Boston's Public Works Department will be reconstructing several Jamaica Plain streets this year to grow the city's network of low-stress bike routes, and community feedback is wanted to shape the projects. This year's JP Better Bike Lanes projects include Green Street and Seaverns Avenue/Gordon Street, Eliot Street, McBride Street, and Boylston Street. There are two upcoming open houses on May 3 and May 11 (more info below) to discuss and learn more about the proposals. There will also be community walks to physically go to the streets to discuss the proposals with city personnel. Eliot Street
The Public Works Department is planning to allow bicycling in both directions on Eliot Street between the Emerald Necklace and Centre Street.
Community Preservation Act funds will be used to build a new school playground, support new affordable housing, and historically rehab several churches,
Mayor Michelle announced 56 projects will receive more than $40 million through CPA funds. The Boston City Council approved the funding on April 12. By law, projects must support the creation or preservation of affordable housing, historic sites, or open space and recreation. Since 2018, Boston has awarded more than $157 million to support 293 projects including 112 open space and recreation projects, 46 affordable housing projects, and 135 historic preservation projects, according to a press release. The following are the eight Jamaica Plain projects that are receiving funding:
361 Centre Street
$3,000,000 to partially fund an adaptive reuse rental project utilizing the vacant Blessed Sacrament Church in the Hyde Square neighborhood.
A virtual public meeting to discuss the impacts of a proposed project at 3390 Washington St., that has drastically reduced its initial proposal for residential units, will be on March 9. The project would be on a two-acre site where BMS Paper is currently located, and BMS Paper would be expanded. When it was initially proposed, the project included 160 residential units and a "moderately priced neighborhood style restaurant." The project is now for 78 residential units and off-street parking for 87 vehicles, according to the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) website. The amount of off-street parking spots has changed since the initial proposal of 195 parking spots.
With wind chills expected to be in negative double digit temperatures on Friday and Saturday, Mayor Michelle Wu declared a cold emergency in the city for Friday through Sunday. Boston Public Schools cancelled school for Friday. and BCYF locations will be activated as warming centers on Friday and Saturday, but are not substitutes for childcare. A full list of locations and their hours can be found here. “Boston is moving quickly to ensure that everyone is protected from the intense cold weather that will start Friday and last through the weekend. I want to thank the many city teams who have already begun preparations and will be responding to this weekend’s brutal cold weather,” said Wu.
The following is a summary of the Franklin Park Action Plan that includes recommendations for particular locations. Keep in mind that the Franklin Park Coalition board "regards many of these recommendations favorably," according to the plan's summary. But it is not an endorsement. The board has submitted comments on the Franklin Park Action Plan, including both endorsements and objections, to the Parks and Recreation Department in a separate document which will be made available on the Franklin Park Coalition website. You can register for a virtual public meeting hosted by the coalition about the action plan on Feb.
The Curtis Hall Community Center's gym will be closed from Jan. 30, to March 2, for floor refinishing, painting, and more thanks to the Boston Celtics and TD Bank, according to boston.gov.
The full work includes:
Gym floor work/refurbishing (repairs, sanding, coating, lines/logos/designs, finish sealing)
Wall painting and repairs on both lower and upper walls
Wall graphics on select areas
Repairs to all 4 backboard/hoops with the possible addition of 2 side backboard to increase playing capacity (should budget allow)
Gym users can check the BCYF boston.gov registration page to find where their program has moved due to the closure. Nearly all BCYF Curtis Hall gym programming has been relocated to other BCYF centers during the gym closure. Other areas of the building are not affected.
So far the plans to renovate the Flaherty Playground have not included a dog area. But after hearing from residents through an online survey and public meetings, it has been made clear to Boston Parks and Recreation personnel that a dog area is desired. With that in mind, a single plan that incorporates that feedback heard thus far, particularly with a dog area, which hadn't been incorporated into designs before, will be presented at the next community meeting about the playground's renovations. The meeting will be held on Feb. 7 at 6 pm and can be attended via Zoom at this link bit.ly/Flaherty4.
Mayor Michelle Wu announced the release of the new Franklin Park Action Plan, a 230-page report that provides a vision for the future of the 527-acre park. Already the city wants the public to share their perspectives on the plan and community priorities among many projects related to restoring historic structures, improving access for all transportation modes, dedicated spaces for cultural and recreational purposes, and ecological considerations. The plan can be viewed on the Franklin Park Action Plan website along with a form to capture feedback during the 60-day comment period that ends on February 10, 2023. The plan’s recommendations include the following:
Restoring and activating the Bear Dens with new uses;
Reintroducing the Elma Lewis Playhouse to the Overlook with a new stage, restrooms, and seating;
Upgrading active spaces like trails, play areas, athletic fields, and picnic sites;
Creating a welcoming “front porch” for the Blue Hill Avenue entrance at Peabody Circle with terraced seating;
Rehabilitating the landscape of the park by removing invasive plants, cutting back vegetation to reveal the park’s sweeping vistas, and planting new native species and trees. The plan said that "abundant entrances" serve the Jamaica Plain community, that feed people to numerous spaces with active and passive uses, including the Playstead and White Stadium, El Parquesito Playground, Glen Road, and The Wilderness.
There is no official dog park in Jamaica Plain. Residents have been howling barking asking for one for many years. With its redesign of Flaherty Playground, the city is asking residents to voice their opinion of whether there should be a fenced-in dog run at the soon-to-be renovated spot. The city is asking residents to take a survey to tell the city if you would like a fenced-in dog run at Flaherty Playground by clicking here. The survey will be available for two weeks starting Sept.
The Mayor's Office of Women's Advancement (MOWA) wants you to take a survey to help the city better understand the needs of the community. MOWA is organizing community hearings from this month to October with a goal of informing residents about the ongoing projects of the department in order to achieve gender equity. The discussions in the hearings will help inform MOWA's projects for fiscal year 2022-2023. The survey takes two to three minutes to complete. Click here to take the survey.