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’re a bit late to acknowledge these recent improvements for bus service in Roslindale:
- Washington Street Bus Lane: Building on the incredible success of the inbound morning bus lane on Washington Street, BTD expanded earlier this year to an afternoon outbound bus lane. Starting in late April, BTD added red paint to the southbound bus lane between Arboretum Road and Firth Road/South Street. This paint makes the bus lane more visible and prominent. The bus lane is operational between 2PM and 7PM on weekdays and enables buses to have a more reliable trip and save travel time. We’ve included some photos of the first night of striping below.
- Roslindale Village Bus Stops: Work began in May on bus stop bump-outs on Poplar Street and Corinth Street. Once completed, these bus stops will be fully ADA accessible and provide better passenger amenities such as benches, shelters, and real time arrival information. They are also better located to permit smoother flow of buses through the square, and should shave off a few minutes of travel time for some bus lines that will no longer have to go all the way around Roslindale Square in order to head south on Cummins Highway.
We’re also happy to see the old Needham Line bridge over Robert Street has finally been replaced.
Thanks to all the folks at the MBTA and BTD (especially the transit team) for their hard work in seeing these projects through!
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 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!
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!
We urge everyone who is able to make it to attend tomorrow night’s city-sponsored open house to learn more and share ideas about both transportation and housing issues in our neighborhood. Here’s the listing from the Department of Neighborhood Development’s webpage:
Latest UpdateJoin the City of Boston (Department of Neighborhood Development, Boston Transportation Department, Boston Planning & Development Agency and Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services) at an Open House community meeting for a conversation about how housing and transportation can work together in Roslindale. This open house will explore the questions, concerns and ideas raised during a September 2019 community meeting regarding Housing with Public Assets at the Roslindale Municipal Parking Lot.
This open house will provide an opportunity to have smaller group discussions with residents, business owners and representatives from city departments responsible for housing production, transportation and neighborhood planning.
Date: Thursday, January 30, 2020
Time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Location: Roslindale Substation
Address: 4228 Washington Street, Roslindale, MA 02131
Boston Yeti says it’s possible we’re going to get a sufficient amount of snow to call out our WURSCC forces to clear accessible corner ramps and bus stops here in our own little slice of heaven and thereby serve our neighbors and earn some Rozzie Bucks. STAY TUNED!
We had a full house at the Rozzie Square Theater on Tuesday night this week to hear from Boston Transportation Department Transit Director Matt Moran about planned mobility upgrades for Roslindale. The two points of focus of Matt’s presentation were the Washington Street corridor (between Roslindale Square and Forest Hills) and Hyde Park Avenue (between Wolcott Square and Forest Hills). Bus riders depend heavily on both corridors; moreover, although they outnumber car drivers, they are stuck in the same stand-still traffic at rush hour. The improvement that appears to be the closest to fruition is a southbound afternoon bus/bike-lane on Washington Street, but several improvements for mass transit riders and cyclists are planned for both streets.
We’re pleased to share BTD’s complete presentation from the event, which outlines several other planned improvements in addition to the bus/bike lane. Now it’s our job to make sure the City gets positive and encouraging feedback from residents. Change can’t come soon enough!
Aaron Short of StreetsblogUSA came out earlier this week with an excellent piece on 5 best practice tips for Vision Zero as it is being implemented in Montgomery County, Maryland – the massive suburban county to DC’s north and northwest. It’s worth a read and some consideration below.
By way of brief background, Vision Zero, which originated in Sweden in the 1990s, is a comprehensive street and road safety regime that typically targets a future date by which policy, budget, and street and road design, construction, and management will result in zero deaths or serious injuries from traffic on all modes (personal vehicle, transit, walking, cycling, and other modes of travel). The City of Boston adopted Vision Zero in 2014 and set the year 2030 as the target date by which we will reach zero deaths or serious injuries. As we continue to work on the policy here in the city and in Roslindale, it is worth continuing to consider all aspects of Vision Zero and how other jurisdictions are going about implementing it, which brings us back to the article.
The article is framed as an interview with David Anspacher, the Transportation Supervisor within the county’s Planning Department. In the interview, Anspacher highlights 5 best practice tips that we might use as a mental scorecard for what we’ve been doing in Boston:
- Speed and Street/Road Design – The county started with lowering the speed limit, as almost the first action, and then has proceeded, as a general policy, with making street and road design changes – narrowing lanes, installing medians and bollards, expanding shoulders and walking/cycling facilities.
- Bicycle and Pedestrian Features – The county has just come out with a county-wide master bicycle facilities plan and is soon to come out with a master pedestrian facilities plan. Of interest in Montgomery County’s approach is that they see these augmented network plans as key pieces of making the county’s transit facilities more accessible.
- Land Use and Density – Changes in the built environment take time to occur, but moving more homes, shops, and jobs closer to each other and to transit contributes over the long run to a safer travel network of roads and streets as more folks are able to walk, bike, take transit, or use other modes for more trips.
- Change the Culture – This tip has to do with decades of transportation engineering practices that have favored driving alone over all other modes and the need to work with existing staff within a transportation agency to accept the new approach to street and road safety.
- Collaborative Partnerships – To paraphrase and give this tip a bit of a gloss. Street and road safety advocates aren’t special interest folks who just need to be placated and then put on the sideline. They should be viewed as long-term partners, especially around education and outreach for developing and implementing the policy. We even get some recognition for this as it’s been practiced here in Roslindale on the northbound Washington Street bus lane!
Today, we sent a comment letter to the BPDA to comment on a proposed project at 780 American Legion Highway (a road that we hope someday will be renamed to and remade as American Legion Greenway). This is the current site of the Home for Little Wanderers, a nonprofit that provides services to at-risk children and young adults. The proposal would be a major development, including 22 units of youth housing as well as 93 units of market rate and workforce rental units and owner-occupied town house condominium units, and new offices for the Home.
We are generally supportive of the project but note it is critical for the City to work with the MBTA to improve transit options in this currently under-served area. Just this week, the Mayor called for a 50% reduction of car use by 2030; higher density projects like this can help achieve that goal as long as they are accompanied by a substantial investment in improved pedestrian, bicycle, and transit options.
Our full letter is reproduced below. (PDF version available here.)