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Tag: walkways

Comments on ENF for Caesars Resort at Suffolk Downs

Comments on ENF for Caesars Resort at Suffolk Downs

March 26, 2013

Secretary Richard K. Sullivan, Jr.
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA)
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900 Boston MA 02114

RE:     Comments on ENF for Caesars Resort at Suffolk Downs – EEA #15006

Dear Secretary Sullivan:

WalkBoston has reviewed the ENF for Caesars Resort at Suffolk Downs. We find agreement with the general design, as it seems directed toward providing safe facilities for pedestrians. A number of design details should be more closely investigated as part of the DEIR. Our comments about those details follow.

Underlying Assumptions
Many of the patrons and staff of the casino complex and racetrack will arrive on foot from transit stations or parking lots. Thus walking should be a significant element of the project design, coordinated with vehicular routes to minimize potential conflicts. Walking, transit and bike use should be maximize d in keeping with the Commonwealth’s goal of tripling the share of walking, biking and transit use. Access to and from the two MBTA stations and the Route 1A bus lines, and access between distant parking locations and the casinos and the racetrack are the primary routes to be addressed. Walking access between the site and adjacent residential areas should also be addressed.

Good information about the projected volumes of pedestrians (and bicycles) should inform the design and size of facilities.
For example, the ENF states that most employees will come to the site via public transportation. While not explicitly stated, we would anticipate that nearly all would walk from the MBTA stations into the site (unless shuttle service is provided). Because the Suffolk Downs Station is considerably closer to the proposed buildings than Beachmont Station, it will likely attract more users. The walkway from the station into the site should be designed to accommodate the anticipated volume of walkers (and bicyclists if they will use the same route) and the projected volumes should be included in the DEIR.

Overall Design Issues to be addressed
The design of walkways and walk routes should be attractive, include high quality landscaping, and feel inviting both day and night, winter and summer. Designs should include:
– A network of short distance walkways to encourage people to walk on site.
– Lighting for safety, using designs that do not spill into residential areas or obscure the night sky
– Safety and security especially given late night operations for employees and patrons, where there are fairly long walks such as the one to the Suffolk Downs MBTA station
– Benches
– Smooth surfaces on all walkways
– Year round maintenance including snow shoveling
– Shade while walking to the casinos and hotels
– In New England, inclement weather is inevitable, suggesting the possibility of providing shelters or coverings along walkways, or alternative means of reaching destinations, such as a shuttle bus service
– Wayfinding for pedestrians – Signage should be employed as fully as possible to help pedestrians find their routes within this very large site. Signs would also encourage the use of MBTA bus routes and subway facilities, and should be used to designate access points in the event an on-site bus shuttle service is provided. Other off-site locations of interest should be included, such as the Belle Isle Marsh Reservation, Revere Beach and potentially the Target/Super Stop and Shop complex , the racetrack’s horse barns and other sites that might improve the experience of nearby residents as well as patrons of the casinos, the racetrack, and the hotels.
– Parking lots should be designed attractively, with trees and with defined walking paths that are separated from moving vehicle areas within the lots

Multi-use path design.
The paths on the site that are walking/biking multi-use paths should provide appropriate widths to allow for safe shared use. MassDOT standards (Mass Highway Department Project Development and Design Guide, 2006), call for multi-use paths to be 10—14 feet wide to accommodate both pedestrians and bicycles, and for wider facilities if substantial volumes of foot and bike traffic are anticipated.

