Sunday, October 3, 2010

CHS Pedestrian Plan -- on NED's terms

An analysis of pedestrian accommodations really ought to start with New England Development's own Pedestrian Circulation plan. The picture does not tell a good story. Assuming that all the planned pedestrian circulation is high-quality (it's not), on its own terms the pedestrian circulation plan is inadequate.

The picture above is NED's own submission to the city. (I added the letters A-E.) Click on it for a larger version. Go here for NED's original, without the letters.

Neighbors from the south and east are essentially not provided for. The pedestrian path stops ominously at the edge of a huge parking lot. See A. And, surprisingly, there is no accommodation at the point on Florence St. closest to the grocery store building. See B.

What's really disappointing -- and odd -- is the failure to connect the planned residential building with the rest of the development. NED itself is saying that there is no direct pedestrian connection between the residential building and Retail C (the building along Boylston St./Rte. 9). See C. If someone who lives in the residential building wants to walk to a store or restaurant in the Retail C building, she's expected to cross two drives to get to Retail B and then cross a big parking lot to get to Retail C. Another oddness, there is a raised crosswalk from the parking lot to the residential building, apparently to satisfy handicap parking requirements, but not otherwise integrated into the pedestrian circulation. See D.

And, there's no pedestrian connection to the Capital Grille building at all. See E. If integration is going to mean anything, then there needs to be integration to all of CHS's neighbors. Certainly, we would hope and expect that people who work in the Capital Grille building would eat in the CHS restaurants, use the CHS health club, and shop in the CHS shops. They need to be able to walk.

This is not good pedestrian circulation. It's not good integration. And, the story gets even worse when you look at the quality of the pedestrian connections.

1 comment:

Joe said...

Hardly the "exciting, walkable streetscape" that NED describes in their description of the project on their Website: