Northeastern Students Return to Off-Campus Apartments

It’s that time of year again—students from all over the country and all over the world are flocking back to Boston’s many colleges and universities. But there is not enough room for all of these students to live on their respective campuses, so they must move into the surrounding neighborhoods, causing road closures at the beginning of September and disruption to year-round residents.

John Tobin, vice president of city and community affairs at Northeastern University, said that Northeastern has a “really good system in place” for off-campus student move-in that takes months of planning. He said it requires a strong relationship with Captain Sweeney and the rest of the D-4 police, as well as the transportation department, code enforcement, and the Inspectional Services Department.

Tobin said that they are “cognizant” of how overwhelming the first few days of September can be to year-round residents. To help mitigate that and prepare residents for what to expect, he said that everyone in the surrounding neighborhoods should have received a flyer on their door and they even had people from the university go out on foot to hand out the flyers, which include numbers and points of contact for university staff who are available to address any questions or concerns related to the move-in process. He said that the civic associations were alerted as well in order to minimize convenience as much as possible.

In addition, there will be hundreds of student volunteers and employees out on the streets at tables and walking the streets to help with congestion. The system also includes a one-hour parking allotment—“we try and keep it moving,” Tobin said.

They “hope for good weather,” because “it’s a long day for everyone,” he said, including existing residents.

Depending on the year, Tobin said that sometimes street closures or one ways or changing directions of streets may have to be adjusted depending on different factors such as construction or if the Red Sox are playing that day.

Tobin said that he trusts that there will be enough people on the streets to keep things running smoothly, and he said he does not receive a lot of calls from current residents.

He also said that they meet with most landlords and property management companies regularly and “they know the drill” for move-in, especially if you have people moving out of apartments on Sept. 1 and new students are trying to move in that same day. They are able to figure it out and make it work for the most part, and he said that there has usually been cooperation amongst the landlords and property managers.

Trash is also huge concern for the neighborhood during move-in. Tobin said that Northeastern hires extra trash trucks to supplement city pickups in Mission Hill, Roxbury, and Fenway. These trucks remove trash that can obstruct sidewalks and clearances and prevent people from easily moving their belongings into their new apartments.

Last year, these supplemental trucks removed 40 tons of trash in addition to what the city picked up. Northeastern also sends cleaning crews out after the fact to put the streets back to the way they were before the chaos of student move-in.

The bottom line: “It’s got to be done and we want to be good neighbors,” Tobin said.

Below is a list of street closures that will be in effect for the Fenway/Roxbury neighborhoods from Sept. 1 to 3:

No Parking: Thursday, Aug. 30- Monday, Sept. 3, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Columbus Avenue:

Both sides, from Massachusetts Avenue to Melnea Cass Boulevard

No Parking: Thursday, Aug. 30

Saint Botolph Street:

Both sides, from Gainsborough Street to Massachusetts Avenue

Gainsborough Street:

Both sides, from Huntington Avenue past Saint Botolph Street to MBTA

No Parking: Saturday, Sept. 1 – Monday, Sept. 3.

Forsyth Street:

Both sides, from Huntington Avenue to Hemenway Street

Hemenway Street:

Odd side, from Forsyth Way to Westland Avenue

Opera Place:

Both sides, from Huntington Avenue to Saint Stephen Street

Saint Stephen Street:

Both sides, from Gainsborough Street to Opera Place

No Parking: Saturday, Sept.1.

Gainsborough Street:

Both sides, from Huntington Avenue to Hemenway Street

Hemenway Street:

Even side, from Forsyth Way to Westland Avenue

Saint Stephen Street:

Both sides, from Opera Place to Massachusetts Avenue

Symphony Road:

Both sides, from Hemenway Street to Saint Stephens Street

Westland Avenue:

Both sides, from Hemenway Street to Massachusetts Avenue

No Parking: Sunday, Sept. 2 – Monday, Sept.3.

Conventry Street:

Both sides, from Tremont Street to Columbus Avenue

No Parking: Monday, Sept. 3, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Davenport Street:

Both sides, from Tremont Street to Columbus Avenue

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