Thursday, October 21, 2010

First do no harm -- CHS and sidewalks

Not only does the proposed design for Chestnut Hill Square fail to make things better for pedestrians along Boylston St./ Rte. 9, it makes things worse. Substantially worse.

All things considered, things aren't that bad for pedestrians along the site. There's an enormous shoulder between the travel lane and the sidewalk. There's a decent grass buffer. And, there are bushes and trees.

Things aren't great along the Mall at Chestnut Hill side (the north side). But, there is, effectively, a big gap between the travel lanes and the sidewalk.

The proposed plan is going to bring traffic right up to the sidewalk. The sidewalk is going to be no wider than is required by the ADA. And, on the south side, the sidewalk will be hard up against the back of a building, with no windows at the street level.

Making things worse for pedestrians is not a Complete Streets-approach to traffic design.


Mark said...

And will these sidewalks be piled with snow come January?

Anonymous said...

Given that this project is such a total disaster for vehicular and pedestrian traffic, and given that so much of the development that's occurred along Route 9 probably never should have happened, is anyone asking how much it would cost to have the city and state simply buy the site from National Development and raze it? Or how much it would cost to buy the developer's alleged development rights and downgrade the project to, say, 20 smart-growth townhouses with nice landscape buffers and maybe a new soccer field? Is there any hope of turning this conversation from "How many stupid, ineffectual, unproductive traffic improvements can we extract from the developer" to "How much does it cost to pay off the site owner to stop this disaster from ever happening"?? Great work by Sean and the group following this project, by the way.