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Comments on the Expanded Environmental Impact Report for Two Brookline Place

Comments on the Expanded Environmental Impact Report for Two Brookline Place

January 22, 2010

Secretary Ian Bowles
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs MEPA Office
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900
Boston, MA 02114

RE: Comments on the Expanded Environmental Impact Report for Two Brookline Place, Brookline, MA
EOEA #14522

Dear Secretary Bowles:

WalkBoston appreciates the opportunity to provide comments on the Expanded Environmental Impact Report for Two Brookline Place in Brookline. The proposal calls for construction of an 8- story building with space for medical and general office space. The site is a part of the Gateway East Development Area, for which the town has prepared a Public Realm plan, which, of course includes sidewalks throughout the area.

We are concerned about several of the details of the proposal and request that they be given further attention during upcoming work on the project. They are:

Pedestrian islands. Generous, large pedestrian refuge islands should be provided at the intersections where Route 9 crosses Washington/High Street, Pearl Street, Brookline Avenue and the proposed new crossing linking the bicycle and pedestrian paths inside the Emerald Necklace. After completion of the proposed development, Route 9 will remain a 6-8 lane boulevard, which is too wide for many pedestrians to cross within one sequence of traffic signal changes. A refuge will provide a safe place for pedestrians to wait for the next opportunity to cross traffic lanes legally and without jaywalking.

Intersection mitigation. It appears that only a few of the nearby intersections will be provided with mitigation of traffic impacts from the proponent’s project. Two locations cited in the document are Brookline Avenue and Pearl Street and Brookline Avenue and Washington Street. Pedestrian crosswalks and signal phases at these two intersections are critical to the overall success of the project and integral to the proposed pedestrian network in the Gateway East Public Realm Plan. On Washington Street large pedestrian refuge islands should be provided for the pedestrian crosswalk, and a pedestrian refuge island is also desirable on Pearl Street (but has not been singled out as an element of the Gateway East Public Realm plan).

Truck/pedestrian conflict. The loading zone for Two Brookline Place and the principal access point into the garage are both located on the portion of Pearl Street nearest Washington Street. The nearby new street intersection at Pearl/Juniper and Washington Streets may encourage pedestrians to use this portion of Pearl Street as they seek out the relatively short route between residential areas and direct access to the MBTA station. Pedestrians and trucks may come into conflict on this section of Pearl Street, depending on the frequency of the use of the loading zone and the vehicular traffic diverted to use the Pearl Street/Washington Street intersection. Conflicts between vehicles and pedestrians may also occur. Both of these issues should be addressed as the design moves forward.

Encouraging walking. Walking should be encouraged with good on-line walking directions, provision of area maps and through encouragement programs as an integral part of the proponent’s TDM program for local residents, workers and patients.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Two Brookline Place Project.
Please feel free to contact us for any clarification or additional comments that you may need.

Sincerely,

Wendy Landman
Executive Director

Robert Sloane
Senior Planner

 

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