For Transportation Junkies, Boston's Premiere Vantage Point
North Point Park photo by Chris Devers on Flickr
In Boston, a treasure trove of transportation can be found at North Point Park, a by-product of the Big Dig. The park is a modest urban park tucked along the end of the Charles between Monsignor O’Brien Highway and the Zakim Bridge. North Point is in that patch of space across from the Museum of Science, if that’s a more useful geographic indicator. It’s designed as a series of open green spaces with several playground areas and a spray deck. There are paths for pedestrians and bikers, and the outermost portion of the park is an island reachable by a series of bridges.
It’s that island that provides such as amazing vantage point for transportation junkies. Under the watchful gaze of the county jail prisoners across the channel, you can watch a huge variety of transportation modes at once. The Zakim Bridge and O’Brien Highway give you cars and trucks. The commuter rail passes in and out of North Station (bonus points for drawbridges). The Green Line rolls through Science Park station. The Charles River Channel has pleasure boat and commercial traffic (mostly Duckboats), as well as kayakers. And the pathways around the island offer pedestrians, bikers, and Segway riders a pleasant view and access to new bridges to Charlestown.
North Point Park has been a long time coming (and the planned development around it is struggling to come to fruition). And more remains to come, including more pedestrian bridges and a skate park. But history aside, its current incarnation is a marvel — a beautiful green space that is at once an oasis on the city yet intimately connected to it.