Saturday, December 3, 2016
Meet at Mendum Street Gate
Join WalkUP Roslindale along with representatives from the Arnold Arboretum and path design consultant Horsley Witten Group for a site tour of the proposed Arboretum Gateway Path, focusing on the segment closest to Roslindale. We’ll provide updates on progress for this initiative which will improve access to the park from Roslindale Square, as well as provide a better active transportation link between Roslindale and Forest Hills. We’re also eager to get your feedback on path design, including surface materials, lighting issues, and proposed routes. This will be an opportunity to meet fellow Roslindale residents who love to walk. And at present, the weather forecast is good!
We (your co-hosts, Alan Wright and Matt Lawlor) were honored with the presence and commentary of Nina Brown from the Arboretum Park Conservancy, who spoke about APC’s efforts on extending the Blackwell Path, and from Matthew Jordan (Director of Finance) and Andrew Gapinski (Manager of Horticulture) from the Arnold Arboretum, who gave us a sense of the Arboretum’s perspective and continued support for the RAGP concept. Peter Sutton, from MassDOT Planning, represented the LandLine Coalition.
We started at the northern end of the Blackwell Path, across from Forest Hills station, and wound our way down the Blackwell Path, its proposed extension route, and then up Peters Hill and into the densely-wooded MBTA property adjacent to the Needham Line tracks to the shelter at the southern end. We owe special thanks to Peter and key MBTA staff, especially Mark Boyle (Director of Real Estate), for allowing us to access this portion of the route on very short notice. We concluded our tour at the recently-installed bike corral on Cohasset Street in Roslindale Square, which is getting brisk use along with the adjacent parklet. We look forward to more opportunities to walk/bike the proposed Gateway Path route with neighbors and friends from Roslindale and around the region.
I have fielded more than one note that I left the Arboretum Gateway Path off the top-of-mind list for WUR’s 2015 roundup. This is an accurate critique and so: mea culpa. The AGP was a major initiative in 2015 and, I strongly suspect, will be a major initiative this year and going forward until it’s done. In brief: We love this idea of a new Arboretum gateway and path at the Roslindale commuter rail station that would provide an alternate ped/bike path to the South/Archdale bridge area, where it would link to an extension of the existing Blackwell/Bussey Brook path (and on to Forest Hills and the Southwest Corridor path) and allow for a new, more welcoming entrance to the Arboretum at Archdale as well. We are furthermore delighted at the receptive potential partners we’ve found in our own City and State government, the Arnold Arboretum, the Arboretum Park Conservancy, RVMS, Livable Streets, and our friends at Tufts University’s environmental program who are currently conducting an initial feasibility analysis for the path. It’s also been a great way to connect early with our friends at Rozzie Bikes.
So — as we head into 2016, expect the Arboretum Gateway Path to be something we continue to talk about and organize around, a lot.
We recently learned that the city plans to rebuild the intersection of Walter and Bussey Street, a problematic spot for pedestrians and bicyclists at the edge of the Arnold Arboretum adjacent the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center and not far from the Sophia Snow House on Centre Street. Although the new design represents an improvement, it is a long way from achieving Complete Streets standards and moving us toward Vision Zero: that no one should die or be seriously injured from transportation on our public ways. We are also troubled by the apparent lack of public notice and comment on a project like this that has significant impacts on our quality of life and would benefit from community input.
New Proposed Design for Walter-Bussey Intersection