City councilors are working with residents along American Legion Highway to preserve "urban wilds" along the road and ultimately create a more bucolic stretch out of what at-large Councilor Steve Murphy says is now a "blighted" area.
One of the first steps could be changing the name of the road, which runs between Hyde Park Avenue and Blue Hill Avenue, to American Legion Parkway.
Murphy and Councilor Charles Yancey, whose district now includes large parts of the road, said the city has for decades treated the road and neighbors with disrespect, from tearing down most of the trees along it to siting a city light-pole storage area off it.
Last year, Eversource bought up some 12 acres of land on a hilltop behind the Stop & Shop, and the city DPW acquired 8 more, with no input from nearby residents.
Murphy and at-large Councilor Michelle Wu recently called for work to preserve the existing green spaces along the road and to look at longer term projects that Murphy said could eventually mean something more akin to VFW Parkway in West Roxbury, if with more stores.
A long-term vision for the road sees it becoming an extension to the Emerald Necklace:
This project will include the opportunity for parks, off-street bike and pedestrian paths along the open 4,500 foot Canterbury Brook, a 5,000 feet section of Stony Brook’s conduit easement, a panoramic vista along a 60 foot high bluff, as well as pathways through urban wilds, parks, and cemeteries.