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!

Centre and Walter Intersection

Official WalkUP Roslindale Comment Letter – Centre Street Corridor Study

Centre and Walter Intersection
Intersection of Centre and Walter Streets

We sent our third WalkUP comment letter today, providing feedback on the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Centre Street Corridor Study, focusing specifically on the intersection of Centre and Walter Streets, quite likely the most crash-prone intersection in all of Roslindale. We hope DCR will consider our comments seriously and ensure improvements to this area benefit users of all modes of transportation. In addition, because the redesign and construction are likely years away, we emphasize the need to make common-sense easy improvements today, such as flexi-poles and  lane-narrowing, which will save lives and prevent serious injuries while we are waiting for the longer process to complete.

The comment period is open until November 30, 2015. Please add your voice (select “Improved Multi-Modal Safety and Access to Emerald Necklace Parks in Jamaica Plain (Centre Street)” from the drop-down list)!

The content of our letter is reproduced below.

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"Alternative 1"

Update from the Nov. 10, 2015 Community DCR Meeting re Centre/Walter Intersection

"Alternative 1"
“Alternative 1”
As noted earlier, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (“DCR”) held an additional public meeting about potential redesign of the Centre Street Corridor in Roslindale on November 10, 2015. The meeting was reasonably well attended with a robust discussion about the significant problems with existing conditions at the troublesome Walter & Centre Street intersection, among others, and potential design alternatives. The majority of the spoken comments offered were consistent with key WalkUP principles. Although the latest presentation has not (yet) been posted, a copy of the presentation from the 10/7/15 meeting concerning the same area is available on the DCR website. WalkUp Roslindale is working on a formal comment letter advocating in favor of alternative 1 and emphasizing that any design must better incorporate pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure.

"Alternative 2"
“Alternative 2”
The redesign project, which is not currently funded by the state legislature, will not be implemented for at least three years, in the best of circumstances. It is important for Roslindale residents and WalkUP supporters to voice how critical the project is for the walkability and cycleabilty of Roslindale.

The comment period has been extended to November 30, 2015.

Send a comment to DCR and note specifically:

  • DCR should make pedestrian and cycling access and usability a priority in a design and not be treated–as in the existing conditions–as second to automobile use.
  • A traffic light (alternatives 1 and 2) is an essential component of pedestrian and cyclist safety and must be included.
  • Key abutters, including the residents, employers and visitors of day care centers, senior housing facilities and a rehabilitation hospital complex require safe, usable and convenient crossing of both Walter and Centre Streets.

Finally, in our continued effort to avoid confusion, we remind you that this is separate from the process underway with respect to the nearby intersection of Walter and Bussey Streets.

Bussey and Walter Intersection

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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Centre and Walter Intersection

DCR Community Meeting on Walter and Centre Street Redesign – November 10, 2015 at St. Nectarios Church Hall

Centre and Walter Intersection
Intersection of Centre and Walter Streets
The Department of Conservation and Recreation (“DCR”) recently held a series of public meetings to solicit input about the parkways of the Parkway Area–particularly the Centre Street Corridor, which accommodates 40,000 cars every day. The corridor is poorly designed for drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists alike, and it’s time to fix it.

Although Centre Street brings thousands of cars daily right through Roslindale, no meeting has focused on or been held in Roslindale — until now. Thanks especially to the efforts of neighbor Carter Wilkie, our representatives in the state legislature have arranged for a fourth public meeting, focused especially on the intersection of Centre and Walter Streets, which has had the majority of crashes in recent years — 46 crashes over a three year period! Traffic engineers have determined this intersection violates state safety standards, but funding for improvements will be hard to secure unless people speak up. Previous meetings about this corridor have demonstrated a lack of care for and attention to pedestrians and bicyclists–it’s important that the planned improvements serve everyone, not just those who might be passing through in a motorized vehicle.

We understand (at least) Sen. Rush, Rep. Sánchez, and Rep. Coppinger will all be present at the meeting, so this is an excellent opportunity to be heard on the importance of pedestrian- and bike-friendly infrastructure in one of the worst-designed parts of our neighborhood. We’ll add to this post if we receive confirmation about attendance from any other elected officials. We should turn out in force and advocate for walkability!

Please spread the word (retweet or like/share this announcement on Facebook). Details below:

Tuesday November 10, 2015 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
St. Nectarios Church Hall
39 Belgrade Ave. (and Robert Street)
Roslindale

More background: