The city is making some temporary parking enforcement changes due to the ongoing Coronavirus public health emergency, including 5-minute parking pickup zones in front of restaurants. "During this challenging time, we're doing all we can to keep our residents healthy and safe," said Mayor Marty Walsh via press release. "We understand transportation is a need and concern for residents and medical professionals, and these updated policies will help everyone during this ongoing public health crisis." Temporary pick up zones are being created in front of restaurants that are offering takeout and delivery only. Takeout food pickup zones will restrict parking to five minutes to increase convenience for the quick pickup and delivery of takeout food from restaurants while providing adequate room for social distancing of six feet or more.
As part of a city electric vehicle program, some municipal parking lots, including one on Centre Street, will have four to six parking spaces made into electric car charging stations. Boston has a stated goal of being carbon neutral by 2050, and transportation accounts for nearly a third of Boston's total carbon emissions, according to Boston.gov. Sixty-five percent of carbon emissions in Boston come from personal vehicles. As part of the Transportation Department's Recharge Boston program to support electric vehicles the city is encouraging drivers to use electric or zero emission vehicles. And most electric car owners charge their vehicles at home, but a city survey part of Boston's 2019 Climate Action Plan Update revealed that 45 percent of Bostonians would purchase an electric vehicle if they had access to a charger. But there aren't enough public electric car charging stations, so starting this winter and into the spring, the city will be installing four to six electric car charging stations in six lots.
Businesses are being asked to offer their opinions on what they'd want to see if Centre/South Street were redesigned. The Boston Cyclists Union and JP Centre/South Main Streets are conducting a survey of businesses in the district, and will be sharing the survey's results with the Boston Transportation Department. The city's plans for the Centre/South redesign are on hold, but are expected to restart soon, according to the JPCSMS newsletter. It is part of the already completed redesign of Jackson Square and Hyde Square. The city has allocated more than $700,000 for the design alone, which would go from Hyde Square down Centre and South streets to the Arborway, said Ginger Brown, director of JPCSMS.
The survey asks business owners to rank seven options on what they feel is most important in a redesign: increased pedestrian/sidewalk space; improved bike infrastructure and bike parking; improved bus service; improved streetscape (like benches, lighting, greenery, public art); better signage for the business district; and increased parking for cars.
There will be a community meeting to discuss the traffic diverter pilot project that was previously installed on Dungarven Road in the Stonybrook neighborhood on May 8. The Boston Transportation Department (BTD) installed the pilot traffic diverter on Dungarven Road, which was just south of the intersection with Gartland Street, on June 15, 2018 and removed in October 2018. At the upcoming meeting, the BTD will share a summary of data and observations collected before, during and after the traffic diverter was installed. Resident feedback that was collected will also be shared, and residents will be able to provide feedback at the meeting. The strategy of the diverter was supposed to:
Discourage people from driving the wrong way on Washington Street
Discourage drivers from cutting through Hatoff’s driveways
Discourage and eventually end wrong-way driving on Williams Street
Reduce the number of people navigating the low-visibility intersection of Dungarven/Kenton
Reduce the volume of thru traffic on Kenton Road
This public meeting will be at 6:30 pm on May 8 at English High School (144 McBride St.).
How can Egleston Square be a more pleasant place? That's a question that will be examined at the next JP/Rox Transportation Action Plan meeting on Oct. 23. At the meeting, the fourth on the topic of Egleston Square, Transportation Department personnel will discuss public feedback they received about two plans the city put forth to make the area safer to walk and travel through. A preview of actions items for the upcoming meeting will also be discussed, as well as priorities for the project.