplishments and to look ahead into 
the future with hope and enthusiasm. Every year we have been able to 
point to certain new accomplishments and improvements in our trans- 
portation system, whether they be parkway, highway, or rapid transit 
developments, but in spite of all that has been achieved in the past, there 
remains much to be done. Traffic is crowding the completed ways and 
clamoring for wider roads and for greater safety of travel. 

The years to come must find the Boston Metropolitan District still in 
the forefront — still progressing toward our original goal which vision 
set for greater service to the taxpayer and to the traveler on our high- 
ways. The depression, with its attendant unemployment and demands 
for relief, has unfortunately seen the diversion of many millions of 
dollars from the Highway Fund to other purposes. Our highways have 
suffered in consequence and the increasing use of the automobile has 
far exceeded the development and improvement of our highway system. 

For that reason, we are taking a long look ahead this year and pre- 
senting to the General Court an ambitious six-year program of highway 
and parkway development designed to make travel safer and more efficient 
in the years to come. Our report and recommendations, which will be 
filed the first of December, will present a clear picture of those improve- 
ments which are most needed, in the hope that they may be carried out 
in an orderly way, over a period of years, a way that will lay no heavy 
burden on either towns or taxpayers. 

The following is the list of recommended projects: 

The Circumferential Highways. 

1. It was evident from the beginning of the Division's studies that 
a main Circumferential Highway on approximately a ten-mile radius 
was needed. Such a highway is now partially completed and heavily 
traveled. This route, known as Route No. 128, now extends from Hing- 
ham on the south, northerly and westerly as far as the Worcester Turn- 
pike near the Wellesley-Newton line. It should be extended from its 
easterly terminus northeasterly through Hingham to the present high- 
way leading to Nantasket. At its westerly terminus it should be extended 
northerly and easterly to the Newburyport Turnpike in Lynnfield. Such 
a route will intersect substantially all of the main highways leading into 
the city and greatly assist the traffic of both the district and the State. 

2. A part of the Circumferential Highway southerly of the Blue 
Hills is a parkway, and therefore not used for commercial traffic. For 
this reason there is need of a commercial route or by-pass passing through 
Randolph southerly of Route No. 128 and of the Blue Hills Reservation. 
When constructed it will become a part of Circumferential No. 128. 



3 

3. An inner circumferential route that is much needed is the so-called 
Milton-Quincy Highway, an east and west all-purpose highway extending 
from Reedsdale Road in Milton to the new Fore River bridge in Quincy. 
It will by-pass much of the South Shore traffic around Quincy, and will 
enable it to select less congested routes into Boston. 

Radial Highways. 

4. The so-called Watertown-Newton-Waltham Highway, extending 
from Galen Street, Watertown, to Weston Street, Waltham. This route 
was first designed as a parkway. Further study shows that it should be 
built as an all-purpose route. 

5. The new Concord Highway now terminates at the Alewife Brook 
Parkway in Cambridge. It should be extended easterly to a point near 
Porter Square, where a number of routes are available for access to 
Boston. The Concord Highway is really the gateway to the Mohawk 
Trail, and is daily becoming a more important and more traveled route. 

6. The Department of Public Works plans, in co-operation with the 
State of Connecticut, to construct a new highway leading from New York 
to Boston. It will enter the district in Walpole and when completed should 
shorten the running time between New York and Boston by an hour, at 
the same time, carrying traffic through a non-congested section of both 
States. The Division recommends the construction of the portion of this 
route lying in the district. 

7. The American Legion Highway should be extended from its pres- 
ent terminus at Cummins Highway southwesterly to Washington Street 
at or near its intersection with the West Roxbury Parkway. This exten- 
sion was part of the original project, and the money now invested in the 
American Legion Highway will be of little use until the extension is made. 

8. A new highway following in part the old Middlesex Turnpike is 
required which will leave the Concord Highway in the town of Lexington 
and go in a general northerly direction to a point near Lowell where con- 
nections may be made to the main highways to the Merrimack Valley. 
Part of this route lies in the district and is recommended. 

9. A fine highway has now been constructed from the Newburyport 
Turnpike to Day Square in East Boston. It should be extended along 
the general route of Bremen Street, or some other suitable street, to the 
entrance of the Sumner Tunnel. 

10. A very necessary improvement is the widening and repaving of 
Dorchester Avenue from Old Colony Avenue to Fort Point Channel. This 
is now a bottleneck for the heavy traffic that enters Boston by the Old 
Colony Parkway. 

11. A bridge across the Charles River at Gerry's Landing is recom- 
mended. This would connect the parkways on the north and south sides 
of the river and permit the heavy parkway traffic now using Alewife 
Brook Parkway and Fresh Pond Parkway to enter Boston without pass- 
ing through Harvard Square or without using the crowded Larz Ander- 
son bridge. 

Sr 



12. An extension of Memorial Drive on the Cambridge side of the 
Charles River to Arsenal Street in Watertown is recommended. This will 
complete the parkway system along the northerly side of the Charles 
River from the Dam to Watertown. 

Circles and Grade Separations. 

13. At the intersection of Northern Artery and Prison Point Viaduct, 
at the Cambridge end of the Charles River Dam. 

14. At the intersection of the Northern Artery and Washington Street 
in Somerville. 

15. At the intersection of Washington Street and Boylston Street 
(Worcester Turnpike) in Brookline Village. 

16. At the intersection of Washington Street and Arborway in Forest 
Hills in Boston. 

17. At the intersection of Park Drive, Riverway and Boylston Street 
in Boston. 

18. At the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and Cottage Farm 
bridge in Boston. 

19. At the intersection of Memorial Drive and Cottage Farm bridge 
in Cambridge. 

20. At the intersection of the Revere Beach Parkway with Broadway 
and Main Street in Everett. 

The following table lists the above-mentioned projects, gives their 
estimated cost and indicates the classification to which they belong. Those 
which are listed as highway projects should, in our judgment, be paid 
for entirely from the Highway Fund. Those listed as parkway and city 
projects should be paid for at least 50 per cent from the Highway Fund. 

Highway Construction Projects. 
To be Built by the Department of Public Works. 

1. Circumferential Highway $5,700,000 

2. Commercial by-pass south of the Blue Hills . 1,300,000 

3. Inner Circumferential, or Milton-Quincy, 

Highway 1,400,000 

4. Watertown-Newton-Waltham Highway . . 1,600,000 

5. Easterly extension of Concord Highway . 1,000,000 

6. Portion in district of New York Highway . 575,000 

7. Extension of American Legion Highway to 

Washington Street 500,000 

8. Extension of Middlesex Turnpike . . . 500,000 

9. Extension of Turnpike from Day Square to 

East Boston Tunnel 1,000,000 

10. Dorchester Avenue widening .... 450,000 
13. Circle at intersection of Northern Artery 

and Prison Point Viaduct .... 350,000 



14. Grade separation at intersection of Northern 

Artery and Washington Street, Somerville 400,000 

15. Grade separation at intersection of Wash- 

ington Street and Bolyston Street, Brook- 
line Village 800,000 



$15,575,000 



Parkway Projects. 
To be Built by Metropolitan District Commission. 

11. Gerry's Landing bridge and connections . $400,000 

12. Memorial Drive extension to Arsenal Street 175,000 

19. Traffic circle, Memorial Drive and Cottage 

Farm bridge, Cambridge 200,000 

20. Grade separations and traffic circles, Revere 

Beach Parkway, Broadway and Main 

Street, Everett 600,000 



1,375,000 



City Projects. 
To be Built by the City of Boston. 