Tomasello Way/Rte 1A intersection and Tomasello Way Design
Bus service
Bus service along Rte 1A is already substantial. Routes along the roadway connect Salem Center, Marblehead and Peabody Square to Haymarket and Downtown Crossing – 6 bus routes in total. Well-designed and highly-visible bus stops, along with weather-protecting shelters, should be included in the revamping of the intersection of the Tomasello Way/Rte 1A intersection.
Signals and crosswalks
In keeping with the intersection’s importance as the front door of the proposed development, the intersection will need to be fully signalized for safety for all users, including pedestrians who will be crossing Rte 1A to and from the new bus stops and shelters. In the re-signalization of the intersection, pedestrian count-down signals should be employed.
Access between the intersection and the on-site facilities
The proposal includes a major pedestrian way leading from the intersection of Tomasello Way and Rte 1A into the main entrance to the casinos, the racetrack and the hotels. It appears to be useful and attractive, but it must be made safe for walkers and is worthy of significant improvements to make it safe. According to the preliminary drawings, the walkway will be located in the median strip of the rebuilt south portion of Tomasello Way. This is a formal design that could be handsome, but it results in a strip of walkway in the median that could be difficult for walkers to access, because it requires them to cross roadways on both ends of the walkway – near Rte 1A and at the casino/racetrack entrances, as well as at intermediate locations in between – five crosswalks in all. A better solution might be to have the pedestrian way located on the south side of Tomasello Way, with more direct access across the street at a point where the walkway is closest to the casino. This would reduce potential pedestrian/vehicle conflicts along the full length of this stretch of Tomasello Way.
Amenities along Tomasello Way 
Pedestrians walking via Tomasello Way have a relatively long walk between Rte 1A and the site (roughly equivalent to 3-4 city blocks). The preliminary drawings show lines of trees that will be very appropriate to make a pleasant walk. Seating along the way would also make the route more attractive and allow people to rest as they make their way to the casinos or the racetrack.
A sidewalk connecting Tomasello Way and Waldemar Avenue in Orient Heights
A wholly new but short on-site sidewalk connecting Tomasello Way and Waldemar Avenue would allow Orients Heights residents to reach the bus stops at the intersection of Rte 1A and Tomasello Way, and to be able to walk to the casinos or the racetrack.
A roadway connecting Tomasello Way to Waldemar Avenue in Orient Heights
Consideration of a sidewalk connecting Tomasello Way and Waldemar Avenue should include examination of a future road connection as well. A new, relatively short street to link Tomasello Way to Waldemar Avenue could reduce problems at the intersection of Waldemar Avenue and Route 1A near the Tomasello Way entrance to the site because it would allow Orient Heights access to be diverted to the Tomasello Way entrance to the site. The connection could include options for improving the safety of nearby residents:
– Waldemar Avenue could become a dead-end street before reaching Rte 1A; or
– It could be made one-way inbound toward the residences; or
– It might be connected to Vallar Road if gradients are favorable.

The continuation of Tomasello Way to the Suffolk Downs MBTA station
A driveway currently exists along the proponent’s property line between the Rte 1A entrance to the site and the small turnaround space in front of Suffolk Downs T station. The west half of this route has been covered above. However, the future of the east half of the driveway is unclear, even though it could be used for vehicular and pedestrian traffic as part of the larger plan. An explanation should be provided as to:
– Whether this driveway will become an access roadway providing service both to the south entrance to the casino, and to the Suffolk Downs MBTA Station.
–  Whether this driveway will be extended to connect into the local roadways of Orient Heights, such as Waldemar Avenue, Walley Street and Bonito Square. This connection could relatively easily reach Bennington Street as well, and could become a major route for vehicles entering or leaving the site.
–  Whether an improvement is planned for the pedestrian component of the service plaza at the MBTA Station.
–  What the pedestrian connections along this roadway will become, as it provides a major walkway between the MBTA station and the casinos and hotels. This connection might also be used to enhance direct access from neighborhood walkways into the station.

Pedestrian access from off-site locations
Pedestrian access between Orient Heights and a potential Route 1A bus stop at Boardman Avenue.
A partial interchange is proposed for the intersection of Boardman Avenue (Route 145) and Route 1A. The proposal calls for a northbound overpass above Rte 1A to pass over the turning between Rte 1A and Boardman Avenue. The overpass design and focus of turning traffic at the intersection suggests some difficult crossings for pedestrians from Orient Heights. Bus stop access for pedestrians should be explored as part of the proposed partial interchange. It may be possible to link Boardman Street access to the bus stop at Tomasello Way.
Pedestrian access between Orient Heights and the Target/Super Stop and Shop complex
The ENF notes that walkers from Orient Heights need to cross the Suffolk Downs site to get to the shopping complex located near the intersection of Tomasello Way and Furlong Drive, which are important businesses for Orient Heights residents to use. Data support-ing this suggestion would be useful. The multi-use path along Tomasello Way will improve this walk. From a pedestrian point-of-view, the suggested location of the walkway on the east side of Tomasello Way results in pedestrians from Orient Heights crossing at least 6 streets on route to the shopping complex, unless they follow the alternative walking route that hugs the buildings. The proponent should examine whether the walkway could be moved to the west side of Tomasello Way to reduce the number of crossings. Pedestrians walking along Tomasello Way should also be protected from walking through either of the two roundabouts at the approach to the hotels and casinos. Roundabouts are not very safe for pedestrian because of the potential conflicts with turning vehicles.
Pedestrian access between Crescent Heights and the Target/Super Stop and Shop complex
Residents of the Crescent Heights neighborhood at the north edge of the site could also reach the shopping area via the Tomasello Way walkway.
Racetrack walkway to the Target/Super Stop and Shop complex
The plan includes a walkway between the racetrack and the Target/Super Stop and Shop via the edge of the northern parking lots. The intersection of this walkway and Tomasello Way should be moved slightly to align with the front entrance to the shopping complex. The volume of foot traffic at this intersection may be low, but further exploration may suggest the need for a traffic signal with WALK signals.

