Blue Bikes Finally Comes to Roslindale

Our long wait for the arrival of the Blue Bikes (f/k/a Hubway) Bike Sharing system in Roslindale is finally over. The city recently announced the imminent installation of 19 new stations, including five in Roslindale. (We understand a total of 60 new stations will be added throughout the city over the entire year of 2018, and another 30 next spring.) The new Roslindale locations are shown on the map below, including two right in the main street area, one near Archdale, one near Centre and Weld, and one at Belgrade at Walworth.

This is a good start and we expect these bikes will be much-used, especially once a Forest Hills station goes in (delayed, likely subject to construction completion), making for better access to the Orange Line and the Southwest Corridor.

While we applaud the City and Blue Bikes for extending the network further out into neighborhoods like Roslindale, we’re a bit disappointed and surprised to see no station planned at the Commuter Rail which is would be a very logical inter-modal destination. While the other village stations are not far from the Commuter Rail, we suspect that bikeshare right at the station would encourage more people to avoid driving to the T. Another gap in the system is any stations in Eastern Roslindale — down Cummins Highway, Metropolitan Avenue, and Hyde Park Avenue/American Legion Highway. Bike share in this areas could enable many people who are currently poorly served by transit to reach the Orange Line, Commuter Rail, and major bus stops without driving.

Our hope is that the new stations get so much use right off the bat that the City will add these other locations in 2019. If you haven’t joined Blue Bikes yet, now is the time! Note that many employers sponsor a Blue Bikes membership, and income-eligible folks can get a significantly discounted membership.

Traffic Calming on American Legion Highway in the News

2016-02-24 Roslindale Bulletin Neighbors say comments needed to calm trafficKudos to the Mount Hope Mount Canterbury Neighborhood Association, Rick Yoder, Lisa Beatman, and the Roslindale Bulletin (especially Jeff Sullivan) for keeping the need for traffic calming in Eastern Roslindale, particularly along American Legion Highway, on the front burner. Check out the latest piece in the Bulletin, emphasizing the neighborhood group’s efforts to catalog pedestrian-safety issues and get “on the map” for Vision Zero.

East Roslindale Traffic Calming in the News

American Legion Highway / Cummins Highway Intersection

American Legion Highway / Cummins Highway Intersection (Image Courtesy Google Maps)

Our friends at the Roslindale Bulletin have done an excellent job of keeping the spotlight on WalkUP initiatives in East Roslindale. The New Year’s eve edition of the paper included an article on ideas for traffic calming on American Legion Highway Greenway, one of the streets in our neighborhood that most warrants a comprehensive redesign for safety and walkability. The article features statements from WalkUP Roslindale members Rick Yoder and Lisa Beatman, and is reproduced below (PDF version also available):

MHMC discussing traffic calming strategies for American Legion Hwy.
Jeff Sullivan, Staff Reporter

The Mount Hope/Mount Canterbury Neighborhood Association (MHMC) announced recently that State Rep. Russel Holmes has submitted legislation to change the American Legion Highway back to a parkway designation, a designation MHMC members have been looking to get for a while.

Neighborhood residents have been working over the past few years to get American Legion back to a parkway status, as that designation offers more protections for the greenery and landscape around the area, which residents say they want to keep because of its pastoral nature.

“I mean, it’s a highway now, but the speed limit is 35 (miles per hour),” said MHMC member Lisa Beatman. “That’s not a highway speed.”

Beatman and MHMC member Rick Yoder said they are now currently looking at ways to calm the traffic in the neighborhood of American Legion with funds they hope to secure through the Parkway designation, as well as by lobbying city officials.

Beatmen and Yoder said the American Legion Parkway has come under neglect over the years as it is on the outskirts of several different neighborhoods, including Mattapan, Hyde Park and Roslindale. One of the improvements they say they want to implement at some point would be on the Five Way, the intersection of American Legion and Cummins Highway.

Beatman said the group has done a walk audit of the area, and found that many residents use the Five Way in many different ways.

“It shows people that it’s not just for cars,” she said. “Just imagine the Five Way, which is all cement right now, with raised crosswalks, very visible curb extensions on each corner so that a pedestrian only has to walk 11 feet.”

Many MHMC residents expressed they felt it was dangerous to cross the Five Way as a pedestrian because, without extensions to the curb making the turns more of a right angle, many vehicles fly thorugh at high speeds.

“We want curb extensions so that vehicles would have to maneuver a little first, not just go shooting through it,” Beatman said.

Beatman and Yoder said a raised crosswalk and curb extensions would work very well for the Five Way, and also looked at other areas of the neighborhood to implement these improvements to keep traffic on American Legion and off of the surrounding neighborhoods, as right now they say people speed through all the time to avoid the traffic. The MHMC discussed raised crosswalks, speed humps (elongated speed bumps), and better signage throughout the neighborhood.

“The city is allocating millions of dollars on this for other neighborhoods right now, so if we don’t get on this, it’s gone,” she said.

Looking back at 2015 – The WalkUP Roslindale Year in Review

OK. That’s a bit more than this really is. I’ll point out the 3 things that seemed most significant to me this year and others can give their views in the comments if they see fit:

  1. WalkUP Roslindale was formed! This happened in the late spring when Adam Kessel and I met for lunch and then decided to run with the idea of a collaborative organization made up of people who live and/or work in Roslindale to carry forward the idea of making ours the most walkable neighborhood in the city. Our most active collaborator on this has been Steve Gag but there have been many others — if you take a look at the signers on the Taft Hill Park comment letter, you’ll get a sense who has been most involved to date.
  2. WalkUP Roslindale helped shine a light on East Roslindale. The fight to raise the level of expectation for the natural, public, and private realms in this part of our neighborhood is only just beginning. But the folks over there are dedicated and they know what they’re after. We’re happy to have connected with them and look forward to continuing to support their efforts in 2016.
  3. WalkUP Roslindale conducted a Walk Audit in Roslindale Square. This was a collaboration with WalkBoston and we did it late in the year. December 5 to be exact. We will have more to say about what the walk audit revealed (when it’s done, we’ll post it in full) and what look like the short, medium, and long term steps we can take to improve walkability in our neighborhood’s center.

East Roslindale Urban Wild Bicycle Tour Tomorrow (Sunday 10/18/15) at 8am!

East Roslindale Hidden Parkway Map

East Roslindale Hidden Parkway Map

A group of citizens have been acting to protect and enhance the green space corridor in the American Legion Parkway area of Roslindale. Thus far, the response from the community and elected leaders has been overwhelmingly positive. But to really appreciate the area’s potential, you need to see it firsthand. Please join us for a brisk sunny bicycle tour, tomorrow morning (Sunday, October 18) at 8am, starting at the Stop-n-Shop Plaza (Walgreen’s end) on American Legion Highway near Hyde Park Ave. Complete details in this PDF flyer; meeting point pictured below. RSVP or questions to Laura Smeaton or Lisa Beatman.

Maps Posted for Rozzie Urban Wild Protection Hearing

A few days back, we posted about a City Council Hearing on the “urban wild” land around American Legion highway. The entry has just been updated with detailed maps (reproduced below as well). Go check it out!