Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Chestnut Hill Square nuggets

Two end-of-the-year thoughts about Chestnut Hill Square:

Some people think that we should think of Boylston Street as a state highway (which it is) and plan accordingly, which means no worrying about the pedestrian streetscape. The logical extension of that argument is to leave the artery as it is and not create new intersections, which naturally limit the artery's effectiveness as an artery. But, a new intersection is exactly what New England Development is planning, namely a new median break and signal.

Maybe one answer is to not worry about throughput on Boylston Street and to add more, not fewer, intersections to promote access to the north and south sides of the street. Make it more like Beacon Street in Brookline.

Over on the Garden City, I wrote that Alderman Gentile and others were not acting as NIBMYs limiting the Planned Multi-Use Business Development to major arterials (Boylston Street) ... that they were NOMMAs instead.

On a more serious note, when you're talking about significant effects on traffic, it's tough to be a NIMBY. When it comes to traffic, we are all abutters. If Chestnut Hill Square increases volume on Boylston Street significantly, it's likely that traffic will divert to Beacon Street and, possibly, Commonwealth Avenue.

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