Common could get wider along Tremont Street

The Boston Business Journal reports on potential impending upgrades to Boston Common between Park Street and the visitor center, most notably narrowing the sidewalk from 48 to 20 feet, which will let the Friends of the Public Garden planting new grass and install new benches.

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    Narrowing the sidewalks is a

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    Narrowing the sidewalks is a very bad idea. How will anybody take a stroll along the park to enjoy it? That's crazy.

    If people were as wide as a bus, maybe

    When people get as fat and wide as MBTA buses, then 48' wide sidewalks might make sense for 5 wide to walk. Its clearly a huge waste of space. Its wider than 4 traffic lanes and most streets. Obese sidewalks have better uses, even as bidirectional bike tracks, with plenty width still left over.

    Turning the Tremont Street

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    Turning the Tremont Street side of the Common into something like the Boylston Street of the Public Garden would be a major improvement. Having natural shade and separation from the freeway like traffic of Tremont street would provide better respite for users of the Common and be more aesthetically appropriate. Now if only Tremont street could receive some cycle-tracks and traffic calming to end the 4-5 blocks of racing traffic between Park Street & Boylston and facilitate better access for pedestrians & cyclists.

    foolish move

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    That section can get packed with pedestrians. It's one of the very few areas in downtown Boston that has a wide sidewalk, which makes it fairly pleasant. And why the grass? Benches I understand, but a strip of grass?

    Because right now its a wide

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    Because right now its a wide strip of asphalt patches and barren flower beds that get trashed tossed into them and it affords absolutely no shade from the sun or Tremont street traffic. Pedestrians will still flow.

    Even better idea

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    Bring Tremont down to two lanes instead of totally unneeded 4 it is now.

    Give some of that space to both the vendors from DTX and allow a farmers market on the common there.

    Great ideas!

    I might split the difference and reduce it to three lanes, especially with all the bus traffic, including the extra-large Silver Line units. But would love to see more room for farmers' markets, vendors, greenery, and amenities. Anything to perk up that whole stretch could only help. But while they're at it, they REALLY have to do something about Winter Street between Tremont and Washington. It's shameful.

    What they should do

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    Is narrow the already too wide sidewalk and make parallel meter parking along Tremont Street. Contrary to what you hear, people would love to drive into the Commons and be able to park nearby.

    The above comment is practically a case study

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    Although there is a large parking garage underneath the Boston Common, this "Andrea" apparently is not happy enough with that, and instead demands more of our public realm as a place to store cars for little to no cost.

    Lesson for anyone who proposes a parking garage: this is what happens.

    For the record, there is no such thing as a "too wide sidewalk" in Boston. Narrow the roadway: why is there such a large and dangerously wide street adjacent to the Common? Do we really need drag-racing through the historic heart of Boston?

    Yes, there are too wide sidewalks

    When sidewalks are wider than 5 MBTA buses next to each other, 4 lane parkways (only 40'), bike paths (10-14'), and bike lanes (5'), the temptation is just too great for bicyclists to not ride on them and endanger pedestrians. In that case, turn part of the sidewalk into an official place for bicyclists to ride, a cycle track, so they are safer and less annoying than in the street.

    Rather than under price parking, Matthew would much rather give away public land for under priced or free use for private businesses to use for outside seating or food carts. God forbid restaurants (or bicyclists) pay the city as much or more per square foot as they do for interior space on their lease, or even as much as what parking spaces for a motorcycle or car cost per square foot for even just an hour or two.

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    Not from around here?

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    " Contrary to what you hear, people would love to drive into the Commons and be able to park nearby."

    Uh, that's "Common", not "Commons".

    Well duh.

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    Well duh.

    A road no longer a road?

    Okay. Or maybe they could take out the planters along that stretch.

    If you're going to modify the layout there, why not make one lane buses only. It's a bitch for anyone riding the Silver Line, 43, 55, etc.

    FYI: Why are there planters on Tremont Street instead of grass? Because when they put in the subway between Park Street and Boylston, they didn't leave enough dirt overhead to allow for trees to be planted.

    Works for me.

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    Take out one lane of traffic. Make one lane bus only. Keep two for city traffic.

    Yay!

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    More benches for the homeless to feed the pigeons! Seems counterproductive, to make that your Welcome to Boston committee for tourists.

    anything but what it is now

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    This area is the most trashy area in the city.
    Its loser hang out haven and almost everyone that visits the city at some point ends up walking through it.

    Its an embarrassment to the city. Most of Tremont St and Winter St. is this way.
    Walk through on a Saturday afternoon and see.

    Trash everywhere.

    I hear there is a Lovely Island the city uses as a Drug Rehab resort.
    Lets take all those looking for a nice hang out place and send them on a permanent vacation there.

    Id be willing to support that plan!

    anon123321 recommends...

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    we ship "undesirables" off to (I'm assuming) Long Island. Who exactly are these losers that we need to ship out? I wonder where anon123321 draws the line between "loser...looking for a nice hang out place" and the people who 'deserve' to be there?

    The Weatherman

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    You can't have him. He's clean, knows all the sports scores, baseball standings, and the exact weather report.

    They'll have to drag a hundred people away to haul him off. He's that well loved.

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    mmm...not sure he's loved by

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    mmm...not sure he's loved by everyone. On a couple of occasions I've seen dudes telling him to keep it down and getting into shouting matches over it. Sad.

    I agree its trashy - the city

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    I agree its trashy - the city needs to have someone with a broom and a pan out there sweeping up all day long. If any food court in a suburban mall didn't have someone cleaning up, it would be an outrage. Seeing as the city was allowing a food truck next to the fountain (at least until now) they should feel an obligation to keep the area clean throughout the day. As it is, they just clean the area in the morning and that's it.

    And as it is a public park, I'm afraid that means for everyone, but the city must do better to make visiting the area more pleasant in spite of that. Keeping it clean day-round is part of that. Also, I think benches should be minimized because they promote vagrancy - the city has the right idea with the folding chairs.

    how about wide and smooth, you know like that ADA law says

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    What pedestrians really appreciate in a downtown area like Tremont Street are wide and smooth sidewalks. As a wheelchair user, it's really nice when I don't have to constantly stop because the sidewalks are too narrow for me.

    I oppose of this because it

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    I oppose of this because it is in my nature to oppose to everything that does not stay the same.