City and state officials today announced a series of traffic-improvement steps to keep the burgeoning Innovation District from choking on its own success, ranging from the mundane - better lane markers on the Moakley Bridge - to a new ferry service between East Boston and South Boston, scheduled to start sometime next year.
The city will use a $1.3 million federal grant to help pay for two ferries to shuttle commuters between the two waterfront communities; East Boston had long been promised ferry service.
"The MBTA will assess and improve service in the Innovation District on key commuter bus lines such as the #4 and #7 within the next year," the city says. Absent were any announcements of improvements to Silver Line service.
Other plans include:
- "Time to Destination" electronic signs will be installed in the area in November;
- " Restriping the road surface on the Moakley Bridge, a major route in and out of the district, to guide motorists to travel lanes to I-93 and other destinations, preventing tie-ups caused by confusion;"
- A detailed traffic study of 63 intersections in the district and along the Greenway
- "Smart" parking meters that will be able to tell a smartphone app where the available parking in the area is;
- Creation and enforcement of "Don't block the box" boxes at Seaport Boulevard and Sleeper Street and Atlantic Avenue and Summer Street;
- Look at opening the haul road and the Ted Williams HOV lane to all traffic while the Callahan Tunnel is shut for repairs;
- More Hubway stations in the district next spring.
Also, the Northern Avenue Bridge will get new "architectural decorative LED lights" by the end of the month, even as the city and residents try to figure out what to do with the hulky old span.