The shutdown of the Orange Line gave the city an opportunity to see how some of its alternative temporary changes worked, and they liked them, so they're making some of them permanent. “We’re keeping in place some of the changes that have helped with traffic flow and transit access, so that commuters will see lasting benefit above ground even as the subway comes back online," said Mayor Michelle Wu. “The past 30 days provided an opportunity to create new ways to use our public spaces to ease how residents move within the City,” said Chief of Streets (and Jamaica Plain resident) Jascha Franklin-Hodge. “We look forward to working with the community to take the lessons learned and apply them to future infrastructure projects that will enhance public space and improve mobility for pedestrians, people on bikes, and transit riders.”
The following are local road changes:
Boylston Street one-way for vehicles: Closing part of Boylston Street (between Amory and Lamartine) to traffic throughout the shutdown has improved safety (collisions and near-misses) along the Southwest Corridor. Reopening this stretch as a one-way street from Amory to Lamartine for vehicles will support long-term bike connectivity plans, improve safety for all modes, and reduce conflict at the high crash intersection of Boylston and Lamartine Streets.
On Wednesday, the Department of Conservation and Recreation announced there would be two weeks of rolling closures of the Southwest Corridor Park Bike Path starting Aug. 18. But then DCR was reminded by the public that the Orange Line is being shutdown for a month starting Aug. 19, and DCR reconsidered its plan and opted for just three days of rolling closures. The closure comes as a shock to many considering the city and MBTA have highlighted the Southwest Corridor Park Bike Path as an alternative for transportation during the Orange Line shutdown.
Jamaica Plain nonprofit Bikes Not Bombs is reimagining new ways to use the bicycle as a vehicle for social change to achieve economic mobility for Black and other marginalized youth from Boston’s most under-resourced neighborhoods. Through a recently formalized, multi-tiered Youth Pathways program, Bikes Not Bombs is addressing the critical need for safe, supported spaces where young people can connect, build hands-on skills, and develop meaningful, long-term employment plans. The longtime fixture in Boston’s bicycle community will broaden its reach by expanding its physical footprint and deepening its impact on young people by integrating case management and therapeutic support into its youth development model. This work is unfolding at a time when the COVID-19 epidemic has significantly amplified experiences of isolation and self-doubt among young people everywhere, particularly Black and other marginalized youth. This year Bikes Not Bombs teamed up with Children’s Services of Roxbury (CSR) to open a new Bike School “Hub” on Dudley Street in Roxbury this spring.
The MBTA will be shutting down the Orange Line for 30 days beginning August 19 to accelerate needed major track and maintenance work. The shutdown will begin approximately 9 pm on August 19 through September 18 with service resuming on September 19. The MBTA said the 30 day shutdown will provide an opportunity to finish several projects five years faster than originally planned. That work includes track repair, tie replacement, concrete work, and more along the Southwest Corridor, which will improve reliability. Other projects include track replacement, upgrading signal systems, and station improvements.
The city kicked off its Open Street initiative with 1.4 mile stretch of Jamaica Plain's Centre Street on Sunday, and it was a smashing success. The actual event was six hours long from 9 am to 3 pm, but streets were shut down earlier in the morning, and remained closed after the event. During that six-hour span people played chess, danced in the street, and enjoyed food (ironically) from food trucks from Jackson Square to the Monument. Let's kick off the fun with a cartwheel down the double yellow line! We love JP Open Streets!