From Dave Brigham:
What is it about a tunnel? A little bit mysterious, perhaps dangerous. A route under the hustle and bustle, a cool escape. A graffiti canvas. A place to chug a beer on the way to work.
(Yerxa Road Underpass, Cambridge, Mass.)
Reconstructed in 2006, the Yerxa Road Underpass connects neighborhoods in North Cambridge, ducking under the MBTA's Fitchburg commuter rail line. The tunnel is adorned with sculptures and tiles created by Randal Thurston. I don't know when the underpass was built, but the fact that it needed to be rebuilt 11 years ago leads me to believe it had become neglected -- probably dark, smelling of piss, covered in grammatically incorrect graffiti.
About a mile east the Fitchburg line crosses over the Sacramento Street Underpass in Somerville. This tunnel has obviously not been renovated recently as has its opposite number in Cambridge.
Still, there are some nice murals done by local school kids.
People who live in these neighborhoods likely don't think twice about walking through these tunnels to get from their apartments to the grocery store, or from work to a lunch place. But for a guy who lives in your standard suburban neighborhood with exactly zero underpasses, I find it exciting to drag my son along to check out these types of spots.