Progress on Gateway Path funding thanks to Sen. Rush and Rep. Malia

We have been working for many years with our elected leaders to make the Roslindale Gateway Path a reality and were delighted to learn that Sen. Mike Rush has successfully pushed through an amendment to this year’s state budget bill  allocating $100,000 toward development of the path. Rep. Liz Malia and her staff are on board to help see this through on the House side. This is a significant step forward for the path, which we hope will be fully funded in the coming years.

Comment Period re-Opened for 4198 Washington Street and Drop-In Session This Monday Evening

We’ve previously publicized our support for the proposed mixed-use project at 4198 Washington Street — see our detailed comment letter here.

We recently learned that the BPDA has responded to some efforts to organize against this project by re-opening and extending the comment period for this proposal to May 3rd. We strongly encourage supporters of this project to submit comments through the BPDA portal or to aisling.kerr@nullboston.gov.

As a reminder, this project will provide 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. We have heard the project may be down-sized by a story and shrunk to fewer units due to some opposition. We strongly urge the developer to not “down-size” the building and recommend supporters submit similar comments to the BPDA.

The developer Arx Urban is seeking to income-restrict at least 40% of the units in the new building. Only 12% of the total housing stock in Roslindale is income-restricted, compared to 27% of total homes citywide. While we are generally supportive of new housing in Roslindale Square, we are particularly supportive of this project for that reason. We also do not want to see a smaller project given the loss of income-restricted units that would entail.

The developer is hosting a drop-in session to answer any remaining questions this Monday, April 26 evening in Adams Park from 5:30pm-7:30 pm. Please wear a mask and maintain social distancing. Attendees can receive a free yogurt or ice cream from Delicious Yogurt for their trip home too!

WalkUP Roslindale comment letter on 4198 Washington Street

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 (aisling.kerr@nullboston.gov) or fill out the BPDA comment form.

Our PDF letter is reproduced in full below.

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Public Meeting on 4198 Washington Street Development this Wednesday, February 24, 2021, at 6pm, via Zoom

Rendering of 4198 Washington Street Proposed DevelopmentWe’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.

Washington Street Outbound Bus/Bike Lane Work Starts Tonight!

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!

Lower South Street Wins Neighborhood Slow Streets Award

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.

Lower South Street Area
Lower South Street Slow Streets Area

Support housing stability legislation before time runs out at the end of July

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.

More background:

Comment letter on LAND Grant Application for Roslindale Wetlands Urban Wild

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.

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Cummins Highway Walk Audit Results

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 audit@nullwalkuproslindale.org.

Please download and share the full PDF version of the report, or read on for details.

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