MassDOT Oakdale Street Parcel to Remain Community Garden; Four Parcels Sold

Several parcels put up for public bidding by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) were recently purchased with affordable housing required as part of some of the purchases. MassDOT held a public meeting in June 2017 to provide an overview of seven parcels and present a draft for proposal requests. After several public meetings to solicit feedback the bid guidelines and parcels were altered. MassDOT incorporated several revisions that the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) asked for, as well as from public feedback, according to an email to Jamaica Plain News from Carolyn Royce, chair of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council Housing & Economic Development Committee. The parcel at 8 Oakdale Street was not put up for bid and will remain a community garden said Royce, and four parcels ended up being sold.

Plane trees planted by Casey Arborway, Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Casey Arborway: Tree Planting Continues Two Years After Clearcutting

Tree by tree, sections of the Casey Arborway are being replanted. On Tuesday, resident Clay Harper noticed 21 plane trees being planted along the western section of the massive project. The plantings come two years after clearcutting of hundreds of trees around Forest Hills Station. By the time the road realignment project is completely done - current estimates put that at Spring 2018 - MassDOT says the area will have 400 more trees than when the project began. We've been following the Casey Arborway project's ups and down for years.

File photo: Commuters will soon see signs like this again, pictured on Sept. 6, 2016, as the T shutters one track at Forest Hills from March 25 through June.

Starting March 25, Forest Hills Station Back Down to One Track

Forest Hills Station will be taken back down to one track starting March 25 as part of the Casey Arborway project. The plan is the same as from when the T shut down one track from September through December. This time, instead of installing a jet fan needed for the new station entrance north of New Washington Street, the closure will make it easier to do electric work and build "underground elements" required by the massive project, MassDOT said in an advisory issued Wednesday. During the last stretch of one-track operation, the T said its plan for rush hour would not cause added delays. The September-December closure allowed the following work on the Casey Arborway project to be done:

Jet fans installed to ventilate the station.

Possible route of Orange Line extension along Commuter Rail line

Orange Line Extension to Rozzie Square Envisioned

A giant report on how to overhaul the city's transportation system includes an item of keen interest for JP residents: An extension of the Orange Line from Forest Hills to Roslindale Square. City Hall published the report Tuesday. The full 224 pages are required reading for transit advocates. But many neighborhood residents might focus on page 157. It describes how Orange Line riders could get a one-seat ride all the way to Rozzie Square by using track next to the commuter rail bed.

Detail of official Casey Arborway plan showing new entrance to Forest Hills T north of New Washington Street.

Explainer: Why is Forest Hills Down to One Track?

If you've passed through Forest Hills Station since Saturday, you know only one of the two tracks is in use. Why? The short answer is for Casey Arborway construction. The platform will stay down to one track through December. The MBTA has said it has a plan for rush hour so the closure won't cause added delays.