City officials are asking residents to weigh in on a multi-agency effort to improve the Quincy Street corridor. Potential improvements include crosswalks at intersections, better street lighting, highly visible signs, and bike lanes.
Jeremy Rosenberger, a senior planner with the Boston Redevelopment Authority whose agency hopes to “soften the image of the corridor,” said the layout is a “bit hostile for pedestrians. “There’s a lot of congestion, a lot of dangerous pedestrian connections out there,” he said.
Mayor Thomas Menino has allocated about $3 million for the effort, but it could cost more, particularly if the 11 intersections that run through the corridor see changes.
The BRA hosted a public meeting last Wednesday at the Haynes Early Education Center on Blue Hill Avenue in Roxbury. Residents have registered complaints with the city, calling the current setup of streets unsafe for pedestrians.
“The concepts will address ways to slow down traffic on Quincy Street, try and see if we can eliminate any cut-through traffic, making it safer for pedestrians and making the street more friendly for the neighborhood,” said Vineet Gupta, director of planning for the city’s Transportation Department.
The improvements come as federal housing officials have set aside $20.5 million for the revitalization of the Quincy Street area, which is home to about 8,900 low-income families.
Quincy Commons, a project with 40 units of affordable elderly housing, is under construction. Another project, known as Quincy Heights, will include the redevelopment of 129 existing homes and break ground in the coming months. A third piece of the area’s redevelopment is a former factory, which is being converted into a space for small businesses.
The BRA has been charged with coming up with a preliminary design plan for the so-called Quincy Corridor, which has 11 intersections and stretches down Quincy Street from Blue Hill Avenue to Columbia Road. Two bus routes go through the area: Route 16, from Forest Hills to JFK/UMass, and Route 45, which travels Blue Hill Avenue from Ruggles Station to the Franklin Park Zoo.
Side streets that fall within the boundaries of the project include Dacia Street, Perth Street, Howard Avenue, Dunkeld Street, Mascoma Street, Magnolia Street, Ceylon Street, and Baker and Drayton avenues.
Boston-based Cecil Group put together a presentation made to residents last week, which states that there are “pedestrian safety issues” at the Quincy Street and Magnolia Strete intersection, that a crosswalk is necessary at the intersection at Howard Avenue, that the sidewalks are too narrow, and that there is a lack of benches and trash cans along the corridor.
The multi-agency improvement effort is expected to last six to eight months and includes the BRA, the Department of Neighborhood Development, the Boston Transportation Department, the Department of Public Works, and the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services.
“We’ve got every department in the city meeting on a very regular basis,” said Sheila Dillon, the head of the Department of Neighborhood Development. The effort would be implemented starting in 2015, according to the Cecil Group presentation.
More information on the effort is available at QuincyCorridor.org.