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Developer counting on city to fix traffic woes at Readville intersection where it wants to put 305 apartments and condos

Rendering of proposed Residences at Readville Station

Architect's rendering.

Developer Ad Meliora last week filed plans with the BPDA for a two-building, 305-unit development off Hyde Park Avenue at the Milton Street Bridge.

Ad Meliora, based downtown, says it would build a 221-space garage on the 2.5-acre site, just north of the Readville commuter-rail station, and would create a 2,000-square-foot pocket park open to the public - in addition to the courtyard with a pool for tenants and owners at the proposed Residences at Readville Station.

A key issue for the developer - and for a separate developer planning a 492-unit development just south of the train station - is the intersections of Hyde Park Avenue and Neponset Valley Parkway with the Milton Street Bridge, also known as the Father Hart Bridge, which have no traffic lights and which are a challenge for drivers even on a Saturday afternoon:

Readville intersection

Ad Meliora says not to worry: The city will install traffic lights at either end of the bridge - and replace the aging traffic lights in the nearby Wolcott Square. In 2017, Mayor Walsh announced a $1.4-million project to add and update the lights. The bridge intersections - with conflicting jurisdictions between the city, the state DCR and the MBTA - remain without traffic signals, but the city's current budget, which ends June 30 - has money for the work.

The developer adds it expects any traffic impacts from the development would be minimized because most residents would use the nearby train station to get into town. Nearby residents, however, worry that people will drive to the Fairmount station a mile away, because a round trip from there costs $4.50, rather than the $13.50 it would cost to get into town and back from Readville, because the two stations are in different fare zones.

Ad Meliora's proposal calls for one building of apartments and the other of condos, both with six floors. The company says it expects its project to be the first of several in which the old industrial lots along Hyde Park Avenue are replaced with residential complexes:

Well-situated for public transportation near the MBTA Readville Station, the project will begin to establish an urban street wall edge along Hyde Park Avenue. The proposed new streetscape improvements, along with the “pocket park” and proposed new restaurant will benefit this stretch of Hyde Park Avenue by establishing a pedestrian-friendly zone. And assuming that, over a period of time, there will be future re-development of some of the adjacent remaining industrial sites, this building will help ‘set the stage’ for the kind of additional future streetscape improvements that will continue to benefit the neighborhood as it gradually changes from an industrial area to a place offering varied residential and commercial opportunities for the local citizenry.

Ad Meliora hopes to begin an expected 18 months of construction this fall.

Residences at Readville Station project-notification form (39M PDF).

The proposed view north on Hyde Park Avenue from near the train bridge:

Proposed development
Proposed development: Another view
Proposed development: Pool
Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 
Ad:

Comments

I drove through there around 7am last week and traffic is so bad. The devleopers depict only a few cars on the road in the picture when you know it'll be much worse.

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Voting closed 6

Between the school buses, cars, industrial trucks and shit head kids walking out into traffic, if nothing is done this project will be a disaster.

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I agree IT’S ABSOLUTELY INSANE to believe u can build 300 living units with 300-600 MORE CARS in that ALREADY CONGESTED AREA. I live in the Readville area where 5 new single family homes have been built on my street (in a 1/4 mile area.). Simply adding those homes have increased the car traffic immensely. The idea of adding THREE HUNDRED new residences is ABSURD!! Placing traffic lights will NOT reduce the number of cars trying to traverse the very congested space.

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Voting closed 0

If the new development is adding hundreds of units to the tax base of the city and the developer can't reasonably be expected to reconfigure roads, etc... themselves lacking the authority and expertise to do so, shouldn't fixing the roads be the city's part of the deal? I know in places like NC where there are sprawling housing developments across the suburban areas, developers sometimes have to be build schools, etc... but that's a case of creating entire new neighborhoods so I think that's a whole different environment.

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Voting closed 12

If the major impediment to any development in the outlying areas of the city [where said development stands at least a small chance of being more reasonably priced] then the city, DOT, and MBTA should work out a plan for handling increased density of traffic and commuters from not just one building but the area as a whole.

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Voting closed 12

True--the area as a whole needs improved roads. I'm all for walking, and for years I walked a mile to Star Market on Hyde Park Ave and a mile back home lugging groceries, and let me tell you it was tough in the bad weather (that includes the heat of July)! If I had small children to feed, it would have been impossible to manage the groceries on foot. The commenters who say Readville residents don't want young families to have a place to live, are overlooking something. It might be very hard to actually live in the proposed housing developments (no matter how nice the apartments are, and the pocket park notwithstanding) because getting in and out of the area, as they will of course need to do, is likely to be very difficult and frustrating. Those young parents will not only want to use their cars, they will NEED to use their cars--and not just for errands like grocery shopping. Not everyone works in downtown Boston, so taking the commuter rail wouldn't be feasible for many people and they'd have to drive to work. (It is crazy that it costs so much more to take the train one stop from Fairmount to Readville, though, so it's a ripoff for anyone who does use/want to use the commuter rail. That issue really should be addressed. Also the issue of capacity...and of reliability...)

