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Developer lops units off proposed Brighton project

Proposed 139 Washington St. in Brighton

Archictect's rendering, showing Washington Street and Monastery Road.

AvalonBay yesterday submitted revised plans for a proposed two-building development at 139 Washington St. that show 210 residential units - down from the 250 it wanted - and the elimination of a planned driveway onto Washington Street.

In its latest filing with the BPDA, the developer says its 3.3-acre proposal - sandwiched between the Fidelis Way project and the old monastery land on which another developer has proposed several hundred units - "seeks to create a seamless
landscape design that will enhance the neighborhood environment."

AvalonBay is proposing two five-story buildings - one with 180 apartments and one with 30 condos. A total of 24 units will have three bedrooms.

Vehicle access would be from Fidelis Way, rather than directly from Washington Street. The company is proposing 220 parking spaces, as well as 11 permit spaces along a rebuilt Fidelis Way that would be reserved for the Fidelis Way project.

The rental building has been modified to occupy a smaller footprint on the site, which allows for more generous setbacks on all four sides, and now features a U-shaped plan allowing the central courtyard to face the open space across Monastery Driveway and create a visual connection between the two spaces. Parking and access for the Project is now proposed on Fidelis Way, and the Project eliminates the existing curb cut on Washington Street. Pedestrian connections on all sides of the Project will be improved by reconnection Washington Street, Fidelis Way, and Monastery Path with upgraded public improvements. The condominium building contains approximately 30 units, and the parking ratio for the entire Project provides over one space per unit.

AvalonBay hopes to begin construction early next year, with the project finished in two years.

Revised 139-149 Washington St. plans (53M PDF).

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Comments

Once again, too much parking and not enough housing. :(

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So how much parking would you want?

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I'd like to see fewer than 1 spot per unit. The (implicit, strong) expectation would be that people have 0 or 1 autos, not 0 or 1 or 2.

I ride the 65 bus -- more folks living on Washington St without an auto means more riders. Perhaps that results in more runs per day and even, (gasp!), service on Sundays.

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Ask Southie residents how that works, even with exponential growth. You may see a few more 65s in, say, 2029.

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BPDA, or as my neighbors call them Alt-BRA, held a community forum tonight for Allston Brighton and Cassie Hurd live tweeted it. Click to read the whole thread.

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The T actually is now adding buses to the Southie routes. So yes, adding riders does eventually result in additional capacity.

https://blog.mass.gov/transportation/mbta/mbta-south-boston-bus-routes-s...

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Unfortunately, it took 12 years of pleading and overstuffed buses for it to happen.

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Its 1 spot per apartment plus 10 for guests. Yes, the B line and the 57 are right there, but in fairness have you ridden the B LINE?

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I lived on the B line for 10 years, and made heavy use of the 57 bus too, and if you’re putting housing right next to them, there is no reason to have 1:1 parking for a building. We’re losing much-needed housing as a result.

The Green Line needs improvement, absolutely, so let’s focus on that, instead of creating an incentive to drive.

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I didn't delve into the proposal, but some of those units are likely 2-bedrooms (and 24 are 3 bedrooms.) If two people live in a 2 bedroom, it's only sensible that between the two of them, they should be allotted one parking space.

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Why is it sensible that two adults living together in an apartment have a car? Not zero, not two, but one? I'm just not following...

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You're right. There should be one parking spot per bedroom. 2 adults, 2 parking spots. People own and drive cars and still take the T to work every day.

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In order or relevance
1. Will they be rebuilding the playground or just building around it?
2. How is the cyclist riding the bicycle from astride the rear wheel?
3. My Captcha contains a homophobic slur (the one with 3 letters often taken to be a Britishism for "cig")

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The software throws random letters/numbers together. I guess there's not an offensive-words checker built in.

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Bike rider

Went back to the filing and increased the size and it becomes clearer that the "rider" is actually walking the bike across the intersection with a kid in a baby seat. But when you do this, you also discover there's a ghost couple with two ghost dogs watching them. Who are they? What tragedy happened at that site? Did Mr. Smith Brother trip on a tree root while a-huntin' squirrels with a loaded rifle?

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I don't know who that ghost couple are but they better pick up the ghost dog poo afterwards.

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Pretty sure the ghost people are supposed to be painted white so they're easily recognizable as a memorial to their own homicide. .

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But agree with other commenters. Parking ratio should really be .5 over here. I live in the area with a couple of roommates (all mid to late 20's) and only one of us owns a car. Young folks, the kind who live in these buildings and areas, don't rely on private transportation the way their parents did.

When the groups with the most sway on these developments are older community members, their bias is towards more parking so there will be less street parking issues. They don't have the same mindset of younger residents that a car is a luxury, not a necessity. Although counterintuitive, less parking leads to less cars being brought into the neighborhood.

But young working professionals don't go to community meetings. They don't get involved in the community process of developments. So the counterweight to the 'More Parking' crowd never gets heard. Developers, because they need community support to move forward with a project, make the changes that will resonate with those community members who actually turn up on weeknights to listen to proposals.

So we end up with too much parking, which leads to too many cars, which leads to more traffic and congestion, which leads to complaints about more residents making traffic and parking worse, which leads to community members asking developers to include more parking in their projects. At some point, the cycle needs to be broken. This is a beautiful looking development, but its a shame it can't be more forward-thinking.

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And when you get a job outside the city or get married and/or have a kid then you'll naturally want to leave this area to move to some place with parking? I'm just trying to figure out why the push to exclude people with cars from this particular development.

Why not just put up a moat and wall and inform anyone with a car they are not welcome in the city? I'm sure that'll do wonders for economic development.

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Have you ever heard of a building in Boston failing to find occupants because it doesn't have enough on-site parking? (Including many old buildings that have zero on-site parking.) Then, instead of mandating that a developer provide X number of spaces per unit, how about we let the market work it out? The developer will provide enough spaces to make their project financially viable and to meet the demand of the people who are their target customers/residents.

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More parking also leads to less affordability. Parking is a huge cost driver for development.

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As of 2015, according to the BPDA. The ratio of cars to households is 1.02, compared the citywide rate of 1.02.

The B line is beyond capacity, and there is very little that can be done to improve it. Three-car trains are not an option.

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