16. Grade separation, Arborway and Washing- 

ton Street, Forest Hills, Boston . . . $500,000 

17. Traffic circle, Boylston Street, Park Drive 

and Riverway, Boston 250,000 

18. Grade separation, Commonwealth Avenue 

and Cottage Farm bridge, Boston . . 500,000 



$1,250,000 
Grand total $18,200,000 



The Division recommends an annual appropriation which, together with 
any funds received from the Federal government, shall approximate 
$3,000,000 each year for a period of six years, the money to be expended 
each year by the Department of Public Works and/or the Metropolitan 
District Commission, and/or the city of Boston on the projects approved 
by the Governor. 

An additional radial route into Boston, to relieve the already heavily 
congested Old Colony Parkway and the Forest Hills-Jamaicaway routes, 
and to facilitate the direct entrance to the heart of the city of traffic 
from points in the district and State south of Boston, is needed. Mattapan 
is the focal point for this traffic. From Mattapan northerly Blue Hill 
Avenue heads directly toward the business center of the city, and as far 
as Grove Hall near Franklin Park its width is 120 feet. Northerly of 
Grove Hall the Blue Hill Avenue-Hampden Street direct route narrows 
to widths varying from 60 feet to as little as 45 feet as far as Massa- 
chusetts Avenue, and it is wholly unsuited for arterial traffic. It would 



be desirable to construct a connection from the wide portion of Blue 
Hill Avenue at Grove Hall to the junction of Massachusetts Avenue and 
Albany Street. This project would cost several million dollars, and is 
not included because of doubt as to the apportionment of its cost. 

Albany Street from Massachusetts Avenue to Broadway, 80 feet in 
width, should serve for some time reasonably well as a part of this sug- 
gested radial route from the south. From Albany Street at Broadway 
a connection is needed around the congested, downtown, business district 
to the newly widened Cross Street at Clinton Street near the entrance 
to the East Boston traffic tunnel. We understand this connection is being 
studied as a possible elevated highway by the special commission on the 
removal of the Atlantic Avenue elevated structure, created by chapter 22 
of the Resolves of 1937, and for this reason we make no recommendation 
regarding this connection at this time. 

The Jamaicaway, between the Huntington Avenue overpass and Prince 
Street, is very heavily traveled and should be double-barreled. This is 
a parkway of the city of Boston, and we understand the park department 
of that city has plans to carry out this work in the near future. For 
that reason we have not included it in our list of projects, although we 
recognize its great need. 

When the city of Boston can afford to do so, it would be most desirable 
to widen Rutherford Avenue from City Square, Charlestown, to Sullivan 
Square. This is one of the main arteries into Boston. We have not in- 
cluded it in our program because it is very distinctly a city project. 

We have laid out a comprehensive six-year program because of our 
belief that the need not only of the motorist but of the business man of 
the Metropolitan District requires a real solution of the highway problem. 
Such a solution can be reached only by building, step by step, successive 
links in a well-considered long-range program. The Federal government 
has recognized the need of long-range, advance planning of public works 
by the passage of the Employment Stabilization Act of 1931. An impor- 
tant feature of this act is the requirement that Federal departments and 
other agencies having charge of construction shall "prepare a six-year 
advance plan with estimates showing projects alloted to each year", with 
the further provision that the six-year program be kept up to date by 
annual revision and extension. We believe that the application of this 
principle to the highway problems of the Metropolitan District will result 
in wiser and more economical expenditure of public moneys, and at the 
same time speed relief from traffic congestion. 

There may be objection to the expenditure of $3,000,000 for the con- 
struction of projects within the Metropolitan District. The answer is 
that fully 50 per cent of the automobiles of the State are registered from 
the Metropolitan District, and that more than 50 per cent of the gasoline 
is purchased within that district. When the outstanding highway bond 
issues are paid for, and when it is no longer necessary to allocate so 
large a portion of the Highway Fund for general purposes, there should 
be available for construction purposes at least $10,000,000, and to appro- 
priate less than one third of that sum for projects in a district that pays, 
in half of the Fund does not seem to this Division to be excessive. 



