Recap of Roslindale Gateway Path – 25% Meeting on MBTA Portion

We had great turnout and lots of enthusiasm at a community meeting held last week to present the preliminary 25% design of the first portion of the planned Roslindale Gateway Path. The Gateway Path is WalkUP’s signature initiative, supported by a broad coalition of like-minded organizations including Rozzie Bikes and the Livable Streets Alliance. Ultimately, the path will create a new entrance to the Arboretum closer to Roslindale Village (right from the MBTA Commuter Rail station), allow entry to the park from Roslindale without having to surmount a big hill, provide improved access to the park along its route, and connect all the way up to the Forest Hills orange line station and Southwest Corridor Path.

For this meeting, we were focused only on the first portion which will cross over MBTA land. Since this portion requires negotiating land rights (the Arboretum, the City, and the MBTA will be all be involved), we thought it important to complete the process of gathering community feedback on that section first so those negotiations can move forward. Hence, this meeting, which was attended by as many as 50 residents, business owners, city employees, and representatives of our elected officials. Notably represented at the meeting were District City Councilors Tim McCarthy and Matt O’Malley, State Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, and State Sen. Michael Rush. City-Councilor-at-Large Michelle Wu has also been very supportive of the project.

The presentation was lead by Jen Relstab of the Horsley Witten Group, our design consultant from the start of this effort. Be sure to check out the complete presentation. Following the slideshow, we received ample constructive feedback and questions from the group, ranging from questions about snow and ice; maintenance; policing; wildlife; storm water; trash; and ideas about various surfaces that might be used in different parts of the path. We’re incorporating this feedback and ideas into our next steps, and look forward to returning to the community as the project moves forward. If you have comments in the meantime, feel free to send them to path@nullwalkuproslindale.org.

Some tweets and photos from the event below.

 

 

Major Step Forward for the Gateway Path – Possible Funding from the Commonwealth

The Roslindale Gateway Path — the linchpin of a multiuse off-road trail to connect Roslindale Square with Forest Hills — took a significant step forward earlier this month when our Representative Jeffrey Sánchez, Chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means, ensured that complete funding for the path was included in the House’s Environmental Bond Bill. You can find the authorization — for $3 million — right there on line 378, page 19 of the bill! Based on our preliminary estimates including the 10% design study, we believe this state funding coupled with city support and cooperation from the MBTA will be sufficient to design and build the entire path, including the Blackwell Path Extension on the Forest Hills/Jamaica Plain side, as well as the Gateway Path starting at the Roslindale MBTA Commuter Rail Station and extending into the Arboretum.

While the bill still needs to get through the Senate and be signed by the Governor, we are delighted by Rep. Sánchez’s leadership on this important sustainability issue. We expect Senator Michael Rush, who represents much of Roslindale in the Senate and serves as Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, will also go to bat to help see this through.

At this point, we have no immediate action item for path supporters (other than to thank our elected officials when you get a chance!), but we will be keeping a close eye on the bill as it moves through the Senate. We expect the authorization will come up in the Senate some time before the end of July.

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: