Important West Roxbury Public Meeting – Centre Street Safety – Thursday, June 20 6:30pm at Holy Name Parish School

We’ve been eagerly following the progress of our friends at West Rox Walks in their efforts to make West Roxbury a safer, more walkable neighborhood, with a focus on Centre Street. There is a critical public meeting this Thursday night (6/20) on a proposed Centre Street re-design. We urge all WalkUP supporters who live, shop, work, or visit West Roxbury to turn out and make their voices heard. We are urging BTD to implement a “road diet” and protected bike lanes — this will result in a safer West Roxbury for all road users, including cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers. Without a robust turnout at this community meeting, there is no guarantee that BTD’s plans will include either design element.

Centre St (West Roxbury) Redesign Public Meeting #2
Thursday, June 20, 2019
6:30 — 9.00 p.m.
Holy Name Parish School
535 West Roxbury Parkway, West Roxbury, MA 02132

For those interested in joining the West Roxbury Bicycle Committee in attending the meeting, meet at 6pm at the corner of Hastings St and Centre St to walk with Matt Wentworth to the meeting.

By way of background, at a packed meeting about this project in February, Boston City Councilor Matt O’Malley said he would work tirelessly until Centre St. is safe for everyone, and Matt Wentworth spoke passionately about the dire need for a road diet and traffic calming after a crash killed his mother, Marilyn, as she crossed the street. Since then, the West Roxbury Bicycle Committee and West Rox Walks built considerable grassroots support for protected bike lanes and a road diet; 45 businesses along Centre St. signed on in support of both design elements; and many residents contacted elected officials and City staff to express their support.

With the City set to finally present its plans on Thursday, you can help ensure protected bike lanes and a road diet are part of the solution to this dangerous street. We’ve heard that if there is enough consensus at this first design meeting, the BTD can possibly fast-track this project to implement changes on the ground this summer/fall. Please make sure to bring your friends, neighbors and family so we can all have a comfortable, enjoyable and safe biking and walking experience on Centre St. in 2019!

WUR’s Preview of Issues on the 43 Lochdale Road Proposal

The rescheduled BPDA-hosted community meeting for this 36-unit residential development is coming up on Tuesday evening, May 28, at 6:30 pm at the Menino Community Center, 125 Brookway Road.

We encourage attendance at this meeting. This will be a consequential development, located under half a mile from the end of the Orange Line, and as of now we at WalkUP Roslindale have the following concerns that we intend to raise on Tuesday evening:

1.     Parking

  • As proposed, this project is overparked. The parking ratio should be reduced from 1:1.28 to 1:1 (or less). Zero parking projects have recently been allowed in Roslindale Square, and this location is under a half mile (<10 minute walk) from Forest Hills Station (Orange Line) and steps from bus stops serviced by a dozen bus routes. Excessive parking will induce car ownership and car use, moving our neighborhood and our city away from the mode shift and greenhouse gas reduction goals to which we have committed. Reducing the amount of parking also has direct implications for the next issue.

2.     Affordability

  • The space saved from the above parking recommendations should be used to increase overall unit count and the number of affordable units.
  • Parking should be unbundled from the residential units to increase affordability.
  • We are aware that RISE’s Housing Justice group will be particularly focused on pushing the developer to increase both the percentage of affordable units and the level of affordability offered. We support RISE Housing Justice on these related issues and will make our views known at the meeting.

3.     Environment

  • Environmental cleanup/remediation appears to be needed on the proposed project site. While we recognize that environmental cleanup is not specifically a zoning issue, we do want to hear what the developer has to say both about what they have found and how they intend to deal with it.
  • Although the project has dropped below the Large Project Review threshold and is technically required to meet only building code-based green building requirements, we would support a call for this project to exceed those standards and approach Net Zero/Zero Plus/LEED standards.

4.     Surrounding Neighborhood

  • The developer should assist financially with ongoing efforts around the Roslindale Gateway Path/Arboretum Road Entrance as this will be a significant amenity for residents of the development and the broader surrounding neighborhood.
  • The developer should provide support for the overall improvement of Lochdale Rd, Arboretum Rd and Kitson Rd (the private way running along the site, parallel to Washington St). The developer’s application mentions a “9-foot walkway/bike path to be created as part of the project” on Kitson Rd. We would like to hear more about what is contemplated here.

West Roxbury Walk Audit Complete

West Roxbury Walk Audit Route

Hot off the presses, our friends over at West Rox Walks just released the results of the first ever Walk Roxbury Walk Audit, highlighting aspects of Centre Street most in need of pedestrian safety improvements. We welcome our neighbors to the walkability club. Many who live in Roslindale work and shop and West Roxbury, and vice-versa, and thus we care deeply about improving walking conditions there. Be sure to follow West Rox Walks on Twitter and like them on Facebook.

The report’s key recommendations are 1) decrease the speed of vehicular traffic, 2) improve crosswalk safety, 3) add protected bike lanes, and 4) conduct studies of the business section between Knoll and Weld Streets and of the rotary by Holy Name. Stay tuned for next steps!

Join us on Lilac Sunday 5/12 10am-3pm to learn about a new entrance to the Arboretum

A NEW ENTRANCE TO THE ARNOLD ARBORETUM IS COMING!

The City of Boston in partnership with the Arnold Arboretum, WalkUP Roslindale, and the Arboretum Park Conservancy are working to create a new entrance to the Arnold Arboretum at the end of Arboretum Road that will ultimately connect up with our planned Gateway Path.

