Event Notices Government Health & Environment Transportation

Proposed Redesign of Union Street and the “Blackstone Block”

Designers, representatives from Boston Transportation Department, MassDOT, and the BRA (Boston Redevelopment Authority) presented their proposal for the redesign of Union Street and the “Blackstone Block” at a public meeting on Monday, December 16, 2013 at City Hall.

As part of the Connect Historic Boston Initiative, the goal is to create streets and sidewalks that showcase the historical importance of the district and provide accessible connections to transit and Faneuil Hall.

Project Priorities:

  1. Connect Haymarket Station on the Fanieul Hall Side
  2. Respect Historical Character of Blackstone Block
  3. Create a shared street among pedestrians, bicyclists and motor vehicles
  4. Improve accessibility for all users

The area will be curbless with a shared street environment on Union Street, a portion of Hanover Street and the intersection of North Street. On the Hanover Street portion, the sidewalks will be flush. The entire project will feature lighting improvements. On Marshall Lane, the sidewalk will be leveled.

Below is Union Street, how it is now, and the proposed redesign. The new design will feature a more commuter friendly, curbless walkway with wire cut brick. The left side of the street (side of the Holocaust Memorial) will remain mostly the same.

As you can see with the two diagrams on the right, the right side of the street will have a level surface between the street and the sidewalk/walkway. The excess sidewalk will give restaurants the possibility of outdoor seating during the lunch and dinner hours. During the morning commute, this will allow more space for foot traffic and offloading.

The roadway aims to be shared by pedestrians and vehicles and handicap accessible. Sidewalk on the Holocaust Memorial side will be replaced with new brick, maintaining the overall feel of the area, preserving the Freedom Trail and all historic artifacts.

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 6.30.17 PM

Blackstone Block project area of work:
The highlighted area below shows the area which will be included in this project.

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 6.40.18 PM

The new sidewalks will feature wire cut brick, a type of brick that is flat, smooth, more like “tile” – which is user-friendly for baby carriages, wheelchairs, pushcarts, etc.

Blackstone Block Preliminary Cost Estimates:

Design $415,000
Construction $1,610,000
Management $ 240,000
Contingency $ 465,000
Total: $ 2,730,000

This particular project does not involve Blackstone Street that will be handled through the redevelopment of Parcel 9, currently in process.

See ConnectHistoric-Boston.org for more information.

Questions or comments can be sent to Vineet Gupta, Boston Transportation Department at (617) 635-2756 or vineet.gupta@cityofboston.gov.