Commonwealth Avenue Underpass 

It is with a great deal of pleasure that we call attention to the fact 
that the underpass carrying Commonwealth Avenue under Massachusetts 
Avenue in the Bay Bay section of Boston is nearly completed. This Divi- 
sion has studied, urged and recommended that improvement for several 
years. Its completion will enable the automobile traffic to and from the 
west to flow in an uninterrupted stream beneath the heavy north and 
southbound traffic of Massachusetts Avenue and will eliminate a serious 
traffic situation at that point. This underpass will be opened to traffic 
the latter part of January. 

Rapid Transit. 

It is also gratifying to be able to report that in Boston the subway 
extension from Copley Square to Huntington Avenue via Exeter Street 
is under construction. The Division has urged this project for several 
years as the most economical way to speed up travel for the Elevated car 
riders using Huntington Avenue lines and also to clear up the congested 
condition along Boylston Street and Huntington Avenue. This subject 
was considered at some length in our 1936 report. 

It is obvious that this subway project must eventually be extended 
westerly to pass under the busy Massachusetts Avenue intersection as 
far as Gainsborough Street and its ultimate terminus should be Tremont 
Street, if not Brookline Village. When this is accomplished, Huntington 
Avenue will become a very valuable extension of the Worcester Turnpike, 
almost into the heart of Boston, since the removal of the present street- 
car reservation will transform the avenue into a wide and efficient boule- 
vard for general traffic. 

Status Of Highways And Parkways In The Metropolitan District 
Completed Or Under Construction. 

The new highway in Revere, Maiden and Saugus was completed Novem- 
ber 30, 1937. This highway will connect the Newburyport Turnpike with 
Squire Road and thus, via the northern outlet, with the East Boston 
Tunnel. 

The section of the Newburyport Turnpike from Felton Street in Saugus 
northerly to a point in Lynnfield just south of the Peabody line is being 
reconstructed and widened so that it will be double-barreled with two 
forty foot roadways separated by a twenty foot strip, and will include 
a new traffic circle at Fenton Street and three grade separations. This 
will be completed about the middle of December. 

The northern portion of the Circumferential, Route No. 128, from 
Lynnfield passing under the Newburyport Turnpike and thence north- 
easterly into Peabody has just been completed as far as Andover Street. 

The Huntington Avenue overpass is still closed as the reconstruction 
of the southerly approach is underway. 

Grade Crossing Eliminations: 

The Canton-Norwood-Westwood project was completed August 28, 1937. 



8 

The Waltham-Beaver Brook project was completed September 18, 1937. 

There were twenty-six Chapter 90 projects completed during the year 
in fifteen cities and towns in the Metropolitan District. Among these 
is Commonwealth Avenue in Newton from the Boston line to Centre 
Street, Newton Centre. With the exception of a section between Brighton 
Avenue and Harvard Avenue in Boston, the whole length of Common- 
wealth Avenue from Boston to the Charles River is now in good condition. 

The Metropolitan Park Department has improved many sections of 
the various parkways in the District. Work has been done on the Mystic 
Valley Parkway in Arlington, Memorial Drive in Cambridge, Soldiers 
Field Road in Brighton, Furnace Brook Parkway in Quincy, Quincy 
Shore Drive in Quincy and Chicatawbut Road in the Blue Hills Reserva- 
tion from Randolph Avenue, Milton, through Quincy, to Granite Avenue, 
Braintree. 

Reconstruction of a portion of the Revere Beach Parkway in Everett 
and a portion of the Mystic Valley Parkway in Medford was started in 
September. 

The construction of a new bridge over the Mystic River to connect 
River Street in Arlington with Harvard Avenue in Medford was started 
August 26, 1937 and the bridge will be completed in April, 1938. 

Special Studies. 

In addition to those projects included in our recommendations, many 
studies and estimates of cost have been made this year, some at the re- 
quest of our Commission, some at the request of special bodies studying 
various problems and some at the request of various towns and cities of 
the District. 

A good deal of study has been given to the traffic problems in Boston, 
the Atlantic Avenue situation and the gateways to the north, south and 
west. 

