WalkUP Roslindale Double-Header Coming Up – TransitMatters and Roslindale Gateway Path – 17 September 2023 – 5 pm

Construction has started on the first phase of the Roslindale Gateway Path. This is the scene as of 27 August 2023 looking south from the point of connection with the Blackwell Path.

You read that right! On Sunday, 17 September 2023, WalkUP Roslindale will feature back-t0-back speakers commencing at 5 pm at the Substation in Roslindale Square. The public are invited to these informational sessions.

To start, we’ll hear from Jarred Johnson of TransitMatters, about their transit advocacy plans for the fall and, especially, the recent report they released on “Modernizing the Needham Line: The Case for an Orange Line Extension to West Roxbury.” NOTE: WalkUP Roslindale has not taken a position on any of the report’s recommendations.

To finish, we’ll have a presentation from our own Greg Tobin, WalkUP Roslindale board member, on the City’s progress with implementation of the shared city/arboretum/community vision around the Roslindale Gateway Path, especially the start of construction on the first phase of the path, running from the end of the Blackwell Path at South Street to the underpass at Arboretum Road. The photo above was taken just today – we hope it’s severely dated by the time we get to the 17th of next month!

We’re planning 30 minutes for each of our presentations and Q+A, so everyone should be on their way by 6 pm.

The Street Project – A de-brief

It’s been 3 weeks since our community screening of The Street Project at the Rozzie Square Theater and, late as it is, we thought we should provide a de-brief. Overall, the screening was a success. We were delighted to welcome the mayor, who put in a brief appearance prior to the start of the film, to reiterate her administration’s commitment to the full slate of safe street improvements indicated in the documentary – safer pedestrian and cyclist conditions such as open streets, better crossings, speed humps, street narrowings, and protected bike lanes. After the film concluded, we were gratified to have Jeff Speck, author of The Walkable City and one of the experts featured in the film, on hand to answer questions from attendees. It was, all around, a great time. Special thanks to the filmmaker Jennifer Boyd at Boyd Productions, to Courtney Pong and the team at Rozzie Square Theater, and to Anna VanRemoortel at RVMS, as well as Jason Bylsma, Steve Gag, and Elvira Mora from WUR. We’ll look to do more of this going forward!

Arborway Bus Maintenance Meeting – In Person – TOMORROW – 22 June 2023 – 6 pm at English High School

We’re boosting the signal on this one kind of late, but better late than never. If you’re able, please do attend and show your support for our beleaguered transit agency and their attempts to move forward with electrification of their bus fleet by, among other things, replacing the Arborway bus garage with a fully modern facility while making significant land available for development of sorely needed new housing for our city. Thanks!

The MBTA is pleased to announce a public meeting to discuss replacement of the Arborway Bus Maintenance Facility.  The in-person meeting is scheduled for:

Thursday, June 22, 2023

6 PM – 8 PM

The English High School – Auditorium

144 McBride Street


At this meeting, MBTA project staff will provide an overview of the 15% design plans for the new bus maintenance facility and electrification project. The MBTA is designing the facility to support a 100% battery electric bus (BEB) fleet. BEBs will reduce emissions and improve the air quality around the facility and routes served. The new facility will be located next to the existing facility, on the site of 500 Arborway, and will open up 6.5 acres for housing and other development. The new facility will expand the fleet size to serve additional routes in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan. This will provide capacity for 60-foot buses that carry greater numbers of riders on busy routes.

The MBTA encourages public participation and invites all to join this meeting. The MBTA will facilitate a Q&A period to respond to inquiries and gather public feedback about this project. 

This meeting will be held in person. Please click here to register so that we can account for attendance and accommodate accessibility needs.

For questions and comments, you can email us at arborwaybus@nullmbta.com.


Haitian Creole and Spanish interpreters, translated materials, and Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services will be provided for this meeting. American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters will be provided via Zoom.

Accessibility accommodations and language services will be provided free of charge, upon request, as available. Such services include documents in alternate formats, translated documents, closed captioning, and interpreters.

