From expansions to public transportation options to the removal of historic markers, here are a few of the upcoming changes coming to Boston and the surrounding area.
Silver Line from Chelsea to Downtown to Come in 2018
State transportation officials are reporting that Silver Line service from downtown Boston into Chelsea will get started in April 2018. Running from South Station to a stop just west of Everett Avenue, the five-mile route will further help to facilitate connections to the Blue and Red lines. As part of the changes, the route will include an exclusive right-of-way for Silver Line buses once they arrive in Chelsea. Once the project is complete, there will be four stops in the community and the state will relocate the commuter rail station westward.
With an estimated 8,700 people using the route on a daily basis, the changes are sure to further boost Chelsea’s status as a plan B for those who can’t afford to buy or rent in Boston proper. It should be noted, however, that the project has been in the works since 2013 and was supposed to launch in 2016. Officials claim that the project is back on track to be completed next year.
Confederate Memorial Likely to be Removed
A marker on Boston Harbor’s George Island that commemorates Southern soldiers imprisoned in Fort Warren during the Civil War is likely to be soon removed. As the only Confederate memorial in Massachusetts, the stone marker refers to the Civil War as “the War Between the States.” The marker was originally put up in 1963 thanks to the efforts of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Governor Charlie Baker, however, has recently expressed his support for removing the marker. Baker’s spokeswoman went on to say that Baker believes we should “refrain from the display of symbols, especially in our public parks, that do not support liberty and equality for the people of Massachusetts.” Since the monument is located on a National Historic Landmark, the governor further supports working with the Massachusetts Historical Commission to explore possible options for relocating the marker. Massachusetts itself was a hotbed of abolition both before and during the Civil War, with dozens of its regiments dispatched to fight the Confederacy.
Hubway Expansion Adds Numerous Stations
Hubway has announced plans to add more than 70 new stations in Boston over the next two years. As part of these plans, the number of kiosks in Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville will be increased along with the number in the city of Boston. While the exact numbers have not yet been released for Cambridge and Somerville, Brookline will be getting 13 new spots. The locations for the new kiosks in Boston have not yet been determined, with the city wanting to get feedback from residents before those decisions are finalized.
In addition to adding new stations, the city has also announced that most of the Hubway stations in Boston will remain open year-round rather than closing for the winter. Cambridge tried this system last winter and it seemed to be successful for them.