The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will present plans for Amory Park in a public virtual meeting on Feb. 24. At the meeting, DCR's project team will provide plans for Amory Park, at the intersection of Amory and Boylston streets. The plan is for an improved entrance to the Southwest Corridor Park, which is state-run, to create universally accessible pathways that connect city sidewalks and existing park pathways. Work will also include implementing landscape improvements such as new native species plantings.
The acting commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation recently announced that due to public feedback they've been working on a fourth design alternative for the Arborway Parkways Improvement Project. In a letter addressed to stakeholders, Acting Commissioner Stephanie Cooper said the new alternative design won't be provided until an as of yet unannounced mid-January meeting. Currently there are two traffic rotaries: Kelley Circle by Jamaica Pond and Murray Circle on Centre Street by the Arnold Arboretum. One proposal would keep both circles, one would remove Kelley Circle, and one would remove both circles. DCR announced three alternative design plans to update the Arborway in November 2020.
There are a total of 16 playgrounds in Jamaica Plain managed by either Massachusetts' Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) or the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. So how accessible are all of them? The 16 playgrounds have varied features including age-based play structures, splash pads, spray decks, athletic fields, swings, a sandbox, and more. Currently, DCR is assessing opportunities to make improvements at their agency-managed playgrounds across the Commonwealth. In Jamaica Plain, DCR manages nine sites that include playgrounds, spray decks, benches, gardens, and sport courts.
There hasn't even been an official grand opening for Jamaica Plain's renovated skate park on the Southwest Corridor, and it's already been graffitied. Skateboarders quickly took to the newly renovated skatepark between Oakdale and Amory streets. Before being closed the skatepark had makeshift skate ramps made through the years, but now the skatepark has smooth curves all around it with a landing area for skateboarders, non-motorized scooters, rollerbladers, bicyclists, and more. The renovations cost $75,000, with the Department of Conservation and Recreation providing $50,000 on top of $25,000 from Converse and Wheels of Steel.
Traffic engineers have changed the timing on a light near Murray Circle, a tweak they say should ease gridlock for car drivers. The state recently painted lanes at JP's largest rotary as part of an overhaul of the whole Arborway. The change has won wide acclaim among bicyclists but raised blood pressure among drivers. The gridlock has been worst along Centre Street from the Faulkner Hospital to Murray Circle. In a press release Friday, the Department of Conservation and Recreation said they've received "some complaints about congestion on the Arborway and Centre Street northbound in the afternoon rush hour."