For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation and/or language services, please email publicengagement@nullmbta.com or call tel:  857-327-3282. Requests should be made at least 10 days before a meeting.

Para más información o para pedir arreglos razonables y/o servicios lingüísticos, por favor envíe un e-mail publicengagement@nullmbta.com.

如需进一步了解或要求合理的便利设备和/或语言服务,请电邮 publicengagement@nullmbta.com.

Para mais informações, ou para solicitar serviços de acesso e/ou linguísticos em termos razoáveis, contactar por email publicengagement@nullmbta.com.

Pou plis enfòmasyon oswa pou mande yon aranjman rezonab ak/oswa sèvis lang, tanpri voye yon imèl bay publicengagement@nullmbta.com.

Community Screening – “The Street Project” – Sunday, 25 June 2023 – 12:30 pm – Rozzie Square Theater

As we noted a few days ago, WalkUP Roslindale are confirmed to present a community screening of The Street Project, a new documentary from 9-time Emmy-award winning filmmaker Jennifer Boyd, focusing on the movement for safer streets around the US and the world. The screening will take place at 12:30 pm on the afternoon of Sunday, 25 June 2023, at the Rozzie Square Theater on Basile Street in Roslindale Square. So, come on down and support WalkUP Roslindale’s efforts to raise awareness and move the needle around these issues here at home. The screening will feature a community-led discussion about street safety in Roslindale and across Boston where we’ll hear voices from residents, cyclists, advocates, and participation from city planner and Walkable City author, Jeff Speck. Seating is limited to 49 and seats are FREE (with donations through our fiscal sponsor, Roslindale Village Main Street, in any amount encouraged), so get your advance tickets HERE. Special thanks to Courtney and the team at RST for donating use of the theater space without cost. We look forward to seeing you there!

VERY BIG NEWS: BTD’s “Safety Surge” means the end of doling out street safety with an eyedropper…

This was definitely something not to be missed at the start of this week: On Monday, as StreetsblogMass reported, Mayor Wu and the Boston Transportation Department held a press conference in Mattapan to announce that they had laid the groundwork and were now ready to move forward with what they are dubbing a “Safety Surge” on 3 meaningful, citywide safety initiatives, starting more or less right away:

  1. Speed Humps. A new, comprehensive speed hump program that will roll out 500 new speed humps on residential streets throughout Boston based on analysis of crash day and vulnerable populations instead of the frankly take-it-slow, Hunger Games-like approach of the now-sunsetted Neighborhood Slow Streets program. NOTE: These are not car-frame/axle-jarring speed bumps but instead broader, more rounded humps in the street designed to be negotiated safely without incident as long as the motor vehicle operator is going not more than a safe-for-all-street-users 20 mph. Many (though not nearly enough) have been installed under the NSS program, including several in the Mt. Hope/Canterbury NSS area of Roslindale. We advocated for NSS districts in Roslindale and were fortunate to see some success in bringing the program here, but we have always agreed with Mayor Wu that, from the moment the NSS program was started and the mayor was just an at-large city councilor, it was woefully inadequate to meet the need, shouldn’t have been based on particular kinds of advocacy, and should have just gone citywide as a basic public health and safety measure like piping our sewer output and having lights on our street. We’ve said this before and are glad that this is finally the city’s real goal: Everyone deserves to live on a safe street. Everyone on every street in every neighborhood. As soon as possible. No exceptions.
  2. Safer Intersections. The goal here is to redesign and reconfigure 25-30 intersections across the city, again based on crash data and vulnerable population information, to prioritize safety. Most crashes happen at intersections, so this work is absolutely critical and we look forward to seeing major, highly dangerous intersections that today act like major obstacles (ahem, the American Legion/Cummins/Canterbury intersection being a big one around here) made safer and more inviting for everyone.
  3. Safer Signals. This is another in the long-time-coming category. The way signals and control of motor vehicles are undertaken at signalized intersections has been a depressing prospect in this city for as long as your correspondent has lived here. The last citywide policy redo, in 2018, was deeply insufficient to meet the moment and failed move us away from a car-first mindset. The new policy stands a chance of making the changes we need made, especially through leading pedestrian intervals at key signalized crossings, prohibiting right-on-red in more places, and setting an overall goal of safety over motor vehicle throughput.

