Update: On Tuesday we posted the article, “Plan to improve Southie streets was funded $25 Million in 2015 have not be implemented yet.” While a case can be made that the funding could be used towards improving streets for pedestrian safety in South Boston, now upon further investigation that was not the intent of the legislation. Here is the breakdown of the plan in question and the funds received.
What is the South Boston Waterfront Transportation Plan:
In 2014, the first of many planning meetings to discuss The South Boston Waterfront Sustainable Transportation Plan was held. The initial goal of the plan was to improve transportation in and around the South Boston waterfront, as well as improve accessibility for residents and even future residents of South Boston. ABC, or ‘A Better City,’ organized these planning meetings in conjunction with MassDOT, Massport, MCCA and the City of Boston.
The final plan was revealed in January of 2015. You can read about it here – As part of the plan’s recommendations, improvements to Day Boulevard, K Circle, Farragut Road, L Street, Summer Street are mentioned. You can check them out here. 18, 142 and 143. As part of this plan, each improvement has a description listed and the lead agency which has jurisdiction over certain roads.
Here are some excerpts:
The MassDOT handles the disbursement of funds for this plan which includes a list of suggested improvements and changes for both short-term (0-3 years) and long term (3-10 years) as well as the “Lead Agency” that handles the improvement projects once funding is received i.e. City of Boston, Massport, DCR. Both state and city streets are included in this plan in particular Day Boulevard, Farragut Road, L Street, A Street, East/West Broadway, Dorchester Ave and Old Colony Ave to name a few.
The legislation for the funding was signed by Governor Deval Patrick on April 18, 2014.
Heres the language of this legislation:
For the purpose of implementing South Station improvements; provided, that funds may be used for transportation planning, design, permitting and engineering, acquisition of interests in land, vehicle procurement, construction, construction of stations and right-of-way acquisition; and provided further, that not less than $25,000,000 shall be expended on the design and engineering of transportation improvements along the South Boston waterfront taking into consideration the recommendations of the 2014 South Boston Waterfront Transportation Plan. To read the full document visit here.
State Senator Nick Collins, who initially helped secure the funding back in 2014 as state representative said via a statement, “For years I have advocated with my colleagues for transportation safety improvements in South Boston to make our community safer. We have been able to secure adequate funding for these much needed road safety improvements. Along the way, I have advocated to prioritize investments in the South Boston neighborhood and will continue to do so until they come to fruition.”
Jacquelyn Goddard, communications director for MassDOT released the following statement to CIS:
“MassDOT and Massport co-chair an implementation group comprised of City of Boston, State, and elected officials that has been meeting regularly over the past year to deliver the main goals of the South Boston Waterfront Sustainable Transportation Plan (Plan). The goal of the group is to develop priorities from the Plan and to assist in project development. Working as a group, we have made a great deal of progress on Cypher Street, Summer Street, and Adaptive Signals. We look forward to a robust public process later this year to present these to the community. While these larger more complicated projects move through the design stages, MassDOT has been working with the City of Boston to complete short term items identified in the Plan and prioritized by the City.”
Last month, MassDOT partnered with DCR hosted a meeting to discuss safety improvements on Day Boulevard on July 17th and a follow up meeting is scheduled for mid-September.
Tracey Ganiastos, spokeswoman for the Boston Transportation Department released this statement:
“The implementation of the South Boston Waterfront Transportation Plan is well underway. In addition to the reconstruction of Summer Street, work has taken place to:
- consolidate private bus shuttles to reduce bus congestion on local streets;
- complete the City Point bus facility to improve passenger pick-up/drop-off, ensure safer pedestrian connections and provide protection during inclement weather;
- design and post pedestrian wayfinding signage;
- expand bike share service and add bike racks;
- redesign Cypher Street;
- complete a roadway safety audit of Day Boulevard;
- prepare for the installation of Adaptive Traffic Signals;
- develop a plan for ferry service to operate between North Station and the South Boston Waterfront.
These projects, as well as further pending improvements, have been accomplished as the result of a strong public/private partnership. Funding has been secured due to the efforts of A Better City, MassDOT, MassPort, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority and the City of Boston.”
South Boston Residents Want Safe Streets:
For decades South Boston residents have asked for change to dangerous streets in South Boston. Back in June, a mother and son were hit in the crosswalk at the intersection of Farragut Road and East Broadway trying to cross after a little league game. Most recently, 2 year-old Colin McGrath – was killed at the intersection of L and 6th. Last Monday, a call to action was issued by South Boston Families for Safe Streets and Sidewalks.
This past week, the City of Boston has marked the intersections along L Street near crosswalks, restricting parking 20’ from intersection. Also digital speed signs have been installed on L. Eventually “bump outs” will be constructed at the intersection with traffic lights.
On Wednesday, City Councilor Ed Flynn released a 12 point plan recommending safety improvements.
A special community meeting will be held on Thursday at 6pm to discuss traffic safety improvements in Southie with public safety and transportation officials as well as the elected officials will be in attendance. No doubt, the community will have questions on how to make our city streets safer for both pedestrians,cyclists, and motorists. The meeting will be held at the Tynan Elementary School, 650 E 4th St.