The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) and the Boston Transportation Department (BTD) hosted a visioning meeting to kick-off the North Station Area Mobility Action Plan (NSAMAP).
The action plan, announced in November 2015, will develop a range of near-, mid-, and long-term, implementable solutions to improve the way people get around the North Station area, including the Bulfinch Triangle, the TD Bank Garden, Charles River Park, the Brook Courthouse, Nashua Street, and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). The team will design several near-term solutions so that they can be implemented as soon as possible.
“According to data from the 2013 American Community Survey, about half of residents in this area walk to work, while a smaller percentage use public transportation to commute to their jobs,” said BRA Director Brian Golden in a press release. “That said, 22 percent of residents drive alone, and all of those individual motorists contribute to congestion in the area. The North Station Area Mobility Action Plan will explore these and other factors to develop solutions for easing stress on the transportation network and promoting alternatives.”
“We are focused on transportation improvements that will make it safer for all users of the road,” said BTD Commissioner Gina Fiandaca in a press release. “We will work with the community to seek innovative solutions that improve traffic flow and connect with the area’s extensive network of public transportation options.”
In the same vein as recent City of Boston planning studies, the NSAMAP process will have a robust community engagement component. Community members and neighborhood stakeholders, such as large property owners and institutions, will help define current challenges in the study area and assist the city in creating solutions.
The meeting took place at the West End Museum and started with an open house followed by a presentation and break-out information-gathering sessions. Additional opportunities for public involvement will take place throughout the remainder of 2016 with exact dates, times, and locations to be confirmed. The rough timeline is as follows:
- Late July/early August: Definition of problems and development of ideas
- Mid-September: Prioritization of ideas
- Mid-October: Turning ideas into concepts
- Early December: Release of draft action plan for review
To supplement the community workshops, an interactive NSAMAP website has been created to solicit online feedback from the community and stakeholders about the study area. The website, bit.ly/nsamap2016, allows users to share problems that they have experienced with the transportation network as well as their visions for improving mobility in the action plan area. Constituents are also encouraged to join the conversation and share their ideas on Twitter using the hashtag #NSAMAP2016.
This effort is the result of a partnership between the BRA and BTD. Together, these agencies will work to arrive at an actionable plan, with community and stakeholder support, through a transparent and engaging process.
Eight private partners, including Massachusetts General Hospital, Delaware North (owners of the TD Garden), Equity Residential, AvalonBay Communities, Related Beal, Boston Properties, HYM Investment Group, and Trinity Financial have contributed $50,000 each, for a total of $400,000, to support the city’s efforts.