fbpx

Tag: pedestrian path

Lenox Dale Walk Audit

Lenox Dale Walk Audit

Lenox is participating in the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Complete Streets Funding Program to secure funds for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects in town. Lenox has completed the first two steps to receive funding by passing a Complete Streets policy and submitting a Complete Streets Prioritization Plan. WalkBoston completed a walk audit in Lenox Center in the summer of 2016. Many of the infrastructure recommendations made in that audit were included in the Prioritization Plan. The Town of Lenox staff wanted to give Lenox Dale residents the same opportunity to participate in a walk audit to identify needed infrastructure improvements in the Dale.

Read the full report here:
WalkBoston-WalkAudit-LenoxDale

Comments on South Boston Waterfront Transportation Center EEA 8505

Comments on South Boston Waterfront Transportation Center EEA 8505

September 12, 2016

Matthew Beaton, Secretary
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Attn: MEPA Office Analyst: Page Czepiga EEA 8505 and 13367
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900
Boston, MA 02114

Re: South Boston Waterfront Transportation Center EEA 8505 and 13367

Dear Mr. Beaton,

WalkBoston appreciates the opportunity to comment on the current proposal for the South Boston Waterfront Transportation Center. We have focused on pedestrian issues associated with this project.

This proposal is quite forward-looking for pedestrians who will be using the facility and/or passing through the site. Users of the Center will be served by pedestrian paths through the site, by the adjacent MBTA Silver Line World Trade Center station and by parking on 9 levels with pedestrian access via elevators and stairs to both D Street and the World Trade Center Avenue Viaduct. As the nine parking levels will be partly located below and partly above the principal level of the Center, the principal pedestrian movements will be centralized at a midway garage floor that corresponds to the level of the World Trade Center Avenue Viaduct. Pedestrian access between transportation modes and exits into the surrounding area will take place primarily at the level of the viaduct.

Several significant pedestrian facilities have been proposed at the viaduct level to integrate the Center into the Seaport and provide connections to business centers and activities in the area, as well as transportation modes that are focused in the area. These viaduct level facilities include:

1. A garage floor that also serves a concentration of a large number of pedestrian movements made at this level.

  • Pedestrian paths could be marked or painted for walkers on the garage floor or developed with imaginative lighting. These walkways would make walking through this large garage safer for walkers by providing a clear path and a physical reminder and warning to drivers. The viaduct level in particular will have many pedestrians.
  • It would be helpful to begin the proposed wayfinding system within the garage with emphasis on information at the elevators and at the viaduct level of the garage. A substantial installation of signs could direct arriving patrons from parking locations toward appropriate exits and show the multiplicity of potential destinations that can be reached by each of the major exits.
  • Smart phone apps could be developed to provide detailed information for pedestrians to use on their phones or pads to find specific routes to desired destinations.

2. A proposed pedestrian bridge between the Transportation Center and the existing Waterside Place building for residents who will be using the garage. The bridge will be connected into the pedestrian network provided for the viaduct level of the Center.

  • Although the bridge will not be used for access between the Center and Congress Street by non-residents, it should be integrated with the wayfinding and pathway system devised by the proponent.

3. A midblock pedestrian walkway between D Street and the World Trade Center Avenue Viaduct on the south side of the Center structure is proposed to aid pedestrians in reaching the variety of destinations around the Center. The walkway provides pedestrian connections from the World Trade Center Avenue Viaduct and the John Hancock and other buildings along D Street. The walkway, to be built primarily at viaduct level (although it slopes down to meet the grade of D Street), will be approximately 18’ wide, well-lighted and roofed for the majority of the distance between the streets that act as a boundary of the Center.

  • This long (xxx) walkway does not seem to be overlooked by any people other than those on the walk itself. We request that MassPort provide some details about how the security of walkers will be assured.
  • This walkway should be weather-protected on the side facing the MassPort Haul Road.
  • The walkway should be signed to guide pedestrians to destinations on either side of the Center. Signage should be integrated into the overall wayfinding network for the Center and proposed networks for the surrounding area.
  • The walkway could be enhanced by the addition of facilities such as benches for walkers and intervening electronic posters or interactive displays to enliven the area.

4. Pedestrian plaza facing D Street. The D Street (east) side of the Center will include a generous landscaped plaza as a major contribution to upgrading the current appearance and softening the edges of the structure.

  • This plaza should also be signed and designed with paths to guide pedestrians to destinations on either side of the Center. Signage should be integrated into the overall wayfinding network for the Center and the district.

5. Pedestrian plaza facing World Trade Center Avenue Viaduct. A large public open space will be provided on the viaduct (west) side of the Center. It will provide space for direct access from the viaduct into the Transportation Center, with connections into the adjacent MBTA World Trade Center Station, a shuttle bus drop-off location on the street, landscaping, bicycle parking (and possibly repair) and information kiosks. Significantly, it will include a covered walkway between the viaduct and the Center. This covered walkway will become part of an extended covered pedestrian facility that will extend between Congress and Summer Streets.

  • The new covered walkway will be a major feature of this project and a harbinger of the future pedestrian network that will extend beyond this location and connect between both the World Trade Center and the Boston Convention and Exposition Center. It should protect pedestrians in all weather conditions.
  • The covered walkway should also be an integral portion of the wayfinding network for the Seaport area. A central focus could be an interactive display that helps walkers find their desired destinations, and tells each how long the walk will be for them in the minutes 3 required to make the connection. The proposal calls for displays of real-time modal availability and schedule information, interactive kiosks and bicycle parking and possibly the availability of pedi-cabs.
  • This large setback seems to set the stage for a future land use that faces World Trade Center Avenue. We think that lively uses along the Avenue would be a good addition to the area’s pedestrian environment.

WalkBoston is excited about the generous additions of elements in this project that will enhance and encourage pedestrian movement throughout the area. Thank you for your consideration of our comments.

Sincerely

Bob Sloane
Senior Planner

Walk Assessment Watertown

Walk Assessment Watertown

WalkBoston worked with the Town of Watertown staff and police to identify the assessment study area where pedestrian deficiencies are present. Irving Street was not among the enforcement locations monitored by the Watertown police as part of MassDOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Awareness and Enforcement Program. However, in thinking through areas of the Town that are in need of improvements which had yet to be studied in detail, Town staff chose Irving Street as their preferred assessment location. The Irving Street corridor functions as a cut-through for drivers accessing North Beacon Street and Charles River Road. There are few streets that connect through the residential neighborhood to the Charles River. In addition, the location of the assessment was in close proximity to the Perkins School for the Blind and allowed for their participation. This was a great partnership and opportunity to share knowledge and raise awareness of their needs to increase walkability. As a result, Irving Street carries significant volumes of traffic for a relatively narrow, residential street. Watertown staff members are interested in implementing traffic calming strategies, as well as addressing the pedestrian infrastructure needs of this corridor.

Read the full report here:
WalkBoston-WalkAssessmentFinal-Watertown

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

 

Queset Commons Comment Letter

Queset Commons Comment Letter

Thank you for the opportunity to review the Draft EIR for the Queset Commons Chapter 40R Smart Growth Development in Easton, a proposed mixed-use retail, office and residential development within a Smart Growth Overlay District.

Our conviction is that developments of the size and character of Queset Commons should follow a number of general guidelines in building a mix and relationship of uses that will encourage residents and visitors to walk more and drive less.

Read the full letter here:
WalkBoston-CommentDEIR-QuesetCommons-Easton