So, a momentous set of changes and ones that we look forward to following and enjoying with all of our neighbors as they roll out. Stay tuned as that happens.


Public Meeting 5 Days Right Ahead – Thursday, 9 March 2023 – Return of 4198 Washington Street

As those who follow this weblog know, WalkUP Roslindale followed this project closely through the public process that unfortunately resulted in an effective ZBA denial in the fall of 2021. (See 2 of our posts below). Now, the owners of the property are thankfully back with a renewed push on redevelopment of this 8,982 square foot site at 4198 – 4206 Washington Street in Roslindale Square. Physically, their proposal hasn’t changed: in place of the existing one-story retail structure, it still calls for construction of a new five (5)-story, mixed-use building containing approximately thirty-one (31) residential units, approximately 6,800 square feet of retail/community theater space, and approximately thirty-eight (38) bicycle storage spaces. The sole change, and it is significant, is that the owners have increased the share of income-restricted residential units from 42% to 61%, such that 19 of the 31 units are committed to be affordable to households earning between 60% and 100% of area median income. Not only is this substantively good on its own and makes an already great project that much better, it is also puts the project into the category of affordable residential developments that the Mayor’s Affordable Housing Executive Order of last fall expressly wants to advance more quickly and efficiently in light of the long-standing housing crisis in our city. In other words, this is exactly the kind of project that the Wu Administration wants to see a lot more of. Its time has come.

You can visit the project’s page on the BPDA website for more information. Most importantly, you can find information on the upcoming public meeting over zoom that is scheduled for this coming Thursday, 9 March 2023, at 6:00 pm. We urge supporters of this worthy proposal to attend the meeting and make your voices heard in support. You can register here.

4198 Washington Street Mixed Use and Affordable Housing Project Rejected by Zoning Board of Appeal Due to Lack of Parking


WalkUP Roslindale comment letter on 4198 Washington Street


Calles Lentas de South Street Baja y el Vecindario Cercano

El 17 de noviembre, el plan de Calles Lentas de South Street Baja y el Vecindario Cercano fue aprobado por la Comisión de Mejoramiento Publico, Public Improvement Commission (PIC). Este logro fue la culminación de años de abogacía por parte de residentes y el trabajo del equipo de Calles Lentas de Boston, Boston Slow Streets team. Estos avances serán construidos en 2023. Vea las especificaciones: 

Después del voto, el Jefe de Calles, Jascha Franklin-Hodge tomó un momento para decir unas palabras sobre el compromiso por parte de la administración para reconstruir las calles de Boston incluyendo este extracto: 

“Debemos hacer más, debemos hacerlo más rápido – para reconstruir nuestras calles con el fin de que sean seguras y cómodas para todos. Y debemos ver y cambiar las políticas y los procesos que muchas veces resultan en un proceso prolongado y tardanzas excesivas al hacer este tipo de trabajo crítico. Así que solo quisiera decirles a los miembros del público aquí que yo al igual que la administración estamos comprometidos a hacer estos cambios.”  

Nosotros aplaudimos esta declaración y hemos incluido una transcripción completa con sus palabras abajo. Mientras el programa de Calles Lentas en Vecindarios, Neighborhood Slow Streets, a sido un programa exitoso, este solo no puede solucionar el peligro a nivel general que viven las personas vulnerables en vecindarios alrededor de la ciudad. Nosotros alentamos a la ciudad que cumplan con su compromiso de acelerar el paso de cambio, y esperamos trabajar en conjunto para brindar calles seguras a Roslindale. 

Comentarios completos:

“Antes de que sigamos quisiera quitarme el puesto de presidencia de PIC y usar esta oportunidad para decir algunas cosas de parte de la administración de la Alcaldesa Wu en mi capacidad como su Jefe de Calles y Comisario de Public Works. En primer lugar, quisiera decir gracias a ti Stephanie ([Seskin (Directora de Transportación Activa del Departamento de Transportación de Boston)] y su equipo por todos sus esfuerzos trabajando en este proyecto y durante los últimos años – yo se que estos esfuerzos han involucrado (como hemos escuchado) extensa divulgación pública, juntas públicas, oportunidades para dar comentarios, y múltiples rondas de revisión de diseño. Y llegar hasta este punto ha requerido bastante inversión de tiempo y energía por parte del equipo de la ciudad así que estoy muy agradecido por eso.

En segundo lugar, quisiera decir gracias a los miembros de la comunidad quienes han luchado por este proyecto, y quienes han impulsado a la ciudad a crear calles más seguras en los vecindarios por años y por décadas en algunos casos. Pedimos mucho de ustedes, incluyendo venir a esta junta en el medio del día en un Jueves, y eso es solo para obtener algo tan fundamental como una calle donde se sientan seguros.

La tercera cosa que quisiera decir es que la ciudad necesita mejorar. No debería tomar esfuerzos extraordinarios para obtener una básica infraestructura segura en nuestras calles. No deberíamos pedirles que alegen con nosotros por su seguridad o la de sus hijos y vecinos. Casi todos los días escucho de personas en vecindarios de cada parte de Boston sobre el miedo que sienten en nuestras calles – y si, esos sentimientos si importan. Y yo veo las estadísticas – todavía tenemos miles de personas cada año que son lesionadas en nuestras calles y casi todos los años más de una docena de personas mueren en esas mismas calles. Yo se que podemos y debemos hacer más para producir mejor infraestructura que sea más segura en la ciudad de Boston. 

Y quisiera decir que lo que acabamos de aprobar, lo que repasamos hoy representa mejores prácticas establecidas para las calles de vecindario. Estas se reflejan en la guía de la ciudad de calles completas: en la guia de calles urbanas de NACTO, en publicaciones de MassDOT, en publicaciones de la Administración Federal de Carreteras, Federal Highway Administration. Estos cambios no son novedosos, no son excepcionales o experimentales, y su eficacia no está en cuestión. Lo que aprobamos hoy son un set de cambios que acercaran a estas calles más cerca hacia lo que décadas de investigación y experiencia han mostrado que resultan en calles más seguras para todos los usuarios. Y entonces, la ciudad siempre aceptara y tomará en cuenta los consejos del público en cualquier proyecto que hagamos, pero la seguridad no debe de estar a debate y no debería de ser tan difícil o tomar tanto tiempo como lo toma ahora para obtener que estos tipos de cambios de seguridad sean implementados en la ciudad de Boston. Así que digo esto para reconocer que nosotros como líderes de la ciudad tenemos trabajo que hacer. 

Debemos hacer más, debemos hacerlo más rápido – para reconstruir nuestras calles con el fin de que sean seguras y cómodas para todos. Y debemos ver y cambiar las políticas y los procesos que muchas veces resultan en un proceso prolongado y tardanzas excesivas al hacer este tipo de trabajo crítico. Así que solo quisiera decirles a los miembros del público aquí que yo al igual que la administración estamos comprometidos a hacer estos cambios. Estoy muy emocionado de ver estos mejoramientos ser implementados en Roslindale el próximo año, y eso pasará mientras trabajamos para acelerar el paso de cambio – cambios como estos en vecindarios a través de Boston. Así que gracias, y solo quería tomar un momento para expresar mi posición sobre esto.”