Potential shuttle bus service
Shuttle buses should be considered to help people get around and to provide options during inclement weather. Options for shuttle bus stops include main entrances to the casino and race track, the Suffolk Downs and Beachmont MBTA stations, bus stops on Route 1A at Tomasello Way, the bus stop on Winthrop Avenue, and for access to the more remote parking areas. Facilities to support shuttle bus service may include the addition of a turnaround area in front of Suffolk Downs MBTA Station and a u-turn on Tomasello Way just short of Route 1A. Shuttles may also be useful to serve future night transit service on the Blue Line and elsewhere.

Local Community Benefits – pedestrian improvements at other locations
The ENF includes suggestions that certain improvements outlined by the Lower North Shore Traffic Study of 2000 could be included as part of the mitigation for the construction of this facility. Although no detail has been supplied on these locations, they appear to include intersections at Route 16 at Winthrop Avenue/Harris Street, the vicinity of the Beachmont MBTA Station in Revere, in the vicinity of Route 16/Route 1A/Bell Circle in Revere, and, in East Boston, at Bennington & Saratoga Streets at Orient Heights MBTA station and Boardman St. in East Boston. Many of these improvements have been requested by the affected communities and will need to be detailed in further submittals to show potential impacts on pedestrians.

We appreciate your consideration of our comments and your responses to them. Please feel free to contact WalkBoston with any questions you may have.

Sincerely,

Wendy Landman
Executive Director

Spicket River Greenway Comment Letter

Spicket River Greenway Comment Letter

March 29, 2011

Secretary Richard K. Sullivan, Jr. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA)
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900
Boston MA 02114
Attn: MEPA Office, Ann Canaday

RE: Comments on the Environmental Notification Form, EEA No. 14717 Spicket River Greenway

Dear Secretary Sullivan:

WalkBoston appreciates the opportunity to provide comments on the Environmental Notification Form for the Spicket River Greenway in Lawrence. The project is an ambitious undertaking that will significantly expand attractive walking facilities in Lawrence. The proposal is a 2.9 mile walkway from the recently constructed Manchester Street park to the Oxford Mill site near the Merrimack River in Downtown Lawrence. At the mill site, the project will connect to riverside walkways that are proposed on both sides of the river.

The project will follow a stream that is presently open to view but virtually useless as a recreational facility to the residents of Lawrence. Through this project, the river and its path through the densely built-up city will be cleaned up and improved with a new walking facility designed to serve its inner city neighbors. The new 8’ wide paved walkway will be fully accessible for all users. Landscaping and solar powered lighting will enhance the path.

WalkBoston supports this project and congratulates the City of Lawrence for its leadership in providing a facility that will add beauty, recreation and a means for the residents of Lawrence to add walking to their daily lives.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this commendable project. Please contact us if you have questions.

Sincerely,

Wendy Landman
Executive Director

Cc Heather McCann, Executive Director, Groundwork Lawrence James Barnes, Director, Lawrence Community Development Department

Environmental Notification Form (ENF) Alewife Brook Greenway MEPA #14431

Environmental Notification Form (ENF) Alewife Brook Greenway MEPA #14431

June 29, 2009

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

RE: Environmental Notification Form (ENF) Alewife Brook Greenway
MEPA # 14431

Dear Secretary Bowles:

WalkBoston is pleased to review the Alewife Brook Greenway Environmental Notification Form (ENF). We have found the proposal extremely interesting, as it expands the off-road network of trails and walkways that are so important to metro arearesidents for transportation and recreation. The ENF details improvements that will be made for both pedestrians and bicyclists on a corridor between Alewife Brook MBTA Station and the Mystic Valley Parkway that leads through Cambridge, Somerville and Arlington, and has connections to the Minuteman Pathway, the Linear Park/Community Path route into Somerville, the Mystic River parklands and future paths into Belmont and Watertown.

