North Station Area Mobility Action Plan Seeks to Alleviate Congestion [Video]

Short term and long term plans were conveyed at the most recent public meeting for the North Station Area Mobility Action Plan (NSAMAP). Held at the West End Museum, most of what was presented was public feedback from action items that were solicited by the public’s input through on-street and online surveys.

Starting with the process overview and providing a quick recap (00:00-22:19), public input began back in June and consisted of continuous complaints about walking congestion, traffic issues, and lack of ADA compliance in the area. In addition, there were dozens of comments with concerns for traffic safety, dangerous intersections, speeding vehicles, lack of neighborhood environment, and a desperate need for parking.

Announced in November of 2015, the overall plan aims to develop both a range of near-term and longer-term implementable solutions for the improvement of transportation in areas surrounding North Station, such as the Bulfinch Triangle, TD Garden, Charles River Park, etc.

Seeking more safety and a simpler way to provide access to several means of transportation would result in less congestion, according to officials.  Utilizing ride-sharing services, car-sharing like Zipcar, and bike-sharing like Hubway, cars would become less necessary in the area that is currently booming with development.

Short Term Action Plan (22:19)

In the near-term, officials are looking to foster a pedestrian friendly environment, that provides easy access to the MBTA, staging for shuttle services, and new traffic signaling for pedestrians and way finding transportation interactive screens. Signaling is currently undergoing a study that aims to shorten peak period impacts by better managing signal timings before and after the heaviest traffic periods.

In terms of parking, one option that is gaining traction is the dynamic pricing model that the city is currently piloting in Back Bay and the Seaport.

Long Term Action Plan (40:52)

The long term looks to make Canal Street street a pedestrian priority in the area, with thoughts of closing the street down to vehicle traffic. There is even talk of a possible bus priority lane between North and South Stations.

Despite the long term plans, in the immediate phase 1 of the project, the plan calls to make significant improvements to sidewalks, and an effort to alleviate shuttle congestion while also taking a look at uses for visitor parking, commercial parking, food truck drop offs, metered parking, etc.

Toward the end of the meeting, the floor was opened to comments from the audience (56:27) Many residents of the Strada Building expressed concerns over traffic with the several new buildings and garaged parking, and the need to help access their building during events at the TD Garden.

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