Casey Arborway Milestone: Shea Square Stoplights to Go Live Thursday

Casey Arborway, Dec. 11, 2016

Chris Helms

Casey Arborway, Dec. 11, 2016

Jamaica Plain’s “Little Dig” — AKA the Casey Aborway — is scheduled to pass a key benchmark this week.

Shea Circle, the part of the Arborway where Franklin Park meets the main entrance to Forest Hills Cemetery, will take a giant step toward becoming Shea Square. The stop lights in the new configuration are to be turned on for the first time on Thursday.

Transportation planners say a signalized intersection will be more efficient than the large circle it is replacing. Here’s what the finished product should look like:

Detail: Shea Square final design

MassDOT

Detail: Shea Square final design

Here are the details on which traffic movements will be affected the next two weeks, as outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation:

On or about December 15th the traffic signal will control Shea Square for the first time. During this initial period of signal control, motorists should note:

Eastbound (towards Franklin Park) traffic seeking to access Morton Street behind the West Roxbury District Court or Arborway Gardens must use the new frontage road.

Eastbound traffic from the courthouse, Arborway Gardens, Washingtonian Court or Orchardhill Road, seeking to travel west on the Arborway will need to:

  • Turn left onto Cemetery Road
  • Turn left onto Forest Hills Street
  • Turn right onto the westbound Arborway

Eastbound traffic from the courthouse, Arborway Gardens, Washingtonian Court or Orchardhill Road, seeking to access Circuit Drive through Franklin Park will need to:

  • Travel east along Morton Street
  • Turn right after the American Legion Highway Bridge
  • Turn right on American Legion Highway
  • Turn left at the intersection of Canterbury and Kingbird Street to access Morton Street westbound and return to Circuit Drive at Shea Square.

Westbound traffic (towards the Arnold Arboretum) seeking to access Morton Street behind the West Roxbury District Court or Yale Terrace will need to:

  • Continue west on the Arborway, bearing left§ Turn left at Washington Street
  • Turn left onto the frontage roadway

Travel east to Morton Street or Yale Terrace

On or about Dec. 23, Shea Square will take on its final traffic configuration with all movements accommodated.

Eastbound traffic from the courthouse, Arborway Gardens, Washingtonian Court or Orchardhill Road, seeking to travel west on the Arborway will be able to take a left onto the Arborway westbound or cross the Square to access Circuit Drive.

See all our Casey Arborway coverage here.

  • Clay Harper

    Expectations management: this week is an important step, but it won’t be until on or about Dec. 23rd that traffic signal coordination will be achieved from Cemetery Rd to South Street along the Arborway for the first time. That is the milestone that *should* lead to improved flow.

  • James Wylie

    Pretty sure myth busters proved traffic circles are more efficient. And judging by how backed up this new ‘square’ of ours is, I would say job horribly done.

    • JamaicaPlainNews

      Great tip! I found the episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvNO8LWVfAg

      My understanding of the argument made by the Casey engineers is that big circles (like the the old Shea Circle) perform worse than small circles. I don’t know if a small circle would have worked for that intersection, though.

      • James Wylie

        Obviously we will have to see how it plays out, but as somebody who goes through that intersection every morning and evening during rush hour, it is certainly worse so far. Long wait on Morton st in the mornings, and a long wait on forest hills dr in the evenings.