By Mayor Martin J. Walsh
Every spring, we release our Capital Investment Plan which funds the critical improvements to our infrastructure and facilities in Boston over a five-year period. It is a reflection of our priorities, and is guided by the voices of over 15,000 residents who offered input for our citywide plan, Imagine Boston 2030. Our Capital Plan funds the essentials of community life — our schools, streets, libraries, and parks, including climate and resilience projects. It’s a commitment to all those who call Boston home and to our future generations.
Here in Beacon Hill, we’re making investments across a wide range of projects, including parks and open space, streets and transportation, our schools’ infrastructure, and our delivery of City services.
We believe that funding equitable and accessible community spaces is critical in keeping Boston not only a beautiful city, but also an open and welcoming one. That’s why we’re allocating $23 million to the nation’s oldest public park, Boston Common. This funding would allow designers to develop a master plan that brings the Common to the level of excellence consistent with its historical importance and use by the city’s residents and visitors.
In addition to the Boston Common master plan, we’re investing another $4 million into Beacon Hill’s beautiful parks and public art. This includes $3.3 million for the restoration and conservation work of the Robert G. Shaw/54th Regiment Memorial on the Common and $150,000 in design funds for the Boston Common Tadpole Play lot. We’ve also designated $1.1 million for repairs to the Public Garden Lagoon that would repair and backfill damaged granite coping surrounding the water. We hope residents can continue to utilize these spaces in years ahead.
We’ve also funded a number of longer-term projects designed to create growth and opportunity in each neighborhood long after the initial investment. These account for the requests of the neighborhood’s residents and prepare Boston for the coming years.
With an eye towards the future, we’re allocating $300,000 for a study to determine the future redesign of the Frog Pond Ice Facility and accompanying building. We’re also planning a project that will revitalize the Boston Common playground, which would include new play equipment, safety surfacing and site furnishings for you and your family to enjoy.
We believe that funding infrastructure and transportation efforts are crucial in order to make navigating Boston safe, reliable, and equitable. That’s why we’ve also scheduled road improvements for Beacon Street, Walnut Street, and Branch Street as part of our Roadway Reconstruction Program.
Now that we’ve submitted Boston’s budget, where do we go from here? First, to the City Council, where it will be reviewed and adjusted as necessary. After it’s gone through that process and secured approval, it will go into effect, starting in July 2020 and running throughout the next 12 months. We hope you will continue to provide your valuable input on what we as a city can do to raise up your community. If you’d like to learn more about the Capital Plan and how this budget was created, please go to budget.boston.gov.Martin J. Walsh is the Mayor of Boston.