Please stop by on LILAC SUNDAY (this coming Sunday, May 12) to learn about the project and enjoy some ice cream and music on your way to viewing the lilacs! The entrance is not yet paved, so please wear sturdy shoes or boots

Date and Time:    Sunday, May 12, 2019, 10 AM to 3 PM

Location:        End of Arboretum Road, Roslindale

Important Boston Transportation Department Budget Hearing This Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 10:30am

Boston City Council Transportation Budget Hearing
Boston City Council Transportation Budget Hearing

WalkUP Roslindale is a proud member of the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition. The Coalition has been doing great work following the City budget process with respect to safe streets. We’ve reproduced below an announcement about an important transportation budget hearing this Tuesday, May 7, 2019. Please show up if you can!

RSVP and/or spread the word from this Facebook event page.

Funding is a critical component for building safer streets. Now is your chance to influence the Boston budget process!

Join us in calling for more support and faster implementation of projects this year, by:

1. Attending the Boston Transportation Department Budget Hearing and testifying.

Event Details:
Tuesday, May 7, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm
@ Boston City Hall, 5th Floor, Iannella Chamber 

2. Asking for support from your at-large and district city councilors for the following priorities:

  • Faster implementation and more focus on improving safety along arterial corridors, which are disproportionately dangerous for all modes. 
  • A permanent, full-time, Boston Police Department data analyst to clean up crash report data, investigate trends, and work closely with the Transportation Department, Boston EMS, and MassDOT to ensure Boston’s crash data is properly reported.
  • Clear organizational structures that will help establish how projects are managed and executed, and better integration of operations and policies between the Public Works and Transportation Departments.

In past years, hundreds of you have shown up for the Boston Transportation Department Budget Hearings, and it has had a direct impact on securing more funding benefiting Vision Zero. Can we count on you to keep the momentum going in 2019? Speak up to support safe streets!

For more details about the proposed Transportation Department budget and what we’re advocating for, read on below.

Thank you and we hope to see you on Tuesday! 

Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition
http://www.visionzerocoalition.org


Background

The Mayor’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) includes a $4 million investment in Boston’s Walkable Streets and $2 million in bike infrastructure, which will be funded through strategic changes to the City’s current parking meter rates. Join us at Boston City Hall to comment in support of the City Council approving this budget proposal and to call for more support and faster action.

Within this budget, Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition members are working on several specific issues. For more information and talking points about the following aspects of the budget, see below:

Arboretum Road Street Mural – This Monday, May 6, Starting at 5pm

Please join us to create a street mural on Arboretum Road with Artists from the Mayor’s Mural Team!

Date: Monday, May 6, 2019
Time: 5pm to 8pm
Location: Arboretum Road near Washington Street, Roslindale

Please join artists from the City of Boston’s mural team and volunteers from WalkUp Roslindale, and the Arnold Arboretum as we paint a street mural on Arboretum Road! The mural will draw attention to the future entrance to the Arnold Arboretum at the end of the road. The lilacs in the street mural will help celebrate Lilac Sunday.

The road will be closed except for essential traffic while the mural is being painted.

If you have any questions please contact Charlotte Fleetwood at 617-635-2462
Or send an email to charlotte.fleetwood@nullboston.gov

Birch Street Pop-Up Plaza This Week – Runs Tuesday through Sunday (30 April-3 May 2019)

We here at WalkUP Roslindale are just simply awed at the progress that RVMS and the Birch Street merchants have been making on seeing what can be made of the one-block section of Birch between Corinth and Belgrade. Following up on last year’s series of Open Birch Saturdays during June, they’re plunging even further ahead and, as part of the city’s new pilot program for tactical public realm interventions and in cooperation with A Better City and architects Merritt Chase, we will see the first fruits of their labor this week. Check out the facebook page and let the world (or at least the world on facebook) know that you’ll be stopping by to enjoy a little bit more of our city that is being repurposed for people instead of vehicles. It’ll be worth your while — and remember, we’re not closing this part of Birch to anyone, we’re opening it fully to everyone — so, feel free to walk around, sit, read, enjoy, converse in this bit of our neighborhood, and, if you like it, support making it permanent.

Robert Street Bridge Meeting TOMORROW (Monday, 29 April 2019)

We encourage everyone to attend the Robert Street Bridge replacement project’s public meeting scheduled for tomorrow, Monday, 29 April 2019, at 6:30 pm at the Roslindale Community Center (6 Cummins Highway). There should be an opportunity to influence the final design of the project as well as learn more about what the MBTA has planned for the construction period and how it will affect both access to Robert Street and Roslindale Square as well as service on the Needham Line. [NOTE: Photo courtesy Universal Hub.]

Organizing Meeting for West Roxbury Walking Advocacy Group Scheduled – April 30, 2019

In the wake of the driver-on-pedestrian crash on Centre Street in West Roxbury that took the life of neighborhood resident Marilyn Wentworth, there has been a renewed focus on how to make West Roxbury safer for the most vulnerable users of its streets. While much of this focus will be on addressing Centre Street and its manifest problems in the near-term, this is really a neighborhood-wide (indeed, a city-wide) problem. To that end, working with our friends at WalkBoston and walking safety advocates in West Roxbury convened by West Roxbury Main Streets, we’re happy to spread word of a “Ped 101” training and organizing meeting to be held at the Area E-5 Police Station’s community room on Tuesday, April 30, at 6:30 pm. Details can be found at the event’s facebook page. We hope to see you and many of our friends from West Roxbury there and then!!