As residents and city agencies sat down Wednesday night to hash out a plan to improve the Quincy Street Corridor, one thing was on their minds: safety and parking.
The corridor, which runs from Blue Hill Avenue in Roxbury to Columbia Road in Dorchester, is a busy thoroughfare cutting through a mostly residential area.
The stretch of road is currently the subject of a major investment by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in addition to a number of private developments including Dorchester Bay’s Bornstein & Pearl Food Production Small Business Center and the Quincy Commons development on the corner of Blue Hill Avenue and Quincy Street.
At Wednesday’s sparsely attended meeting, representatives from the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the lead agency for the multi-agency planning effort, laid out what its consultants have observed in the corridor and ways they think it can be improved.
“There’s a lot of activity already and we want to enhance the connections to what’s already going on,” said Jeremy Rosenberger, a project manager for the BRA.
The corridor includes 11 intersections with tight streets and a minimal amount of green space, according to the BRA’s consult the Cecil Group. Other observations include the high speed many vehicles travel down the road and the lack of parking on the street.
Improvements, suggested by the BRA, included new crosswalks, ADA compliant additons, updated street lighting, wider sidewalks, bike lanes, trees, trash cans, and traffic calming measures.
Those in attendance nodded in agreement with many of the challenges and supported some of the BRA’s solutions.
Parking and traffic seemed to be the hot topics of the night, with many saying in the recent year they’ve gotten a lot worse.
“I’d like to see some resident parking, it seems to make it more manageable,” said Nancy Smith, an area resident. “With all the new development and people it’s going to get worse.”
Although parking can’t be added to Quincy Street, BRA officials said resident parking is something that can be looked at for nearby side streets.
Safety was also at the top, with many saying cars are rushing down the street, blowing through crosswalks, and not stopping for school busses.
Some though were quick to point out that even if new measures are taken to calm traffic without enforcement it won’t matter.
“We just need to have traffic enforcement,” said John Barbour, an area resident. “If people are allowed to speed they’ll do it and there are a lot of children in this community.”
Residents also questioned if bike lanes or trees could fit on the already narrow street and sidewalks.
Wednesday’s meeting was the kick-off for the six- to eight-month long study that is expected to be implemented in 2015. There will be another large community meeting, sometime around June, after a more finalized plan has been developed.
Some funds from the federal Choice Neighborhoods Initiative will be used for the design and implementation of the project, which is expected to cost close to $3-million.
A website has been created for the project by the BRA, which can be found here.