This is an extremely important piece of the regional trail network. We are happy to endorse its construction and even happier to realize that it may be constructed relatively rapidly as part of the national stimulus construction agenda.

In our review, we noted a few concerns of importance to pedestrians:

1. The proposed network does not provide for fully separated bicycle and pedestrian paths.
In two segments of the proposed improvement (1. Between the Mystic Valley Parkway and Broadway; and 2. between Henderson Street and Massachusetts Avenue) there appears to be a partial separation of bicycle and pedestrian paths. By contrast, there is only a single path between Broadway and Henderson Street and between Massachusetts Avenue and the MBTA Alewife Station. This will result in an effective capacity of two 10’-wide paths in the areas of separated paths and only one 10’-wide path in the other parts of the corridor. We are concerned about the safety of pedestrians in portions of the corridor where the capacity is limited. In those areas, consideration should be given to a wider cross-section on the path to accommodate potential demand.

2. The proposal does not indicate whether there will be signage to can foster safe walking. Pedestrian safety in mixed walking and cycling traffic can be an issue of concern, depending on the volume of traffic that uses the paths. While we would prefer separate facilities that are clearly designated as such, it does not appear to be feasible throughout the entire corridor. We therefore suggest that signing and warnings be provided to make the route safe for all users. This might include, for example:

  • Lane separation lines for the north and south directions.
  • Signs warning pedestrians to stay to the right of the path.
  • Signs advising cyclists to ring a warning bell as they approach pedestrians from behind.
  • Route signs designating a cyclist trail along the paths that abut Alewife Brooke Parkway.

3. The Boardwalk parallel to Alewife Brook Parkway has the potential for becoming a bottleneck, as it accommodates all path traffic in a narrow corridor. The boardwalk overlooks and is cantilevered over the river in the section extending north of Henderson Street and is one of the most accessible portions of the pathways for nearby residents. It is also close to Dilboy Field, which has occasional special sports events. If the boardwalk accommodates both pedestrians and cyclists and is closely fenced on both sides, it has the potential for becoming heavily used and potentially unsafe for people on foot. Would it be possible to widen the boardwalk to at least 12 feet in this location?

4. Seating and observation areas should be maximized.The path promises to be a very pleasant route. Many people will want to sit occasionally along the route, and children, among others, will be interested in closely examining the stream.

5. For the security of people who are using the path lighting may be appropriate. Lighting of the paths would extend their usefulness to walkers and cyclists in evening hours and in fall and winter.

6. Crosswalks may be needed in several locations. Near the Dilboy Park baseball diamonds, a fence opening and curb ramp have been provided that appear designed to help people cross Alewife Brook Parkway. The addition of a crosswalk in this location would be appropriate. Other crosswalks should be examined to cross Alewife Brook Parkway at Massachusetts Avenue, at Matignon Road, at Powder House Boulevard (two curb ramps), and at Broadway. For continuity of the path network, a Mystic Valley Parkway crosswalk should be considered at the north end of this project.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to provide comments on the ENF. Please let us know if you have any questions or need further detail.

Sincerely,

Wendy Landman
Executive Director

Robert Sloane
Senior Planner

Cc Dan Driscoll, DCR Bicycle and Pedestrian Planner

Waterfront Square at Revere Beach Comment Letter

Waterfront Square at Revere Beach Comment Letter

May 8, 2009

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

RE: Comments on the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for Waterfront Square at Revere Beach, EOEA #14080

Dear Mr. Bowles:

WalkBoston is happy to submit comments on the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for Waterfront Square at Revere Beach. This project is a Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) that embodies many of the precepts of concentrated development and pedestrian improvements that the state and region have been working toward. For this reason, our comments focus on whether the TOD elements will work well for pedestrians using the MBTA Wonderland Station, the new uses to be built on the site and people accessing Revere Beach and adjacent properties. We are pleased that many of the concerns we raised in our previous comments have been addressed by the FEIR, however (as discussed below) we continue to have some specific concerns.

We continue to be impressed that the project is being made possible by the joint efforts of the proponent and several public agencies owning property within the site. The public agencies – the MBTA and the Department of Conservation and Recreation have agreed to become part of the project to further the development goals of better, more intensive uses of their lands and increased use of the existing MBTA Blue Line terminus at Wonderland Station. Unfortunately, one site – the Seaside Site – has not been included in the development, even though it stands at the mid-point of the site and thus prevents contiguous development.