Many traffic circles have been studied and designed as well as grade 
separations at particularly serious intersections. 

East Boston Tunnel Incline — Cambridge Street, Boston 

We have given considerable study to the situation on Cambridge Street 
between Chambers Street and North Russell Street caused by the incline 
of the East Boston Tunnel. This incline forms a bottleneck at this point 
causing serious impediment to westbound traffic on Cambridge Street. 
Our plan proposes to reduce the size of the incline to accommodate only 
one track instead of two as at present, thereby allowing an extra lane 
for westbound traffic on the street. This is an inexpensive and much 
needed improvement. The estimated cost is less than $20,000. 

Mattapan Square, Boston 

This busy intersection has been studied and a recommendation made 
for a temporary or experimental traffic oval to provide rotary traffic to 
reduce accidents and expedite movement. Without any taking of property 



and with only the slight expense of placing portable posts or standards, 
a rotary oval can be tried out and still leave forty feet of the pavement 
to be used for traffic all around. This would provide a large safety or 
pedestrian island in the centre of the Square. If this method of traffic 
handling is found satisfactory and an improvement on congested condi- 
tions, it could be made permanent. If not, it might indicate a modification 
or even, if removed, the cost to the City would have been practically 
nothing. 

The parking problem should receive some attention in the Square. 
Diagonal parking should be prohibited and also parking at or too near 
the corners. A little cooperation and enforcement of commonsense park- 
ing rules are badly needed here. 

Metropolitan District Map 

Our maps of the Metropolitan District, both on the scale of 800 feet 
to the inch and 2,000 feet to the inch, have been revised and brought up 
to date to include the new highways recently constructed. 

Statistics 

The use of the automobile continues to increase as shown by the fol- 
lowing table — the highest number of motor vehicles registered and the 
greatest number of drivers' licenses ever issued to date in Massachusetts. 

State Motor Vehicle Registration 

Calendar Year — 1937 

Pleasure vehicles 954,762 

Commercial vehicles 119,167 

Buses 4,917 

Motorcycles 1,169 

1,080,015 
Trailers 11.311 

1,091,326 
Total Drivers' Licenses 1,178,934 

The number of taxable gallons of gasoline consumed each month and 
the percentage of monthly consumption together with the corresponding 
receipts from the three-cent gas tax are given in the following table: 

State Gasoline Consumption 

Calendar Year 1937 

Gallons % Tax Receipts 

January 42.823,352 6.18 $1,284,700.58 

February 42,228,710 6.10 1,266,861.32 

March 52,751,284 7.62 1,582,538.51 

April 54,444,669 7.86 1,633,340.06 

May 61,475,797 8.87 1,844,273.93 

June 65,639,742 9.47 1,969,192.28 



10 

July 71,201,729 10.28 2,136,051.87 

August 68,310,704 9.86 2,049,321.11 

September 62.392,073 9.00 1,871,762.21 

October 61,202,521 8.83 1,836,075.65 

November 56,002,080 8.08 1,680,062.40 

December 54,328,782 7.84 1,629,863.45 

Totals 692,801,443 100.00 $20,784,043.37 

These figures compared with previous years indicate the steadily in- 
creasing use of the automobile and the steadily increasing income from 
the gasoline tax. About half of this income comes from the Metropolitan 
District. 

FINANCIAL STATEMENT 

Appropriations And Expenditures For The Fiscal Year Ending 

November 30, 1937 

Appropriations $19,800.00 

Expenditures 19,708.77 

Balance $ 91.23 

Respectfully submitted, 
DIVISION OF METROPOLITAN PLANNING 
By 

Frederick H. Fay, Vice Cliairmdri 
and Acting Chairman 

Wilson Marsh 

Richard K. Hale 

William F. Rogers 

John F. McDonald 

Richard D. Grant 

Henry I. Harriman, Director 



Financial Statement Verified. 
Approved. 



Geo. E. Murphy, 

Comptroller 



s