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Eyes On the Street: Less Pavement, More Park On Hammond Pond Parkway

A freshly-paved two-lane road is lined with orange construction barrels stretching into the distance. The road is surrounded by trees just beginning to grow their leaves. A wide dirt track runs along the right edge of the pavement.

The new two-lane Hammond Pond Parkway, seen here looking south from near its intersection with Beacon Street in Newton. Photo by Aaron Lu.

Earlier this week, StreetsblogMASS reader Aaron Lu shared some photos of the Department of Conservation and Recreation's Hammond Pond Parkway road diet, which is converting a a four-lane highway without any sidewalks into a calmer two-lane street with a separated 12-foot-wide shared-use path and additional greenery in lieu of asphalt.

Contractors haven't yet started work on the path, but they recently paved the new roadway, which gives a clear sense of how much more space there's going to be for bikes, pedestrians, and greenery.

The streetlamps in Lu's photos approximate where the former edge of the now-demolished 4-lane highway used to be:

A dirt track runs alongside a freshly-paved two-lane road on the right side of the photo. The edge of the pavement is lined with orange construction barrels. The road is surrounded by trees just beginning to grow their leaves.
Construction of the newly-narrowed Hammond Pond Parkway in Newton. This photo is looking north towards the road's bridge over the Green Line D branch. Photo by Aaron Lu.
A photo of a street construction site running through woods that are just beginning to leaf out with spring leaves. On the left side of the photo is a roughly 20-foot-wide expanse of dirt and gravel. To the right is a freshly-paved two-lane road, lined with orange construction barrels. On the far side of the pavement is an excavator and an orange construction trailer.
Construction of Hammond Pond Parkway near the trailhead for Newton's Webster Conservation Area hiking trails. Photo by Aaron Lu.

The photo above was taken in roughly the same location as these images, showing the 4-lane parkway as it looked a few years ago (left), and a rendering of what it might look like next year, when construction is complete:

The current Hammond Pond Parkway (left) is a four-lane road without sidewalks; a rendering of a proposed reconstruction project (right) illustrates how the roadway would be narrowed, and how former car lanes would be transformed into a bike path with additional greenery. Courtesy of the Massachusetts DCR.

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