Summary of comments:

• Pedestrian connections to adjacent parcels should be explored.
• All crosswalks should have pedestrian signals timed to afford safe crossings.
• Pedestrian access on the ground level of the South Parking Garage seems to include potential hazards for pedestrians due to the need to cross bus lanes to reach the rail station
• Pedestrian crosswalks are sparse along Ocean Avenue.
• Pedestrian ramps at the Wonderland Station seem to be replaced by elevators and a stair. Does the new plan still include ramps?
• The Transit Plaza may have significant use by pedestrians linking train and bus trips, and should include generous walkways covered for weather protection.
• All bus-rail riders are required to cross above the rail tracks on one leg of their journey. Is there a way to explore all at-grade access between buses and trains on only one side of Wonderland Station?

Many WalkBoston concerns have been addressed by the FEIR. These include:

• Pedestrian access to the Transit Plaza above the roof level of the Wonderland Transit Station will be accomplished as part of the South Garage construction in Phase I. These elevators will be available for movement between the rail and bus stations and each level of the parking garage. A similar elevator will be added in Phase II between the east side of the rail station and the Transit Plaza level.
• The proponent is committed to constructing a pedestrian bridge connecting the site to the beachfront, and has committed to long-term maintenance and repair of the bridge.
• Sidewalks located along Route 1A on both sides of the street will be retained and improved as routes for local residents to walk to the station and the businesses or offices on the site.
• Sight lines and pedestrian connections pass through the proposed Transit Plaza and the pedestrian bridge from the site to the beachfront.
• These sight lines and pedestrian connections also reach to the future Revere stop on the commuter rail line west of Route 1A, through the large parking lot at Wonderland Park, now used for daytime commuter parking (and a future development site).
• The site has connections to regional trails and paths – beachfront and the north-south Border to Boston trail which connects to the Northern Strand Community Trail (aka Bike to the Sea Trail).
• The crosswalk at Route 1A and the access to the MBTA South Parking Garage is moved to the north side of the intersection. Nearly 400 people cross here daily according to August 2008 counts. At the north side of the intersection, pedestrians will be able to have a traffic signal cycle and not be at risk to the many right turning vehicles entering the South Garage site.

 

There are certain remaining concerns that are raised by our review of the FEIR:

• Alternatives should be explored to connect the Transit Plaza with adjacent parcels such as the Water’s Edge Apartments south of the Transit Plaza. Such a connection might be beneficial to this project because it could attract additional walkers to and through the site, either to the MBTA station or the beachfront.
• The Seaside Site, a parcel surrounded by this project but not included in these plans, is largely ignored. Pedestrian connections between this site and the north and south parts of this project and to the MBTA station and parking garages seem sketchy at best.
• A new crosswalk is planned at the intersection of Shawmut Street and the vehicular connection to the MBTA North Parking Garage. When the crosswalk is constructed, pedestrians should be provided with an adequate traffic signal interval to cross the street safely.
• Pedestrian circulation on the west side of the Transit Plaza at the entrance to the Blue Line station is shown in some detail in Figure F-2. The proposed Phase I South Parking Garage on MBTA property has a covered bus terminal directly adjacent to the Blue Line platform for easy pedestrian transfer between bus and rail services. The first floor of the Garage also houses kiss-and-ride and garage ramps. Pedestrian access between the drop-off lanes and the rail station appear to require crossing the bus lanes, and may be unsafe.
• Improvement of the pedestrian environment along Ocean Avenue is needed. Curb cuts for parking access along Ocean Avenue dominate the environment and only 6 widely separated crosswalks connect the site and the beachfront park.
• Existing pedestrian ramps at Wonderland Station provide pedestrian access up and over the station, independent of elevators. However, the ramps appear to be removed as part of the Phase II construction of the Transit Plaza and replaced by a monumental stairway. Will new construction include a physical replacement of the pedestrian ramps? If so, where will they be located in respect to the Transit Plaza, the MBTA train station and the MBTA bus station?
• The plan calls for elevators to be constructed on both sides of Wonderland Station to allow alighting riders to go up and over the station to reach either connecting buses or parking facilities. At the Transit Plaza level, peak period pedestrian movements may be significant, and may require generous connections between elevators, stairs and ramps. Perhaps these Transit Plaza pedestrian connections could be covered to protect transit riders from severe weather conditions? How many elevators are planned to accommodate peak hour pedestrian traffic between travel modes and the Transit Plaza? What volume of peak hour pedestrian traffic is expected?
• Can MBTA operating plans for arriving Blue Line trains at Wonderland Station be modified to reflect access to connecting buses? Currently, both inbound and outbound bus access takes place on the outbound side of the transit station, giving a direct at-grade route for alighting passengers to walk to buses, but requiring inbound pedestrians to climb up and over the station to the inbound tracks. In this proposal, future inbound access to rail from arriving buses will be at-grade on the inbound side of the transit station, and require outbound passengers to cross up and over the tracks to the outbound buses. Is it possible that arriving trains could be routed to the inbound side of the station, where they would have the same cross-platform access to buses without using stairs, ramps or elevators? Is it possible that this change in train routing could obviate the need to construct a Transit Plaza elevator on the east side of the tracks?

