Boston Transportation Department officials unveiled their latest plans for the Melnea Cass Boulevard design project during a public meeting on Monday, Dec. 10, at Boston Water at Boston Water and Sewer Commission headquarters in Roxbury.
Project objectives include providing multimodal access and safety improvements; transforming Melnea Cass Boulevard into a neighborhood street; providing a gateway between the South End and Roxbury; balancing design goals for stakeholders; and serving regional traffic demand.
New design elements proposed to calm traffic and improve access and safety include separated bike lanes; a protected intersection to separate cyclists and pedestrians from vehicles; a raised crossing; and a floating bus stop, which would create a bike lane behind the boarding area for bus passengers.
Proposed tree care during construction includes erecting temporary chain-link fencing in the construction areas; defining construction limits and implementing an air-spading trench; implementing root pruning for improved tree health during and after construction; and employing a certified arborist for tree-canopy trimming.
The project would also feature a public art component, with Washington Street and Melnea Cass Boulevard being eyed as a possible location and Albany Street and Melnea Cass Boulevard at the Orchard Garden mentioned as an alternate site. The city’s Edward Ingersoll Browne Fund, which was established to underwrite public art in the city, could provide a one-year capacity and planning grant, officials said.
“The City of Boston is fully committed to the long-term maintenance of a modernized Melnea Cass Boulevard, a complete street design that emphasizes safety and environmental stewardship” said Chris Osgood, chief of streets, transportation and sanitation.
Boston-based Howard Stein Hudson Engineering and Planners is the project engineer.