Kudos to the Mount Hope Mount Canterbury Neighborhood Association, Rick Yoder, Lisa Beatman, and the Roslindale Bulletin (especially Jeff Sullivan) for keeping the need for traffic calming in Eastern Roslindale, particularly along American Legion Highway, on the front burner. Check out the latest piece in the Bulletin, emphasizing the neighborhood group’s efforts to catalog pedestrian-safety issues and get “on the map” for Vision Zero.
Our friends at the Roslindale Bulletin have done an excellent job of keeping the spotlight on WalkUP initiatives in East Roslindale. The New Year’s eve edition of the paper included an article on ideas for traffic calming on American Legion
Highway Greenway, one of the streets in our neighborhood that most warrants a comprehensive redesign for safety and walkability. The article features statements from WalkUP Roslindale members Rick Yoder and Lisa Beatman, and is reproduced below (PDF version also available):
MHMC discussing traffic calming strategies for American Legion Hwy.
Jeff Sullivan, Staff Reporter
The Mount Hope/Mount Canterbury Neighborhood Association (MHMC) announced recently that State Rep. Russel Holmes has submitted legislation to change the American Legion Highway back to a parkway designation, a designation MHMC members have been looking to get for a while.
Neighborhood residents have been working over the past few years to get American Legion back to a parkway status, as that designation offers more protections for the greenery and landscape around the area, which residents say they want to keep because of its pastoral nature.
“I mean, it’s a highway now, but the speed limit is 35 (miles per hour),” said MHMC member Lisa Beatman. “That’s not a highway speed.”
Beatman and MHMC member Rick Yoder said they are now currently looking at ways to calm the traffic in the neighborhood of American Legion with funds they hope to secure through the Parkway designation, as well as by lobbying city officials.
Beatmen and Yoder said the American Legion Parkway has come under neglect over the years as it is on the outskirts of several different neighborhoods, including Mattapan, Hyde Park and Roslindale. One of the improvements they say they want to implement at some point would be on the Five Way, the intersection of American Legion and Cummins Highway.
Beatman said the group has done a walk audit of the area, and found that many residents use the Five Way in many different ways.
“It shows people that it’s not just for cars,” she said. “Just imagine the Five Way, which is all cement right now, with raised crosswalks, very visible curb extensions on each corner so that a pedestrian only has to walk 11 feet.”
Many MHMC residents expressed they felt it was dangerous to cross the Five Way as a pedestrian because, without extensions to the curb making the turns more of a right angle, many vehicles fly thorugh at high speeds.
“We want curb extensions so that vehicles would have to maneuver a little first, not just go shooting through it,” Beatman said.
Beatman and Yoder said a raised crosswalk and curb extensions would work very well for the Five Way, and also looked at other areas of the neighborhood to implement these improvements to keep traffic on American Legion and off of the surrounding neighborhoods, as right now they say people speed through all the time to avoid the traffic. The MHMC discussed raised crosswalks, speed humps (elongated speed bumps), and better signage throughout the neighborhood.
“The city is allocating millions of dollars on this for other neighborhoods right now, so if we don’t get on this, it’s gone,” she said.
We enthusiastically support the Rozzie Urban Wild protection campaign, an effort spearheaded by WalkUP members and East Roslindale/Mt. Hope-Canterbury neighborhood residents Lisa Beatman and Rick Yoder. Back in November, the West Roxbury/Roslindale Bulletin highlighted the systemic disregard for Greenbelt protection along American Legion Highway. More recently, the Bulletin ran another piece, detailing the potential for the area to be turned into a vibrant greenspace. Check out both stories, and kudos to Lisa and Rick for keeping the spotlight on this important initiative!
Last week, we posted about a Boston City Council hearing scheduled for this Monday on protecting and enhancing the American Legion Parkway area in Roslindale. Reports are that the hearing was wildly successful. Each neighbor’s testimony, whether by letter or personal appearance, was powerful, informative, and from the heart. Together, residents from around the area made this corridor neighborhood visible to the City. City Councilors Murphy, Wu, and O’Malley showed great enthusiasm for the project, and expressed willingness to facilitate multi-departmental collaboration on behalf of the project.
Below are additional maps to supplement the ones posted here earlier. Although the city Open Space Senior Planner indicated at the hearing that American Legion area was not “Greenbelt Protected,” these maps show that it is.
Other useful sources of information:
- Video of the entire hearing
- Universal Hub report: Turning American Legion Highway into a parkway could start with changing its name
- BRA Color Map – 10B Roslindale Neighborhood District – Greenbelt Protection Area
- BRA Color Map – 8B Mattapan Neighborhood District – Greenbelt Protection Area
[Post Updated 9/20/15 – Maps Now Included]
City-Councilors-at-Large Michelle Wu and Steven Murphy are co-sponsoring a hearing before the Council’s Committee on the Environment and Parks, to discuss protecting and designating as an “urban wild” land around American Legion Highway. The hearing will be on Monday, September 21, 2015, at 10am, in the Iannella Chamber, 5th Floor of City Hall. Public hiking trails, walking/multiuse paths, and the like, are a key ingredient to a more walkable Roslindale, and are particularly needed in the sections of the neighborhood further from the Arboretum. More details below. Please support this effort!