The Rozzie Arboretum Gateway Path

A top WalkUP Roslindale initiative is a new multi-modal “gateway path” into the Arnold Arboretum directly from Roslindale Square. An introduction to our vision is below; you can also print this PDF flyer as a quick introduction to the project.

Rozzie Gateway Path Entrance (image courtesy Halvorson Design Partnership, Inc.)

Rozzie Gateway Path Entrance (image courtesy Halvorson Design Partnership, Inc.)

The Arnold Arboretum is not only Roslindale’s greatest park, but among the most beautiful urban open spaces anywhere. In 1880 Frederick Law Olmsted wrote: “On (these) acres much the best arboretum in the world can be formed.” Today, some of Olmsted’s “emerald necklace” plan has been realized, but much remains to be done.

We envision a new entrance to the Arboretum close to Roslindale Square, to make the park more visible and accessible to residents and visitors. The Rozzie Gateway Path would start adjacent to the commuter rail platform, and continue at grade into the park, allowing access to the open space without the need to surmount the large hill that lead to the Mendum Street gate.

The Path will continue straight parallel to the commuter rail tracks toward Bussey Street, and then connect up with the Bussey Brook Meadow path and on to Forest Hills.

Key Benefits

  • Better access to the Arboretum from Roslindale Square (and thus to transit node, businesses, Farmers Market, etc.)
  • Washington Street lacks pedestrians amenities [1] and is unsafe for bicyclists; the Gateway Path will provide a better alternative to reach Forest Hills, where walkers and cyclists can avail themselves to the many amenities around Forest Hills; continue on to the Southwest Corridor Park; or board the Orange Line. And of course vice-versa — folks coming down the Orange Line or the Southwest Corridor will have a superior route to visit Roslindale Village.
  • Current routes from Roslindale to Forest Hills through the Arboretum have steep hills and are more than twice as much distance as the proposed path
  • Hubway Bike-Share stations could be available at both ends, providing a quick, easy, low-stress route to connect Rozzie with JP and the Orange Line
  • Possibilities for improved Arboretum access from underserved neighborhoods, particularly the Archdale area

Discussion of the full route is still very much open. The crossing at South Street and Bussey presents the biggest challenge, although not an insurmountable one. For the penultimate section on the north side of South/Bussey, the route could proceed on either side of South Street subject to consideration Boston Water and Sewer Commission and flood-plain issues. With these caveats, below is one of the paths we are considering:

Rozzie Gateway Proposed Route (one of many!)

Rozzie Gateway Proposed Route (one of many!)

We have made significant progress in moving from idea to reality; if you’d like to learn more, please join our email list or contact us directly. We’d love to hear your suggestions or other feedback!

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. An earlier version of this post (pre-3/9/16) suggested Washington Street is “unpleasant” for pedestrians. We discovered some people misinterpreted this statement as derogatory; the intent was to summarize the lack of crosswalks, benches, curb cuts, as well as the occasionally overly-narrow and poorly-maintained sidewalk space, rather than to suggest there is anything inherently wrong with or undesirable about this corridor. We intend to push hard for better walkability along this corridor, and the path effort is no substitute for that.