Who would want to be out in this cold and wet? Why should we build infrastructure for people to bike, run, walk, or do anything but drive?
In writing about Heartbreak Hill and the current push for marathon training, the Boston Globe writes:
Thanks to a happy accident in Newton’s street plan, those 4 infamous miles on Commonwealth Avenue — stretching from a firehouse on the corner of Washington Street to the campus of Boston College — are paralleled by a small carriage road. It provides drivers with access to the stately homes on the north side of Comm. Ave., and runners with a protective corridor where they can run the hills over and over again, many in large groups.
Imagine that. People who are outside during the harshest part of winter on a protected lane in the heart of Newton. Oh, and one more thing: snow removal helps.
Vitally important is the fact that it is well plowed. Training for the Marathon means running in winter, when snow renders sidewalks unusable and runners are forced to choose between the monotony of a track or treadmill, or the tight confines of street traffic. Newton gets rave reviews from runners for its attention to the carriage road. (A city official said they try to plow every road well, but are aware of the increased foot traffic on the carriage road.)
But hey, let’s not build any more of these because no one uses them. This must be why the path along the Charles is covered with ice, making any kind of running, walking, or biking nearly impossible. Why would you need it when there is a perfectly good road nearby?