DCR Working on Additional Design Alternative for Arborway Improvement Project; Will Tell Public About It In January

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.

1,978 Views
Rush hour at Murray Circle on Monday, May 17, 2021.

State Blames Arborway Gridlock on Ill-Timed Traffic Light

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."

2,200 Views
Rush hour at Murray Circle on Monday, May 17, 2021.

New Murray Circle, Arborway Lane Markings Spark Anger, Delight

At evening rush hour on Monday, the cars inching into JP's busiest rotary moved slower than a woman pushing a stroller along the sidewalk. Bikes, however, zoomed through via a new bike lane.  

Arborway Cycletrack! The broken link in the Emerald Necklace bicycle network has been eliminated! @EmNecklaceBos @bostonbikeunion @MassBike @StreetsBoston @StreetsblogMASS pic.twitter.com/clPBy9y8r0
— Peter Cheung (@bostonaruban) May 18, 2021

Murray Circle, the rotary that links Centre Street and the Arborway, received new lane markings this week.

3,400 Views

New Crosswalks, Solar-Powered Flashing Signals Installed on Centre Street by Murray Circle

After hearing for years that traffic calming measures were needed for Centre Street between the VFW Parkway and Murray Circle, DCR crews installed new crosswalks and  added flashing signals last week. The installation of three newly striped crosswalks at Rambler Road, Westchester Road and Whitcomb Avenue, are actually all short-term improvements, said Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Press Secretary Mark Steffen to Jamaica Plain News. All of the crosswalks have solar-powered Rapid Rectangular Flash Beacons (RRFBs) to increase visibility. The Emerald Necklace Conservancy also worked with DCR and residents on the new traffic calming measures. Going forward the DCR will look at long-term changes to the area, which include redesigning Murray Circle, Kelly Circle, and the Arborway following the completion of the Casey Arborway project by MassDOT.

3,206 Views