In this busy area, which is also a through-route to downtown and crosstown destinations, continuous improvements to the transportation network are essential to keep the LMA accessible, with patients’ needs paramount. MASCO area planning completes studies and makes physical improvements for the benefit of pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders and those who drive to the area. We work with the MBTA to advocate for service improvements and represent the LMA at state and city transportation forums. We also run the LMA’s transportation management association, CommuteWorks.
Alert: Sears Rotary Detours, as early as 9/8/13
Please note that as early as Sunday, September 8, 2013, the section of Brookline Avenue between the Riverway and Park Drive will be closed to outbound traffic (towards the LMA) and will be dedicated to four lanes inbound (towards Kenmore Square/Bowker Overpass). Outbound traffic coming from Brookline Avenue and Boylston Street will be detoured around the Sears Rotary. Please see the detour diagram, below. Sidewalks abutting the project site will remain open to pedestrians. The detours accommodate the next phase of construction and will be in place for the next several months. Please note that this will increase travel times for the Fenway shuttle. Signal timing changes will be made and police details will assist in the early stages to help direct drivers.
The rain date for the traffic changes is the following Sunday, September 15, 2013.
The schedule is subject to change and will be confirmed as soon as we receive notice from the project team. For more project information, please see the 90-day look ahead.
Alert: Signal timing change at Longwood Ave./Binney St. and Jimmy Fund Way/Deaconess Rd./Brookline Ave.
Per our previous notice, effective this week, commuters, patients, students and visitors to the Longwood Medical and Academic Area will have noticed changes to the signal timing at the Longwood Avenue/Binney Street and Jimmy Fund Way/Deaconess Road/Brookline Avenue intersections (see location map below).
Please note the following:
• These changes are a pilot program in collaboration with the City and are intended to improve pedestrian compliance with crosswalk signals, reduce wait times for pedestrians and to help relieve traffic congestion. Similar traffic signal patterns have been successfully implemented elsewhere in the City.
• At Brookline Avenue and Jimmy Fund Way, based on a traffic engineer’s analysis of the previous signal operations, a high percentage of pedestrians did not wait for the “all-stop” walk signal and crossed in front of turning vehicles. Under the pilot program the goal is to see the level of compliance improve, provide more opportunity to cross, alert autos that people are crossing, and decrease traffic congestion. Traffic engineers will be in the field to assess this as soon as schools are back in session and full traffic flows are in effect.
• As has been observed, under the new signal patterns, pedestrians must cross during a green light for vehicular traffic. This means that drivers and particularly turning vehicles must be on notice that pedestrians are crossing. By the same token, pedestrians should also be aware of turning vehicles. New signage to this effect is installed at both pilot intersections (see left).
If you haven’t already, please visit take the Karma Commuting Pledge: http://www.masco.org/directions/karma-commuting
State Plan for Transportation
Get informed about the conversation happening on the State’s plan for transportation improvements for roads, bridges and public transportation (The Way Forward: A 21st Century Transportation Plan, link below). With 45% of the State’s transportation budget devoted to debt payments including an $8.6 billion Big Dig and capital projects debt, and a $3-4 billion backlog in “State of Good Repair” projects, it’s clear that the financial need is great. According to Secretary Davey, approximately 90% of the plan addresses so-called current state of good repair needs for roads, bridges, and transit; 10% addresses actual future expansion. The State can no longer avoid acting in a comprehensive way to stabilize, maintain and modernize the transportation system.
Massachusetts needs a transportation plan that is big enough to move our economy ahead, create jobs, and allow us to maintain our national and international competitiveness. A wide variety of revenue measures will need to be considered by the Legislature in order to meet existing and growth needs for the future. These discussions are expected to culminate in action by the Legislature by June, 2013. For more information, click on the links below.
Actions with the Legislature: See how others are getting involved and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council's Call to Action
New Commuter Rail Platforms and Service
Additional transit services are essential as LMA employees continue to shift from driving to public transportation. MASCO has completed planning and design studies and advocated for new commuter rail platforms and services at Yawkey and Ruggles Stations, the nearest stations to Longwood for commuters. As a result, the developer of Fenway Center is building a new Yawkey Station, with construction scheduled to be completed November 2013. MASCO teamed with LMA institutions, area businesses, community groups and state and city officials to secure state economic stimulus funding for the station. The MBTA is completing the next phase of planning for Ruggles Station in their current capital program with design scheduled for completion this year.
Muddy River Daylighting
The Army Corps of Engineers, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department are working together to restore this missing link of the Emerald Necklace when this section of the Muddy River is “daylighted” – exposed to sunlight for the first time in 7 decades. Reinstating the original depth and width of the river, rebuilding the riverbanks to their intended size with native, non-invasive species and enlarging the culverts beneath Brookline Avenue will reduce severe flooding and enable the ecosystem to better withstand heavy rainfalls.
Click on the links below to see presentations from January 31, 2013:
Traffic Signal Improvements
MASCO developed a multi-year plan for signal corridor improvements on Longwood and Brookline Avenues, Ruggles Street, the Fenway, Boylston Street and Melnea Cass Boulevard. We studied signal timing at more than 30 intersections in these key corridors to or in the LMA, and with the approval of public agencies, invested in physical improvements. In 2010, public agencies partnered to complete a third phase of this work using state stimulus funding.
Study to Improve Bus Service
MASCO completed a study of existing bus services to the LMA to find out if there are better routes, times and stops to serve LMA commuters. Funded by MASCO, this project was a collaboration between MASCO, MassDOT, the MBTA and the city; the results will be used to improve service and reduce traffic congestion.
MASCO has completed over $750,000 in privately-funded studies to match publicly funded evaluations of a future crosstown transit service to significantly improve access to the LMA. Envisioned to provide new commuter rail connections for those traveling from the suburbs and new fast bus connections for city commuters, the route would link Roxbury and Dorchester, Boston Medical Center, Northeastern University and the LMA to Harvard, biotechnology facilities in Kendall Square and residents of Cambridge, Somerville, Everett and Chelsea. MASCO has partnered with other organizations in the city to advocate for this new service and secure public funding to advance planning studies.
Pedestrian and Bicyclist Accommodations
Pedestrian and bicycle studies are underway as part of ongoing efforts to make the LMA more bike- and pedestrian-friendly. We have mapped bicycle parking locations, identified shortages and worked with members and the city to create more than 500 new bike parking spaces in the last two years, and we're working with the City on bike lane planning for Brookline Ave. For more information on walking or biking to the LMA, see CommuteWorks.
Be a safe commuter!