We sent a letter and gave live testimony this week at a City Council committee hearing on sidewalk snow clearance (more background from Streetsblog Mass). Our full comment letter is below, you can also watch the entire 2+ hour video, or just jump to City Councillor Matt O’Malley’s shout-out to WalkUP Roslindale or WalkUP Roslindale member Matt Lawlor’s testimony toward the end of the hearing. In brief, sidewalk snow clearance is critical to better walkability in Boston and our current system is completely broken. Read on for more.
This past week, the BPDA held a public meeting on a proposed development at 4198 Washington Street, the building currently home to Droubi’s Pita Bakery, Rozzie Square Theater, Delicious Yogurt, and Dragon Chef. The developer proposes to replace the building with a new six-story, mixed-use building with 39 residential units, 4,500 square feet of retail, a custom-built community theater space, as well as ample bicycle parking. The meeting was well-attended and many neighbors praised the developer’s thoughtful approach to affordability and transportation. Now that we’ve learned more about the proposal and heard comments from the community, we’ve sent in a comment letter. If you’d like to add your voice, please drop a note to the BPDA project manager, Aisling Kerr (firstname.lastname@example.org) or fill out the BPDA comment form.
Our PDF letter is reproduced in full below.
We’ve been following a proposed development at 4198 Washington Street (the building that is currently home to Droubi’s Pita Bakery, Rozzie Square Theater, Delicious Yogurt, and Dragon Chef) with interest. The developer proposes to replace the building with a new six-story, mixed-use building with 39 residential units, 4,500 square feet of retail, a custom-built community theater space, as well as ample bicycle parking. The BPDA is holding a virtual public meeting this Wednesday, February 24, 2021, from 6pm-7:30pm to discuss the proposal and receive feedback. You’ll need to register in order to attend.
We are generally in favor of the project since it will provide much-needed housing right in the heart of Rozzie Square, without creating the induced demand for more cars that would occur with dedicated parking spaces. We also understand that the developer is working to secure funding that would allow it to income-restrict at least 40% of units, a goal we support enthusiastically. We look forward to hearing more about the project at this upcoming meeting, after which we plan to send a comment letter with our collective feedback.
We encourage everyone who would like to see more housing (without more cars) in Roslindale to attend and speak up at this meeting.
We are quite happy to learn that the Boston Transportation Department is beginning striping work for the Washington Street/Roslindale Outbound Bus/Bike Lane. We have long pushed for both an evening-outbound and morning-inbound bus/bike lane and hope that finally achieving both goals will be transformational for Rozzie mass transit users as well as cyclists.
A few notes on what to expect over the next few weeks:
- Striping Work is anticipated to begin on Sunday, November 8 at 8 PM.
- BTD will be striping a new bus/bike lane and adding new signage.
- Work will be phased to minimize disruptions during peak hours.
- Plans are in place to manage traffic and ensure safety during road work.
- The new lane is anticipated to be operational on Monday, November 16th for the evening commute.
We’ve also agreed to help distribute a BTD flyer in both English and Spanish concerning the bus lane work. Please spread the word to interested folks!
Speeding and other unsafe driver behavior on South Street is a major problem that the Lower South Street Neighborhood Association has been working on for years, including by twice applying to the City’s Neighborhood Slow Streets program. We were thus delighted to learn this area will be one of three communities to receive an award of traffic calming resources in the upcoming year. Check out the neighborhood association’s original 2017 application to the program for more background. We’ve also included a map below of the affected area (outlined in red).
Some of the possible traffic calming measures include speed humps, raised intersections, streamlined signage, better road markings, and ways to make the South Street and Archdale Road intersection safer for pedestrians. Until recently, the City has claimed that speed humps and bumps were not permissible on most city streets (including South Street, but BTD recently changed its policy and indicated that it is open to considering the construction of speed humps on this street.
We understand that BTD will be conducting community outreach over the next few weeks through postcards to every household in the area, Zoom meetings, and perhaps in-person socially distanced events.
Interested residents are invited to sign-up on the City Website for emails about “meetings and project milestones.” We’ll also post updates here as we receive them.
Housing advocacy is part of WalkUP Roslindale’s mission so we are speaking up to urge our supporters to help get a pending housing stability bill passed before the legislative session runs out at the end of July. House Bill 5166 and Senate Bill 2992 would, among other things, extend the moratoriums on evictions and foreclosure for a year after the COVID state of emergency ends. Please email or call both your representative and senator to support this important legislation — and please do so quickly! You can find your legislators by address at this website.
This week, we sent a short comment letter in support of the City of Boston’s application for a “LAND” Grant to support the acquisition of 108 Walter Street in Roslindale for an urban wild. Details about the project can be found from the Roslindale Wetlands Task Force; see also this notice concerning a recent public meeting on the project from the Boston Conservation Commission. Our full letter appears below or can be downloaded as a PDF.
We are pleased to publish a report documenting the Walk Audit of a portion of Cummins Highway (between Washington Street/Roslindale Square and Rowe Street) performed by members of WalkUP Roslindale in December 2019. We identified many opportunities to dramatically improve safety along this stretch including converting one way streets to two way streets, increasing the number and safety of street crossings, and repositioning bicycle lanes between parked cars and the sidewalk. Please check out the report to read our specific recommendations for each intersection. Our next steps will be to set up meetings with the appropriate city officials and elected leaders to begin to address the highest priority items. If you have any thoughts about the report or what our top priorities should be, please leave them in the comments below or write to us at email@example.com.
Please download and share the full PDF version of the report, or read on for details.
As long-time WalkUP followers know, we’re big supporters of bus lanes, and were delighted by the relatively quickly deployment and extraordinary success of a morning in-bound dedicated bus lane on Washington Street from Roslindale Square to Forest Hills. It’s been clear from day one, though, that an evening outbound lane is at least as necessary–if not more so–given the extreme congestion in that direction during normal times. We are happy to report that the City is now moving forward with (virtual) public meetings to discuss an outbound lane and receive community feedback. In advance of next week’s meetings, you can check out a BTD presentation to WalkUP from January which started to explore some of these ideas.
The following meetings are scheduled for next week; click on the links below for flyers with more details:
- Merchant Focused Meetings
- Community-Focused Meetings
Please attend the meeting most appropriate for your interest and speak out in support of this excellent idea!
Back in May, we posted a survey on proposed improvements to the Roslindale Wetlands Urban Wild. The Parks Department is now hosting a public meeting (over Zoom) this coming Tuesday, June 9, from 7pm-9pm:
Join us at an online community engagement meeting for the Roslindale Wetlands Urban Wild. The focus of the capital project is wetland restoration, but will also include some entrance and trail improvements. We’d love for you to join us in our online presentation with a question and answer session afterward. Interpretation and translation services are available to you at no cost. If you are attending this event and need these services, please contact Laura Cawley at the Boston Parks and Recreation Department at Laura.Cawley@nullboston.gov or 617-961-3013.
You can find the Zoom link for the event on the city event page.