Haley School – Safe Routes to School Walk

WUR/American Legion Corridor stalwarts Lisa Beatman and Rick Yoder were joined by your correspondent and Steve Gag (in the photo, far left) in participating in the Haley School’s 4th walk this morning to raise awareness about safe routes to school for students to walk and the present lack of those routes for the Haley. You will note that BPS Superintendent Tommy Chang, whom we understand is now a Roslindale resident, is pictured in the first row, blue polo shirt. It was great to see him, City Councilor Andrea Campbell (I think she might have taken this picture), and everyone else who both organized and participated from BPS and the school (both students, staff, and parents). Those with more information on this (looking at you, Lisa and Rick), please let us know more in the comments and tell us how we can be more supportive of this effort!

 

A brief recap of the abutters’ meeting on 874-878 South Street (South/Walter)

We brought everyone’s attention to this meeting about a week ago and gave our thoughts about ways the revised 9-unit, 18-space proposal could be improved, based largely on the reaction from the group at the LANA meeting earlier in the month. Seems like the development team was listening.

And now to our report, very briefly: This was, all in all, a downright cordial meeting, well run by Dan Murphy from the Mayor’s ONS. I would say that the overall sense in the room was:

  • that 9 residential units was more or less going to work for this location,
  • that at 13 the number of parking spaces seemed tight to some and more than ample to others (your correspondent felt it was more than necessary, didn’t take full advantage of the location’s close proximity to the Commuter Rail/Roslindale Square/Washington Street Bus Corridor, and would both drive up the cost of the units and encourage more vehicular traffic), and
  • that the reduction in vehicle spaces was allowing for bicycle parking for 13 bicycles and some buffering green space between the surface parking and the property to the rear.

Certainly some attention still needs to be paid to the overall design, which feels too by-the-book (and from not that great a book), and the vehicular access could use some thinking about how to better manage the exiting and entering of vehicles. The discussion at the end focused on further process – it sounds like the developer will file revised plans with ISD soon and start the Board of Appeal’s zoning relief process, which will likely take on the order of 3 to 6 months to get through, to be followed by BPDA Design Review. WalkUP Roslindale will look to submit a comment letter in connection with the Board of Appeal hearing. We will share it when we have it ready. In the meantime, thoughts are more than welcome in the comments.

NSS – A pretty popular idea, it turns out…

…there were 47 applications for 2 to 3 selected winners. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s about the same ratio as the Hunger Games or the acceptance rate for getting into Stanford. The city’s announcement indicates that they will be announcing their decisions in May. We understand that all 4 of the Roslindale applications we were tracking were submitted. We’ll update as we have more information. Well done, neighbors!!!

It’s a wrap – 4th and final standout is in the books! Thanks all!!!

A cloudy but not too cold day. We had six stalwarts (see photo below, one of our number had to leave a couple minutes earlier) and note that the Dynamic Duo of Guptill and Tedrow kept their perfect record intact. Being out at this location, which was the subject of a Vision Zero Rapid Response installation after Silvia Acosta’s death last year, reminded us that we need to follow up, repair the broken/missing flexposts, and move toward making the installation permanent. And so on we go!

874-878 South Street Installment 2 – Finally back with revised proposal for public consideration – 6:30 pm, 28 March 2017, at the RCC

874 South Street Meeting Flyer
874 South Street Meeting Flyer

It’s been almost 2 years, but the 874-878 South Street proposal that was the subject of a WUR long-form blog post in July 2015 is finally returning with a revised proposal.

The meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 28, at 6:30 pm at the Roslindale Community Center. Flyer for meeting here.

Based on what was said by the property owner and his attorney at the LANA meeting a week or so ago, it sounds like the proposal will be for 9 residential units with 18 off-street parking spaces. For those keeping score at home, that’s a reduction from the original proposal of 6 residential units and an increase of 3 off-street parking spaces. Revised plans were not available at the LANA meeting, though they will reportedly be available this coming Tuesday.

For the record, I continue to live 2 blocks from this location. From my own perspective and given this location within walking distance of the commuter rail station and Roslindale Square, the revised unit count is lower than it should be and the number of off-street parking spaces is at least 4 spaces too many. I would really prefer a 1-to-1 space to unit ratio at this location. While I recognize some neighbors see this issue differently, on-street parking issues at this location and along the stretch of South Street and the intersecting streets toward the commuter rail are relatively minimal, except on Sunday mornings. Increasing the parking space count here may prevent there ever being an issue from this development related to on-street parking, but it will tend to increase vehicle traffic by encouraging car ownership by development residents and, to the extent automatically included with each unit, will increase the cost of each unit in the development. Accordingly, in addition to wanting to see the revised design, I will be interested in a discussion of the parking space count, how the revised plans locate those spaces on the site, what kind of space is left over, and how much consideration is or isn’t being given to bicycle parking and encouraging bicycling and walking as well as zipcar and transit use.

25 mph Speed Limit Standout #4 – Washington @ Blue Ledge — 11 am on 25 March 2017

No peppy name this time. This will be the fourth and final installment of our standout series. The location this time is at the main southern entrance to our neighborhood and the place where our neighbor, Silvia Acosta, was killed by a hit and run driver while crossing Washington Street in a crosswalk. It would be great to top last week’s 14 participants, so feel free to bring a sign along with yourself and your great attitude. Thanks in advance!!!

Let 10,000 flowers – or at least 4 NSS applications – bloom in Roslindale! (UPDATED with survey link for Lower South)

We here at WalkUP Roslindale have been talking up BTD’s Neighborhood Slow Streets (NSS) program since they released the application package a few weeks ago. We even went so far as to host a workshop a bit over a month ago to inform and encourage our neighbors all across this great neighborhood to band together and apply. At this point, we are aware of at least 4 separate NSS applications in Roslindale that are in production and almost certain to be submitted by the March 24 deadline. They are listed below with contact information, their draft area maps, and, where available, links to the online surveys for residents in those areas to weigh in on their concerns and support for the concept of making our residential streets safer through calmed traffic:

Longfellow Area (from Knoll to Congreve, between Centre and South/Walter plus the spur of South from the Walter-South intersection to the commuter rail station): LINK to survey. Contact: Rob Orthman, robert.orthman@nullgmail.com.

Lower South Street (South/Bussey intersection down through the Archdale bridge, covering the side streets between South and Washington to Firth and then crossing Washington to pick up the side streets between Florence and Washington down to Cummins). SURVEY LINK. Contact: Steve Gag, stevengag@nullgmail.com.

Metropolitan Hill/Beech Street (Metropolitan to Beech, Washington to Poplar): LINK here. Contact: Sarah Kurpiel Lee, stk1221@nullgmail.com.

Mount Hope/Canterbury (residential side streets off of American Legion, from Walk Hill and Mount Hope to Cummins). Contact: Lisa Beatman, lisabeatman@nullyahoo.com.