Many runners use the Greenough corridor and we should be planning for that use. •
The Greenough path, plus the Herter paths on the other side of the Charles, form a safe 5K loop for runners because no streets have to be crossed.
Nearly 6,000 runners used the loop during organized races in 2013, according to a local website, Coolrunning.com. During the summer, several hundred runners use the path every day.
Runners have improvised running tracks by creating narrow dirt paths adjacent to paved paths. This demonstrates a clear preference for a softer running surface.
Existing impromptu dirt path parallel to paved path in Greenough corridor •
DCR’s “Connectivity Study,” a plan for open spaces along the Charles, urged a 10’ wide paved path with a parallel soft-surface trail or shoulder for runners where possible
Soft surfaces have benefits for runners: “…the off-road impact is significantly easier on your body.” Fraioli, Mario, The Importance of Varying Your Running Surface, Competitor Magazine, Nov. 19, 2013.
Planning for a new Greenough multi-use corridor should include the long-term goal of a soft-surface path parallel to and integrated with the hard-surface path.
Phasing of paths may be necessary because construction funds are limited. Money might be saved by beginning implementation with grading for both hard and soft surfaces paths.
See the many other projects WalkBoston is working on for runners, at WalkBoston.org/running
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