After a year of study, city officials have put together their final plan to decrease the frustrations of traffic congestion in the North Station area, while also making neighborhood experiences safer and more enjoyable. The action plan recommends changes that will encourage people to use mobility options other than driving and increase incentives for biking and walking.
On Wednesday, the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) and the Boston Transportation Department (BTD), in conjunction with other city departments, have released the North Station Area Mobility Action Plan (NSAMAP) Final Report.
For over a year, the City has been working with neighborhood and community members to develop this transportation plan for the North Station Area, which includes parts of the West End, North End, and Bullfinch Triangle. The plan focuses on improving safety, making the neighborhood more understandable, increasing mobility options, and decreasing congestion.
The plan does not address development, but is inherently a response to the dozens of large-scale tower projects in the Bulfinch Triangle and West End neighborhood. While city officials ran the process, the study itself was paid for by area developers.
After analyzing feedback from community meetings and online polls, the NSAMAP project team started with 188 distinct ideas. The City used this creation process to determine the final action items:Around 20% of the suggested items were related to projects already being addressed, such as pedestrian bridges, bike parking, and MBTA improvements, among others. Some additional suggestions were outside the project scope or deemed infeasible. The remaining ideas were consolidated into 41 possible action items to be considered. A public meeting was held, as well as an online survey created, for community members to vote on these items. The results led to 18 final NSAMAP items.
- Cambridge Street protected bike lanes.
- Canal Street pedestrianization with commercial delivery.
- Lomasney Way / Nashua Street / Martha Way safety improvements for pedestrians and cyclists.
Other short-term action items that made the final plan are:
- Charles Circle pedestrian improvements at the Charles / MGH MBTA station.
- Bullfinch Triangle access and curb use improvements. This will include changing the direction of certain one-way streets and adding new handicap and metered parking.
- North Station – Airport shuttle bus.
- Encourage local employers and residential buildings to report progress annually on transportation demand management goals.
- Adaptive Signal Technology, which can react to traffic in real time to help manage rush hour congestion.
- North Washington Street bus lane.
- Performance-based parking meter pricing to increase availability of on-street parking in high-demand areas.
- Blossom Street bike lane and safer pedestrian crossings.
- Cambridge Street signal retiming at New Chardon Street and Sudbury Street.
- Permitted shuttle stop network with the goal of decreasing shuttles taking up curb space by encouraging shuttle consolidation by area.
- Pedestrian wayfinding and transit / ridesharing information screens.
- “Don’t Block the Box” signage on Cambridge Street.
- Lomasney Way / Nashua Street protected bike lane (further improvements that will build upon the short-term item of new traffic signal and intersection improvements in this area).
- Bus priority lane between South Station, the Seaport, and North Station.
- Shared street construction on Canal Street that will allow for better flow of pedestrians.
This is just a brief overview of the final North Station Area Mobility Action Plan. Read the report in its entirety here.