Your WalkUP Roslindale May 2017 Look-ahead — BUSY!

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!

Roslindale Gateway Path 10% Conceptual Plan Public Meeting – Monday, May 8, 2017 6:30pm at Weld Hill Building in Arboretum

WalkUP Roslindale is excited to announce another milestone toward making the Roslindale Gateway Path a reality. After completing a vision report (two-page summary) with students from the Tufts Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning program just about a year ago, we raised donations to fund a “10% conceptual plan” for the path by an engineering firm, the Horsley Witten Group (“Sustainable Environmental Solutions”). This study has just wrapped up and we are holding a public event on Monday, May 8, 2017 at 6:30pm at the Weld Hill Research Building in the Arnold Arboretum, 1300 Centre Street, to present the final product and invite more community feedback and support.

Our past events for this project have had a big turnout, and we hope this one will as well. As a preview of the report, a couple of images below show in more detail the proposed route for “section 1” of the path, starting at the Roslindale Village Commuter Rail stop, as well as a visual rendering of a section of the path.

Please RSVP so we can prepare for the right size group! Spread the word, and don’t forget to join for a Jane’s Walk in the area of the path the day before (May 7).

Proposed Route Path for Section 1

Proposed Route Path for Section 1

Visual Rendering of Proposed Path

Visual Rendering of Proposed Path

South/Bussey Proposed Improvements – Public Meeting – 6 pm on 2/1 @ Arboretum Weld Hill Facility

Bussey and South Street

Intersection of Bussey and South Street, seen from South Street heading southwest away from Jamaica Plain

Share this as broadly as you can: the Boston Transportation Department (BTD) and Public Works Department (PWD) will hold a public meeting on proposed improvements for the Bussey-South intersection – 6 pm on February 1, 2017 at the Weld Hill Research Building in the Arboretum (1300 Centre Street). This is currently one of the least pedestrian friendly intersections in and around the Arboretum and is in desperate need of a walkable redesign. Please attend to lend your critical thinking and advocacy skills for safer vehicle speeds and better walking and cycling in our neighborhood.

 

Arboretum Gateway Path Tour and Feedback Session This Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 10am at Mendum Street Gate

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

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

RSVP Link


Saturday, December 3, 2016
10am-11am
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!

Meet at the Arnold Arboretum, Peters Hill at the Mendum Street Gate (corner intersection of Mendum and Fairview) at 10am, this Saturday, December 3. The event should run about an hour. RSVP so we can plan for the group size, and spread the word.

Gateway Path Tour June 2016

A highly dedicated group of over 15 walkers/cyclists attended the WalkUP Roslindale/Rozzie Bikes led tour of the proposed route of the Roslindale-Arboretum Gateway Path as part of the ongoing LandLine tour series this summer. Photo gallery below.

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.

Community Vision Report for Gateway Path Complete

Gateway Path Report

Gateway Path Report

We are delighted to make public today a nearly-100 page report created by Tufts UEP students Jaissa Feliz, Liz Pongratz, Alexandra Purdy, and Mason Wells. The report culminates several months of collaboration between Tufts UEP, Livable Streets, WalkUP Roslindale, and many individuals and organizations in and around Roslindale. The executive summary is reproduced below; be sure to check out the whole report for data, images, and other key details. We believe this document will be invaluable in moving the project to implementation, and are grateful to the Tufts students for their hard work, insight, and commitment to this effort. Please spread the word.
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Arboretum Gateway Path Visioning Session March 30, 2016 at 6:30pm

Momentum is growing for the Arboretum Gateway Path, which would create a new entrance to the Arboretum near the Roslindale Square Commuter Rail station, creating access to the park right from the business district (and avoiding the steep incline for the existing entrances), and also providing a shorter “straight shot” multi-use path from Roslindale Square to Forest Hills. To learn more and contribute your own ideas, please join us for a community visioning workshop organized by our community partners at Tufts University6:30pm, Wednesday, March 30th at the Roslindale Community Center (6 Cummins Highway). RSVP and more details here.

Arboretum Gateway Path Alternatives

Arboretum Gateway Path Alternatives

Update 3/7/16 – hot off the presses, check out these posters for this event:

Late-addition to the Roundup List: Arboretum Gateway Path

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

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

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.

Walter and Bussey Intersection Slated for Redesign – Let’s Make It Better!

Bussey and Walter Intersection

Bussey and Walter Intersection

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

New Proposed Design for Walter-Bussey Intersection

Fortunately, our close allies from the Livable Streets Alliance have sent a detailed letter to the City’s new Chief of Streets, Chris Osgood, detailing problems with the new design. Rather than reinvent the wheel, we are reproducing LSA’s letter below, which we endorse wholeheartedly. If you want to help make this intersection better, please contact your City Councilors and neighborhood liaisons and demand that the Department of Public Works hold public meetings and hear from the neighborhood before plowing ahead with this project. Although the plans appear to be final, this should not be a done deal. The work hasn’t started yet, so let’s make it better.

Finally, to dispel any confusion, note this is not the same intersection nor the same process currently underway regarding the Walter-Centre Street intersection. That project is under DCR control; we’ll have an update on the recent community meeting in Rozzie about this shortly.

Update: WalkBoston has also sent a comment letter.

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