It took some time, but the Cummins Missing Middle Walk Assessment Report has finally been released. The full report is below and also available as a PDF. We’ll be using this report to organize around and advocate for pedestrian and other non-auto safety improvements on this critical “link for people” in our neighborhood. Thanks!
We’ve posted on this topic previously and have expressed our own support in a comment letter earlier this year and now we’re gratified to see the following statement from District 5 City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo in support of the proposed project, released earlier today and quoted here in full:
“Today a project by Arx Urban at 4198-4206 Washington Street in Roslindale goes before the BPDA Board.
“I am in full support of this project.“This project sets important benchmarks that are in line with the values and priorities I believe developments in our neighborhoods should have and should promote. At least 40% of the units will be income restricted between 30-90% Area Median Income and the developers are seeking to and have stated publicly that their goal is to eventually have 100% of the unit’s income restricted. The city currently only mandates 13%.“This project will be sustainably built. A 100% electric building, with solar power, approaching Passive House standards. While also widening sidewalks around the property and creating a courtyard with greenspace on Washington Street. They have also entered partnerships with two local businesses with long term, below market leases and will showcase the Rozzie Square Theatre, an already existing wMBE business, that will invite innovation in the arts and provide a forum for diverse voices.“Arx Urban has also taken meaningful steps to engage the community and implement feedback. They’ve reduced the height to four stories from an initial seven. Set the building back from the Sumner School by 51’ and collaborated with the school on a mural and improv classes. They have also agreed to several measures to improve pedestrian experiences and safety.“I have heard from opponents who are most staunchly opposed to this project because it lacks onsite parking. And while I believe that is a valid concern, I believe it is outweighed by the truly transit oriented nature of Roslindale Square. I believe in prioritizing the housing of people and a project like this, that provides truly affordable housing on this scale, makes that goal available to those who most need it.
“Our city has been, and continues to be, in a housing crisis that has been headlined by displacement and a lack of truly affordable housing. As a Councilor I will continue to advocate for projects that make remedying that issue, with strong commitments to income restricted units, a priority.”
Yes, the hearing – under the subtitle “Supplemental Sidewalk Clearance Program During Snowstorms in Boston” – will be held by the council’s Committee on City and Neighborhood Services during the day, but it will be over Zoom. Anyone interested in testifying or offering public testimony should send an email to committee liaison Juan Lopez (email firstname.lastname@example.org) to request the zoom link, sign up to testify at the hearing, and/or to submit written comment separately. Your friends here at WalkUP Roslindale will be there, with bells on, and we’ll post our written testimony after the hearing. We have long-standing, well-documented thoughts about the consistently awful, incredibly short shrift our city gives to people walking, biking, and taking transit during and after any significant snowfall. This is the first opportunity we can recall where the public is being invited to speak to our city’s administration about just how bad it is out there and what we believe can and should be done. We hope you can participate! PS And we’d like to give a special note of thanks to Councilor Bok for issuing the call for this hearing. It’s way, way, way past time to do better in what is supposed to be “America’s Walking City.”
We have snow falling again this evening and we are accordingly calling out our forces again – If we hit 4″ (10cm), please do what you can to clear out bus stops, crosswalk ramps, and other paths for our neighbors. If you make it out and get it done, send us before and after pictures (email Matt at email@example.com) and make yourself eligible for $10 in Rozzie Bucks from our good friends and sponsors at Roslindale Village Main Street. Thanks everyone!
We have snow falling again this afternoon and though it isn’t yet sticking on the motor vehicle travel lanes of our streets, it does appear to be accumulating on sidewalks and other paths. We are accordingly calling out our forces again – If we hit 4″ (10cm), please do what you can to clear out bus stops, crosswalk ramps, and other paths for our neighbors. If you make it out and get it done, send us before and after pictures (email Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org) and make yourself eligible for $10 in Rozzie Bucks from our good friends and sponsors at Roslindale Village Main Street. It is worth noting that we here at WalkUP Roslindale are aware that there is an ongoing debate and plenty of advocacy ground to cover as to how priorities are set and how we as a city clear snow and ice. We acknowledge that this collaborative is barely scratching the surface of what is needed. But we think we have to start somewhere and take action.
Friends, yes, we are lined up for some significant snowfall this afternoon/evening and overnight tonight. And so, once the snow has stopped flying, we are calling out all of our WalkUP Roslindale Snow Clearance Collaborative Version 4.2 forces in a virtual, socially distanced way to don a face covering, pick up a shovel, and safely and calmly dig out a bus stop, a curb ramp, or a neglected sidewalk or bike lane wherever in Roslindale they may be, then send us a picture of the dug out locations at email@example.com. We’ll be happy to give you our deep, undying thanks and connect you with $10 in Rozzie Bucks from Roslindale Village Main Street as a reward. Thanks!
We very much encourage everyone who tunes in to us here at WalkUP Roslindale to sign up and attend the upcoming book club virtual gathering being held by Streetsblog MASS with joint sponsorship from WalkBoston. The event, to be held on the evening of 13 January 2021 at 7:30 pm, will feature author Angie Schmitt to discuss her recently published book Right of Way: Race, Class, and the Silent Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths in America. There is no charge to attend the event, though everyone is welcome to start off the new year right by donating whatever they are willing/able to either Streetsblog MASS or WalkBoston.
The event page on the Streetsblog MASS website, with information on how to register, can be found here. And don’t forget that our neighborhood’s newly-launched bookstore, Rozzie Bound, can also be paired with an order for the book through Bookshop.org.
With the recent snowfall and the ongoing holidays, we are officially extending the feedback period for the Cummins Missing Middle Walk Audit to Friday, 8 January 2021. Note that we are still going to hold the initial feedback session – Session 2 – on this coming Monday, 21 December 2020, as planned. Thanks!
Friends, our good buddy Boston Yeti is telling us that we may have some significant snowfall overnight tonight and so, once the snow has stopped flying, we are calling out all of our WalkUP Roslindale Snow Clearance Collaborative Version 4.1 forces in a virtual, socially distanced way to don a face covering, pickup a shovel, and safely and calmly dig out a bus stop or two wherever in Roslindale they may be, then send us a picture of the dug out stop(s) at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be happy to give you kudos and, possibly, a reward if we can work out the details with a key provider of certain discount coupons for neighborhood businesses. Thanks!
As an example, below are photos of the before and after for a bus stop access point that your correspondent shoveled out late yesterday at South & Walter. Would love to post photos from others on their efforts! – mjl
Finally following up on our rescheduled walk audit for the triangle bounded by Cummins Highway, Canterbury Street, and Hyde Park Avenue – with special focus on the so-called “missing middle” on Cummins between Canterbury/American Legion and Rowe Street – WalkUP Roslindale is proud to announce that we will be holding this walk audit virtually over the week starting on Monday, December 14th at 7 pm with a “Pedestrian 101” presentation over zoom, followed by individual, self-guided walk audits and reporting of observations/recommendations during the following 7 days, and then a regroup to discuss results over zoom on Monday, December 21st, also at 7 pm.
Please contact Matt Lawlor at email@example.com if you’re interested in participating so that we can provide you with a link to the initial zoom meeting. We would thrilled to welcome anyone of any age who has an interest in making this part of our neighborhood safer for everyone using its streets. We are also proud to be partnering with Roslindale Village Main Street to offer $10 Rozzie Buck coupons for participation in each of the 3 phases of the audit.
Special thanks to WalkBoston for lending us their platform and expertise on conducting virtual walk audits.