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State nearly set to advertise project to add traffic lights to dangerous Roslindale parkway intersection, but questions remain

DCR planners told the Longfellow Area Neighborhood Association last night they hope to go out to bid this spring for a contractor to add traffic signals and do related intersection changes where Walter Street meets Centre Street in Roslindale.

But operators of a day care and food pantry at the intersection say the proposal would create more problems than it would solve, at least for them, because the proposed stop line for drivers heading towards Dedham would be just a couple feet away from the church's main driveway onto Centre, effectively blocking anybody trying to leave, especially at rush hour.

DCR planners Patrice Kish, Jason Santos and Val Soroka said their plans are 100% complete and now included dedicated pedestrian-crossing lights so that pedestrians can cross from one side of the intersection to the other without worrying about cars with "concurrent" access to make a turn. Planners told Longfellow residents they hope to formally request bids by June 30, with a goal of starting construction by Labor Day - to be completed by 2026.

Michelle McDougall, executive director of the Little Amigos daycare next to the Trinity Lutheran Church, says she supports the basic idea of the project. She said she would love to be able to safely walk her kids across what is now basically an impassable traffic chasm on a field trip to the Arboretum.

But with the proposed stop line right at her driveway, it would be virtually impossible for parents picking up their children at rush hour to get out. And there are issues getting to the daycare and the church from Roslindale or point south: Somebody could drive up to Allandale Street and make a U-turn, except that intersection is marked to prohibit U-turns - and, in any case, the short turn lane there often backs up at rush hour.

One possible solution - connecting the church parking lot to the one at the neighboring Sophia Snow senior-citizen complex and its driveway, on the other side of the intersection - failed because Sophia Snow expressed concerns about the potential impact of more cars on its property affecting its elderly residents.

The planners said they would meet again with the traffic consultants hired for the project to see if there is a solution to the problem, which they said they had not heard before - although they acknowledged that the original project manager for the project was no longer working on it.

They told the neighborhood group that they have secured most of the agreements they need with the city, the Arnold Arboretum and the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center to begin the work. Final approval is still required from the Boston Conservation Commission - because part of the project includes land near Bussey Brook, which crosses under Walter Street from behind the Hebrew Center to flow through the Arboretum, - but they said they are not expecting any holdups there because they have been working closely with the commission for years on what has now become a nearly ten-year project to do something about the intersection.

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Comments

When are they going to enfore the cross section dysfunction at Forest Hills Station on the Hyde Park Avenue side? Grid lock. No crosswalk in sight because it is covered with vehicles. Stand and watch what happens every single morning (and evening) during rush hour. Selfish, pissed-off-at-life drivers who move their vehicles 2 more inches onto the crosswalk because they don't want to miss the next green light. You don't need to hire a traffic consultant. You need to hire a traffic director armed with one of this t-shirt shooters, but stuffed with sheet rock screws instead of t-shirts. Any masshole drivers wanna be massholes and their doors get pelted.

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Voting closed 39

After coming off of the Battle Of Kursk level excitement of the rotary at the Arboretum one should enjoy the only slightly less intense game of "I think I can take this left hand turn and make it" at Hebrew Rehab.

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Voting closed 54

Their driveway is basically in the middle of the intersection; this problem could be solved by moving the new stop line north of the driveway and giving the driveway its own (short) dedicated green light.

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Voting closed 28

The safety of pedestrians is more important than drivers having to wait longer at a stop light. This shouldn't be debatable.

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Voting closed 62

I live very close to this intersection and it must be one of the top 10 most dangerous in the city - for cars and people! There are car accidents there so frequently that I’m surprised they don’t just permanently post a state trooper and a tow truck. This needs to be turned into a normal intersection with a light ASAP and the challenges with the church driveway do not strike me as something that should stop this project. I also think that once normal law and order driving is established with the new light, it will not be impossible for people to get out of that driveway (even at rush hour).

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Voting closed 32

.

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Voting closed 12

Traffic lights are only going to make this intersection worse, like they so often do.

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Voting closed 24

Like how they want to take out the rotaries further north, but this intersection is so bad even bad lights will be an improvement.

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And left off the story is that this is not just an issue of a daycare and food pantry. This is Trinity Lutheran Church. The changes would force Sunday worshipers, all of them, coming from points south on Centre or VFW, as well as from the east up Walter, to travel over a mile to the rotary at the Arborway, and another mile-plus back just to get to the church. And there is no 38 bus on Sundays. That church never had a seat at the table.

The daycare is a guest in that building having been displaces from the Faulkner Hospital due to its construction. The food pantry is a serious community need that never has left overs and often cannot supply everyone when they set up on Sundays.

For the DCR to say they never heard of this is disingenuous, and also wreaks of ignorance. Clearly someone was out there to look things over more than once and take measurements and pictures. You can't miss that is a church.

You have to also wonder what the neighborhood group was thinking. Did they even say something about the church?

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Voting closed 24

What intersection is not in top ten in terms of dangerousness?

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That intersection is unnecessarily massive. A light won't fix it.

It needs a redesign (and maybe also a light). Walter street shouldn't split like that - it should meet Centre at a simple right angle. This would also put the church driveway farther from the intersection, which isn't the point but it's what they want.

What's the history of the church and the road? Did they build the church before or after Centre was a 4 lane road? Because if after, they have no reason to complain about how hard it is to make left hand turns. It's always more difficult to turn across 2 lanes of traffic than 1, If they wanted easy access from the south, they could have located in a place with easy access from the south.

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Voting closed 19

And make a rotary there... One with a walk light like the rotary at VFW parkway and West Roxbury parkway.
Cuz it's currently a rotary, but with the right of way the opposite... Which just leads to a build up of traffic, trying to turn left onto Walter, fighting traffic, trying to take a left onto centre.
Also would require the least amount of curb stone realignment.

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Voting closed 12