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for Waterfront Square at Revere Beach. We hope our comments on the FEIR are incorporated into your requirements for the next phase of design and permitting documents. Please contact us for any clarification or additional comments that would be useful.

 

Sincerely,

Wendy Landman
Executive Director

Robert Sloane
Senior Planner

Riverwalk Redevelopment Lawrence Comment Letter

Riverwalk Redevelopment Lawrence Comment Letter

April 24, 2009

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 Notification Form (EENF) for the Proposed Riverwalk Redevelopment in Lawrence.

EOEA #14389

Dear Secretary Bowles:

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Expanded Environmental Notification Form (EENF) for the Proposed Riverwalk Redevelopment in Lawrence. We are pleased to see redevelopment where it can bring significant economic benefits, and especially where it affords the opportunities for new or expanded pedestrian facilities. Our understanding is that the project is looking for a Phase I waiver to allow initial demolition and construction of relatively modest buildings. These initial moves set the stage for the larger Phase II.

Riverwalk is located on the banks of the Merrimack River, but is separated from the river by a strip of land owned privately and occupied principally by a very wide municipal easement, consisting of a large sewer pipe, covered by a wide granite slab. This strip of land has long been planned by the City to be a pedestrian walkway along the Merrimack, and its existing design condition lends itself well to this purpose.

We are concerned that the Riverwalk project may be turning its back on the City’s proposed riverfront pedestrian improvements. The project as shown in this document could be substantially improved to ameliorate this situation. We suggest the following improvements:

  1.  One driveway in the project now occupies much of the waterfront side of this property on the north. This driveway appears to be designed primarily for truck access to one existing building (the Cotton Mill) and one proposed structure (the proposed commercial building of 3 stories.) It will be a lost opportunity if the site’s entire river frontage becomes pavement to serve this truck access. Consideration should be given to relocating most of the truck access further into the site interior. While trucks will continue to need access to the redeveloped Cotton Mill, it is on the east side of the site and can be accommodated by a service road connection that leaves options open for further use of the river frontage of the site.
  2. If truck access were removed from most of the river frontage of the site, more benign pedestrian-oriented use could be made of this advantageous waterfront location. Parkland could be added, and if a large commitment of outdoor space can be made, it can provide amenities for employees and visitors to existing and proposed buildings on a scale that is difficult to find in other cities.
  3. If parkland could be provided along the riverfront, the layout of the site might be reconsidered to focus all of the buildings toward the river, its views and its amenities. In practice this would suggest that pedestrian walkways be added between all the site’s buildings and the water’s edge. For example, walkways across the large parking lot might be provided and emphasized with landscaping to provide a major pedestrian connection between the river and the Wood Mill. We understand that sidewalk access from the Cotton Mill to the river already exists on the east side of the site. River access from all proposed new buildings should also be provided through the use of a sidewalk network that connects to all parts of the site and its buildings. In some cases, this may mean that the sidewalks might have a dedicated right-of-way that is not located alongside a new street.
  4. Where roadways are proposed on the site, they should include sidewalks, and most of the proposal indicates that to be the case. However, along the frontage of the Wood Mill (included in Phase II), no sidewalks are provided. As the project moves into more detailed design, truck and pedestrian access will be clarified. At that point, sidewalks should be provided to the principal entrance on the parking lot side of the Wood Mill.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the EENF for the Proposed Riverwalk Redevelopment. Please contact us for any clarification or additional comments that you may need.

Sincerely,

Wendy Landman                               Robert Sloane
Executive Director                             Senior Planner