Picked up this graphic at a Jeff Speck session at CNU25. Abundantly true of a city like Boston, where it makes no sense that our mayor still isn’t fully behind appropriate funding for active mobility and Vision Zero, or applying, right now, political will to breaking down the institutional barriers that are holding us back.
I had the opportunity to attend the 25th annual gathering of the Congress for the New Urbanism in Seattle from Wednesday through Friday this past week. CNU, as the organization is called, has been more effective than it admits to itself in moving thinking in this country in the direction of walkable, connected, and contextual development patterns. And I do believe the organization’s charter, which stands as a kind of manifesto, is worth reading in full. It has stood the test of time. Take a read of this recap over at Public Square and take a look at the charter itself here: Charter of the New Urbanism. I think the opening sentence gets it very much right about the underlying nature of the community-building work that still lies before us:
The Congress for the New Urbanism views disinvestment in central cities, the spread of placeless sprawl, increasing separation by race and income, environmental deterioration, loss of agricultural lands and wilderness, and the erosion of society’s built heritage as one interrelated community-building challenge.
Yes. That’s Keytar Bear from the Roslindale Craft Beer Cellar opening earlier this year!!
Friends, it’s going to be a busy few weeks upcoming. So, as we close out April and start into May, here are 5 eminently worthwhile events to put on your calendar. We hope to see you at all or at least some of them:
ITEM 1 – Sunday – May 7 at 1 pm – Jane’s Walk – We’ll meet in the southeastern corner of the Arboretum, just down the short slope from the Mendum Street gate and then wind our way northward along the contemplated route of the Roslindale Gateway Path and the Blackwell Path extension, stop and consider ways to work with our neighbors on cleaning up the area around the Arboretum Road underpass, and get a tutorial on the upcoming end-state for walking and cycling connections in the Arborway-Casey area.
ITEM 2 – Monday – May 8 at 6:30 pm – Roslindale Gateway Path Conceptual Design Study Presentation – This will take place at the Arboretum’s Weld Hill building. More information at the link. Pushing the concept to the point of seeing how it might lay out on the ground is an important milestone, and those of us who have been steering this grassroots effort so far are eager to continue the community conversation we started last spring.
ITEM 3 – Tuesday – May 16 at 9:30 am – Mayor Walsh’s Neighborhood Coffee Hour and Fallon Field Playground Ribbon-Cutting – This will be a great opportunity to connect with the mayor and his staff (including our own Dan Murphy from ONS) to thank them for their work on the new playground and discuss other ways we can work together to make our neighborhood a better place.
ITEM 4 – Thursday – May 18 at 7:00 pm – Fun-Size Target Meeting – It’s now official: Staples is closing and Target is proposing to bring their smaller-size store model into our neighborhood. Lots of upside and downside to discuss. To be held at the RCC, this one promises to be interesting.
ITEM 5 – Friday – May 19 at 7:10 am – Bike to Work Day – With Councilor Tim McCarthy! – May 19 is bike to work day throughout the city and the country, and if you work downtown, you can have an extra special treat on this day because our own district city councilor has accepted Rozzie Bikes’ invitation to ride into town from Roslindale Square. The West Roxbury/Roslindale convoy starts at Adi’s Bike World on Centre Street at 7:00 am and then departs Roslindale Square at 7:10 am. The ride ends at an early-morning festival on City Hall Plaza. Be there with your 2-wheeler and join in the fun!
As part of the international movement of holding citizen-led walking tours promoting community-based city building during the month of May in honor of pioneer urbanist Jane Jacobs (that’s her in the graphic next to the Jane’s Walk logo) and in collaboration with our friends at WalkBoston, WalkUP Roslindale will be hosting its first-ever Jane’s Walk on Sunday, May 7, 2017 starting at 1 pm at the southeast corner of the Arboretum. We will wind our way along the proposed route of the Roslindale Gateway Path and the proposed Blackwell Path Extension, hopefully connect with a couple of key stakeholders at the Arboretum Road arch, and then hear from WalkUP Roslindale/Rozzie Bikes‘ own Mark Tedrow about walking and cycling connections to the Southwest Corridor and Franklin Park that will result from completion of the ongoing Casey Arborway project at Forest Hills. Hope to see you there!!!
WUR/American Legion Corridor stalwarts Lisa Beatman and Rick Yoder were joined by your correspondent and Steve Gag (in the photo, far left) in participating in the Haley School’s 4th walk this morning to raise awareness about safe routes to school for students to walk and the present lack of those routes for the Haley. You will note that BPS Superintendent Tommy Chang, whom we understand is now a Roslindale resident, is pictured in the first row, blue polo shirt. It was great to see him, City Councilor Andrea Campbell (I think she might have taken this picture), and everyone else who both organized and participated from BPS and the school (both students, staff, and parents). Those with more information on this (looking at you, Lisa and Rick), please let us know more in the comments and tell us how we can be more supportive of this effort!
It really is all connected. Contemplate. Discuss.
SOURCE: Institute for Transportation & Development Policy, via Streetsblog.
We brought everyone’s attention to this meeting about a week ago and gave our thoughts about ways the revised 9-unit, 18-space proposal could be improved, based largely on the reaction from the group at the LANA meeting earlier in the month. Seems like the development team was listening.
And now to our report, very briefly: This was, all in all, a downright cordial meeting, well run by Dan Murphy from the Mayor’s ONS. I would say that the overall sense in the room was:
- that 9 residential units was more or less going to work for this location,
- that at 13 the number of parking spaces seemed tight to some and more than ample to others (your correspondent felt it was more than necessary, didn’t take full advantage of the location’s close proximity to the Commuter Rail/Roslindale Square/Washington Street Bus Corridor, and would both drive up the cost of the units and encourage more vehicular traffic), and
- that the reduction in vehicle spaces was allowing for bicycle parking for 13 bicycles and some buffering green space between the surface parking and the property to the rear.
Certainly some attention still needs to be paid to the overall design, which feels too by-the-book (and from not that great a book), and the vehicular access could use some thinking about how to better manage the exiting and entering of vehicles. The discussion at the end focused on further process – it sounds like the developer will file revised plans with ISD soon and start the Board of Appeal’s zoning relief process, which will likely take on the order of 3 to 6 months to get through, to be followed by BPDA Design Review. WalkUP Roslindale will look to submit a comment letter in connection with the Board of Appeal hearing. We will share it when we have it ready. In the meantime, thoughts are more than welcome in the comments.
…there were 47 applications for 2 to 3 selected winners. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s about the same ratio as the Hunger Games or the acceptance rate for getting into Stanford. The city’s announcement indicates that they will be announcing their decisions in May. We understand that all 4 of the Roslindale applications we were tracking were submitted. We’ll update as we have more information. Well done, neighbors!!!
A cloudy but not too cold day. We had six stalwarts (see photo below, one of our number had to leave a couple minutes earlier) and note that the Dynamic Duo of Guptill and Tedrow kept their perfect record intact. Being out at this location, which was the subject of a Vision Zero Rapid Response installation after Silvia Acosta’s death last year, reminded us that we need to follow up, repair the broken/missing flexposts, and move toward making the installation permanent. And so on we go!