Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Planned Business District Public Hearing

I'll post something on thegardencity.net about the public hearing generally, but here are a couple of key thoughts that relate to streets and sidewalks.

Srdjan Nedeljkovic made the excellent point that we ought to expect and demand that developers make equivalent commitment to roadway and transit improvements. This is consistent with the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization's Journey to 2030 recommended investment allocation for the region as a whole.

New England Development proposes $13.5 million in roadway improvements. Imagine what we do with $13.5 million in transit improvements in the Chestnut Hill area? Imagine what we could do with $6.5 million in transit improvements and scaled back roadway improvements?

Dani Krasa made the excellent point that widening Route 9 is an active disencentive to invest in mass transit. Making extra lanes lets all parties involved postpone the hard choices about and the investment in mass transit on the corridor. If we don't widen Route 9, New England Development (and future developers) will find it in their interest to make meaningful transit improvements (and lobby for the state to make them). It'll be the only way to bring warm bodies to the property.

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