A MassDOT spokesperson reports the city told MBTA directors today it's ready to seriously map out how to get a dedicated bus lane on the narrow Washington Street between Forest Hills and Roslindale Square:
Public outreach for idea planned in the Spring.
In the past, city planners have looked at the idea of a reversible lane for both T buses and bicyclists that would run towards Forest Hills in the morning and towards Roslindale Square in the evening. The move would require the elimination of some parking on the street - but officials have said studies have shown most of the people who park on that stretch of Washington Street are commuters trying to get to Forest Hills from elsewhere, rather than residents of the street.
The stretch of Washington Street has become a chokehold for bus service to and from areas south of Forest Hills both because pretty much every bus line to Roslindale and West Roxbury uses it, often leading to conga lines of buses that sit in traffic, exacerbated of late by the Arborway and Forest Hills road and T-stop construction.
The Boston 2030 transportation plan, released in May, also calls for installing new traffic signals that would give priority to buses.
Using a reserved transit lane on Washington Street and bus signal priority, all existing bus service between Roslindale and Forest Hills would be able to operate clear of traffic congestion, greatly increasing transit speed, capacity, and reliability. The transit lane could be reversible, and flexible curb regulations would preserve vehicle capacity in the peak direction. With these bus service improvements, existing services could serve more riders in Roslindale and in points further south. In the long term, this route could utilize abandoned rail tracks that extend to Hyde Park, potentially bringing rapid bus to even more underserved residents.