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Plaza, bike lanes, fewer parking spaces proposed for Comm. Ave. in Allston

Pedestrian plaza proposed for Harvard/Comm intersection

The City of Boston Public Works Department last night presented new plans for the reconstruction of Commonwealth Avenue between Brighton Avenue (Packard’s Corner) and Warren/Kelton Streets.

To create space for wider sidewalks and dedicated space for people biking, it was proposed that left-side angled parking be removed from the carriage road and any remaining angled parking be reconfigured to parallel parking along the curb.

A focus of this meeting was the proposal to truncate the inbound carriage road at Royce Road, allowing the last block before Harvard Ave to become a pedestrian plaza in front of the TD Bank and Inbound Pizza. On the north (outbound) side, the position of the MBTA tracks makes a similar plaza difficult, but attendees asked for that attention to be given to that side of the intersection too.

Eight-foot wide bike lanes (or possibly cycletracks) were proposed for the left sides of the carriage roads. It was not clear how or if the City's proposal would physically separate this space from the travel lane. Traffic volume and speed should be much lower in the carriage road than the main section of the road.

The most popular comments of the evening came from Doug Bacon, owner of The Avenue Bar & Grille on Comm Ave near Harvard Ave. Doug bemoaned the narrow sidewalk in front of The Avenue and said that he would gladly have fewer parking spaces in front of the building if that allowed creation of a wider and more inviting sidewalk.

A new crosswalk in Packard's Corner was suggested for the inbound side of the intersection. Many people agreed this would be an improvement, but some also requested the direct connection from Naples Road to Star Market which was not proposed by the City.

The intersections with Allston Street and Warren/Kelton will be discussed at a future meeting, though the danger of these locations and past accidents were acknowledged.

Comments are due by November 25 to [email protected]
Project Website: http://keepbostonmoving.org/portfolio/commonwealth-avenue-phase-3-and-4/

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Comments

The UHub parking wars rage on!

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WHO WILL STAND UP FOR THEM?

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I think you know who.

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has Markkkkkkk weighed in yet?

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This is a main street in a heavily commercial area. It's different than the other recent proposals discussed here because those were much more residential, so people are going to have less of an issue with this. Quick sarcastic comments without looking at the actual situation don't add anything.
The one only thing you did tell everyone is that you think it's OK to make fun of people's accents.

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#BostonAccentLivesMattah

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American accent? How about a Hispanic accent (many kinds), or an Indian (India) accent, or an effeminate gay man's lisp/accent? No to all the above. But the Boston accent to you is most likely synonymous with an uneducated 'townie' (most of whom don't have one of those super sophisticated Greenwich, CT or Middle America sccents), so it's cool to gratuitously ridicule them.

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Someday you will grow up, or assimilate into the highly desirable region of eastern MA, transplant. We have some of the best public schools in the city and suburbs in the country. Until then, you are just a new arrival behaving in an immature fashion.

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I was born here, pendejo. With the off-and-on exception of four years in Vermont and two in Australia, I've lived here all my life. It doesn't mean I can't poke fun at the accent, and it doesn't mean I don't have affection for that very same accent.

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> This is a main street in a heavily commercial area

And there are still 5 lanes in the most commercial part and 6 lanes on the rest of this stretch.

As opposed to 2 lanes on the Harvard Ave and 4 lanes on Brighton Ave, the other main streets that actually are both more commercial than Comm Ave in this area.

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Dont forget the loading zones , to fit modern day sized equipment!

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These buildings (both on the north and south sides of Comm) have alleys behind them. The only trucks I ever see there are USPS/UPS/FedEx.

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Not always the case........
IMAGE(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xIQUIcyoWWI/Th3fbrTJ0XI/AAAAAAAD88U/ys4NkbkGlcQ/s1600/YELLOW+ROADWAY+MACK+TRACTOR+TRAILER+TRUCK+Day+Cab%252CYellow+Roadway+YRC+Trucking+Georgia+.JPG)

IMAGE(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-DB4mVylfNnM/UtqVoBi0oII/AAAAAAAGeWg/WJYQ2IaHykQ/s1600/JACKSON+BEVERAGES+Griffin+Georgia,+Miller+Lite+Beer+Dry+Van+Lift+Gate+Trailer,+International+Day+Cab+Truck++Miller+Brewing+Co.+Beer+Store+Delivery+GA..JPG)

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Our roads aren't designed to handle 18-Wheelers......well, unless you consider double parking/driving over curbs/killing cyclists to be of no consequence.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CR7zy3dXAAAG2Vv.jpg

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Count again , 14 not 18. Those are city trucks. And how many drivers do that ?, drive over curbs and kill cyclists? If there were enough, or in some cases, any , loading zones , there would be less double parking. You are in denial of the need for loading zones.

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Our roads aren't designed to handle 14-Wheelers......well, unless you consider double parking/driving over curbs/killing cyclists to be of no consequence.

And how many drivers do that ?, drive over curbs and kill cyclists?

I see em driving over curbs all the time on the roads they can't fit on. You know how many have killed.

You are in denial of the need for loading zones.

I've advocated for loading zones in the place of parking zones many times on these threads. You are in denial that 14-wheelers and larger trucks belong on roads that weren't designed for their usage.

Also pretty cute that those 2 trucks don't seem to be "parked" legally either.

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Spin , you dont seem to be advocating now, you are actually anti loading zones here, or you are advocating loading zones for fantasyworld. Those trucks in the picture are in private parking lots, nothing illegal there. And they are street legal, and have been much longer than you have been around.

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...while also advocating for loading zones, which I would hope smaller trucks can handle without having to drive over curb cuts, people or cyclists.

Trucks in that picture could be in a private lot sure, could also be public lot. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

"Street legal" really doesn't mean much when those trucks can't actually drive legally on our roads.

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those are city trucks.

I lived on the corner of Commonwealth and Walbridge for two years, and turns out, all of the 14-wheelers delivering to CVS, the late not lamented Joshua Tree, and Brookline Liquor Mart used Walbridge as their turnaround at 4 am.

Many a truck like that (CVS, Coke, Pepsi, various beer companies) woke me up in the wee hours of the morning, right in between "drunk undergrads walking home from the bar and yelling WOO" hour ending and "random toddlers on those riding toys with plastic wheels that make that awful scraping noise that they then fall off of while crying loudly" beginning.

Oddly, "Green Line screeching around a curve" didn't bother me, though I'd wake up confused at 5:07 or so every rainy/snowy morning when the squealing was muffled.

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Loading is addressed in the plan as is access for fire trucks.

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!

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that i'm not the only one that saw the headline and fully expected the comments section to be a shit show

the day is still young, however

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Its allston, no one cares about it here ;)

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Who needs parking spaces in Allston? Those college kids that go clubbing.

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Not sure how related this is, but I recently received notice of an Abutter Meeting at 15 Brainerd Road for a proposal to "combine 2 land parcels to create a new 11,037 sq. ft. lot and erect a 5 story residential building". Presumably this would be near Royce, between Brainerd and Comm. (ie directly behind the development detailed here). The neighborhood is quickly changing!

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Are they building this in the parking lot?? I don't drive so I don't really care, just hoping they are not tearing something down. The notice I received didn't make it really clear (to me anyway).

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I couldn't find much either, just that the meeting will either be on Wednesday 10/28 or Thursday 10/29 (but definitely not Thursday 10/28, as printed). Completely agree though, I'm all for building over the parking lot, but don't see the need to replace any of the existing residences

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Nothing will be torn down, the SF given corresponds exactly to the SF for the parking. For some odd reason, the parking lot is two lots with two different owners. The lots would be combined and used for the building.

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A CROSSWALK AT PACKARDS?! NO MORE DRUNK STUDENTS DRIVING DOWN THE TROLLEY TRACKS?!

Sounds like heaven! So un-Rat City like.

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But without some policing all the homeless, dealers, and alcoholics will have run of this plaza. Which is a bummer because I have to go down this street to get home. I avoid Kelly's because the harassment sucks. At least 70% of the time, you can't make it around that corner without a couple "compliments."

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...and I don't live in the area (but I'm there maybe once or twice a week), but didn't Kelly's close several years ago?

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Yup. But they still hangout out front at the bus stop, which is covered in nips, butts, and other garbage. I hope when something opens, it'll be a bit better.

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With any luck, that'll soon be a Five Guys... but you're right, somebody needs to clean up the bus-stop or it won't make a difference.

http://www.universalhub.com/2015/failed-allston-roast-beef-place-could-b...

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It was announced on Eater Boston this week, and there are signs in the windows for 5 Guys deliveries to go to the rear of the building. I'll never be skinny... I may as well give up now lol.

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I think 99% of the time I have mine in, with music turned up. I've forgotten how bad the gauntlet of cat calls from junkies can be.

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Unfortunately can't look at the presentation now, but I thought the original idea was to move the Green Line reservation to be moved between the two directions of traffic along Comm Ave (i.e. instead of inbound-inbound-outbound-Green Line-outbound, it would be inbound-inbound-Green Line-outbound-outbound). It doesn't sound like this is the case any longer?

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the proposal shown last night assumes the Green Line stays where it is, and is widened slightly to accommodate future platform improvements & ADA accessibility

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The green line crossing from outer median to center median at Warren st screws up the floor of traffic something fierce on Warren street in the evening.

The fact that the outbound carriage road is two-way is also a pretty big wtf.

It would almost be better to get rid of the carriage roads entirely in favor of bike lanes and more angle in parking and move the tracks down the middle.

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Please don't price me out of my apartment. Please don't price me out of my apartment.

If I say it 3 times, maybe it will come true. That's my block they are "improving". I am all for it, as long as I can stay. :-)

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On (flat) paper, the idea of a cycle route on Comm Ave, either using the existing carriage road or creating new cycle tracks seems like a no-brainer. But on my bike, I usually avoid Comm Ave, especially going outbound between Allston St and Washington, because of the hills. Brighton Ave / Cambridge St / Washington St to the north, or Beacon St to the south, are much flatter and therefore more bike friendly.

What strikes me as particularly bizarre (though not in the area covered by this project) was that they recently striped the outbound carriage lane with bike lanes between Washington and Wallingford. I never use the carriage lane in that section, because it's REALLY STEEP uphill. The main road is much flatter, so I always bike there instead.

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Outbound on Comm at Warren, a cycle track could start at the median between the carriage lane and main travel lane and continue on the lower part of the adjacent neglected hillslope to greatly reduce the climb.

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I hear you on not cycling that part of Comm when going through that area. What about going to that area though? There are lots of people who live within a few blocks of that corner, who work within a few blocks of that corner, who shop within a few blocks of that corner.

For those trips on bicycle, adding infrastructure makes tons of sense.

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Wouldn't it be wonderful if some space could be used to improve Green Line efficiency and performance by collecting passenger fares before people board the trains? Was that in the discussions?

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While it sounds like a good idea, how does one keep someone from walking on the tracks to avoid a faregate? Unlike other transit lines the green line isn't fully fenced with a deep pit and a 50k volt third rail to scare scofflaws off.

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at 50,000 volts, we wouldn't have to worry about snowfall stopping the trains in winter. Other than that, your point is spot on.

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The third rail is 650 volts DC at no load.

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On the Green Line?

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Did you bother reading all the comments?

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Skim skimmery
skim skimmery
skim skim skerooooooo!

got it now.

;-)

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I went to China about a year back, they had platform doors at their bus stops too. Could do that here for a lot less than digging a subway.

Could just put card readers on the back doors of all the trolleys and recover some fares that way. People use those doors to board anyway, some might pay if there was a reader right there.

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That's not a bad idea. But discussing it in the context of one trolley stop out of dozens is rather pointless.

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I hope the cover photo on the Powerpoint isn't the final design. Necking down Harvard Ave southbound would be a serious mistake, especially for anyone who uses the 66 bus.

As I said before, it's a deal-breaker for me if this project doesn't measurably speed up the Green Line and 66.

They're widening the MBTA reservation by 6.5 feet. At platforms, this makes sense. At other locations, I don't get it.

They said this facilitates adding platforms in the future. Seriously? If they ever add or move a B line station, it will be a big enough project that they can shift the roadway just in that location.

Also it allows for secondary egress walkways at any location, or a landscaped buffer. You can't have both -- which one will it be? Why do we need emergency pedestrian lanes along the entire length of a street? Under what scenario would that ever be useful? Also note that widening the T reservation means narrowing one of the other reservations.

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When they make T stations ADA accessible, they also need to make sure they have two points of access. On the BU Bridge to Packard's Corner section, the T is planning to put the stations in the center of the block, with walkways along the tracks from intersections in both directions. The City said the T will likely do something similar in the Packard's Corner to Warren St stretch.

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