The Lower South Street Neighborhood Slow Streets Project and Boston’s Commitment to Street Safety Citywide

Haga clic aquí para una versión en español de esta publicación


On 11/17/22, the Lower South Street and Vicinity Neighborhood Slow Streets plan was approved by the Boston Public Improvement Commission (PIC). This successful outcome was the culmination of years of advocacy by residents and work by the Boston Slow Streets team. These improvements will be built in 2023. View the specifics:

After the vote, Boston’s Chief of Streets, Jascha Franklin-Hodge, took a moment to make a statement about the administration’s commitment to rebuilding Boston’s streets including this excerpt:

“We must do more, we must do it faster – to rebuild our streets so that they are safe and comfortable for everyone. And we must look at and change the policies and the processes that often result in protracted process and excessive delay in doing this kind of critical work. So I just want to say to the members of the public here, you have my commitment and the administration’s commitment to make these changes.”

We applaud this statement and have included a transcription of his full remarks below. While Boston’s Neighborhood Slow Streets has been a successful program, it does not by itself sufficiently address the widespread danger posed to vulnerable street users in neighborhoods across the city. We encourage the administration to follow through on this commitment to accelerate the pace of change, and look forward to being a partner in bringing safer streets to Roslindale.


“Before we move on I would like to take off my hat as PIC chair and use this as an opportunity to say a few things on behalf of Mayor Wu’s administration in my capacity as her Chief of Streets and Public Works Commissioner. First off, I want to say thank you Stefanie [Seskin (Active Transportation Director in the Boston Transportation Department)] and her team for all the hard work on this project over the past few years – I know that this effort has involved (as we’ve heard) extensive resident outreach, public meetings, feedback opportunities, and multiple rounds of design revisions. And getting to this point has required substantial investment of time and energy by the city team so I’m very grateful for that.

Second, I want to say thank you to the community members who have advocated for this project, and who have been pushing the city to create safer neighborhood streets for years, in some cases decades. We ask a lot of you, including showing up for a hearing in the middle of the day on a Thursday, and that’s just to get something as fundamental as a street where you feel safe.

The third thing I want to say is that the city needs to do better. It should not take extraordinary advocacy to get basic safety infrastructure on our streets. We should not ask you to plead with us for your safety or that of your kids or that of your neighbors. Almost every single day I hear from people in neighborhoods in every part of Boston about the fear they feel on our streets – and yes, those feelings do matter. And I see statistics – we still have thousands of people every year who are injured on our streets. and most years more than a dozen people are killed on those same streets. I know that we can and we must do more to produce better and safer infrastructure in the city of Boston. 

And I want to say that what we just approved, what we reviewed today represents well-established best practices for neighborhood streets. These are reflected in the city’s complete streets guidelines: in NACTO’S urban street design guide, in publications from MassDOT, in publications from the Federal Highway Administration. These changes are not novel, they’re not exceptional or experimental, and their efficacy is not in question. What we approved today is a set of changes that bring these streets closer to what decades of research and experience has shown us results in safer streets for all road users. And so, the city will always accept and consider public input on any project that we do, but safety should not be up for debate and it should not be as hard as it is or take as long as it does for us to get these kinds of safety changes implemented in the city of Boston. So I say this to acknowledge that we as city leadership have work to do. 

We must do more, we must do it faster – to rebuild our streets so that they are safe and comfortable for everyone. And we must look at and change the policies and the processes that often result in protracted process and excessive delay in doing this kind of critical work. So I just want to say to the members of the public here, you have my commitment and the administrations’ commitment to make these changes. I’m really excited to see these improvements get implemented in Roslindale next year, and that’s going to happen as we work to accelerate the pace of change – changes like these in neighborhoods across Boston. So thank you, I just wanted to take a moment to express our position on this.”

– Jascha Franklin-Hodge (Boston Chief of Streets)

Remarks made at 11/17 Public Improvement Commission meeting

(view the PIC video starting at Jascha’s remarks)


Final Poplar Street Walk Audit Report

We’re pleased to be able to share the final version of the Poplar Street Walk Audit report with everyone. No comments were received since we posted the draft on the 3rd of August, so the final is the same as the draft with just some dressing up (logos and footers added). The report is available in PDF format, and also posted below. We look forward to working with the city on planning and implementing street safety improvements in this critical corridor in our neighborhood.

Read More