Putting traffic lights at the Msr. Hart bridge should help the traffic flow, but it won't change the number of cars trying to get through the choke-points on either side, or through Walcott/Cleary Squares either. The number of cars is ridiculous now; add a few hundred more each day and it'll be much worse. Not just worse for the current residents. Worse for the projected future residents too.

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Voting closed 4

Nothing typifies the generational theft that Baby Boomers have wrought on this nation better than their ironclad belief that traffic and parking are more important than young people having places to live.

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Voting closed 43

As a Boomer, I can attest that I want affordable housing for everyone, old and young. I would not say that traffic and parking are more important. I would say, however, that because the majority of folks still drive (and that is not going to change anytime soon even though you may want it to), traffic and parking are very important to many people - not just Boomers.

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Voting closed 8

1) not my generations fault
2) everyone does it
3) can't be fixed.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DyfvtXbW0AIqhfd.jpg:large

Graph post isn't working but that shows that boomers are predominately opposed to spending money on climate change issues. Don't worry too much - we'll all try to save the world after you lot are done after depleting social security and our natural resources but congrats on the Summer of Love and all.

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Voting closed 6

Good luck to this developer. The people of Readville operate under a belief that they are the only people in Boston who ever face traffic delays. Maybe there will be a city council candidate brave enough to tell the NIMBYs to screw; about as likely as a spaceship landing in Cleary Square.

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Voting closed 29

Would of course be access to a micro green farm that the fine folks of Readville could walk through. Surely that would be $150k of city money right?

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Voting closed 7

Get out of your car and start walking/biking.

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Voting closed 9

I love me a approx. 35 mile walk (RT) approx. each working day. Get. a. clue.

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Voting closed 6

I live in the neighborhood and would love to use my bike more often. However, with the way people drive around here (and the less than bike-friendly roads) it’s a death trap.

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I have lived near Readville close to 20 years now and I can attest the traffic situation has, through the years, increased and has gotten worse. The area can be choked with backed up traffic as the road system can't handle the flow anymore.

The residents are just concerned - like many folks - about traffic congestion/quality of life issues when a new development is proposed.

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Voting closed 7

The residents are just concerned - like many folks - about traffic congestion/quality of life issues when a new development is proposed.

Just once I’d like these residents to care more about people having somewhere to live than traffic. The next time will be the first time. Pure selfishness on display but that’s not unique to Readville of course.

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Voting closed 4

What the city tells residents: if it gets developed it will get fixed
What the city tells developers: don't bother and/or we can't take your money for that

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Voting closed 8

The fact that Fairmount station is Zone 1A while the Hyde Park station is Zone 1 is both baffling and frustrating. They are less than half a mile apart, almost exactly on the same latitude, but somehow warrant different zones.

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Voting closed 11

It doesn't seem very proportional to charge such a big difference. That would be a big boost to taking transit from this new development.

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We're talking Readville Station, which is over a mile from either station and is in Zone 2 for both lines.

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Voting closed 4

The real solution is don't charge 92 cents a mile for any commuter rail fare, no matter what other stations are nearby.

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Voting closed 4

Does the budget for traffic lights mean they'll actually happen? Or will it be as empty a promise as the mayor's 2017 announcement?

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Voting closed 1

Whether traffic lights are added or not, the traffic around the area is extremely bad! Since the only resident-needed item that is nearby to the proposed development is the commuter rail, residents will still need cars to get to supermarkets, other retail locations, restaurants, bars, and the like. Sure, there is a sub-par supermarket a mile or so away on a bus line but can you do a weekly shopping via the bus? I have and it's not recommended.

When you consider that this development could have 305 units, and the other proposed development just over the Sprague Street Bridge (a quarter-mile away) could have 492 units, this could add, at a minimum, 800 cars to this area. The roads can just not handle the traffic no matter whether traffic lights are added or not. That's not the solution.

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Voting closed 3

As long as they are sequenced properly.

I don't see how the issue is with capacity. It's that traffic is moved inefficiently. Going straight on Hyde Park Avenue (as long as you are not stuck behind turning vehicles or get sideswiped) or the streets on the opposite side (with the same stipulations) isn't too bad. It's the G-D bridge that mucks things up.

That said, I don't see how anything can be approved until there is proof that existing traffic is being handled properly.

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Voting closed 0

I would be surprised if they ended up being able to afford to build this with the windows as large as shown.
Windows this size are also going to make this building a lot harder to heat and cool.
I'm sure the units will be tiny. We will just end up looking at the backs of peoples couches through the windows.
Or, we will just be looking at a whole lot of blinds.
Back to the drawing board!

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The only way this area could handle this many more residents is if there is a HUGE change... like bringing the orange line down to Readville or making the Fairmount line rapid transit. Otherwise No Thanks!

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You can not underestimate the impact the traffic will have on the residents of the new complex and the neighborhoods it abuts. the traffic there is already horrific and this will only exacerbate it. I was at a meeting with the developer of this monstrosity where Hyde Park residents asked him about the traffic. Thinking it was just Hyde Park residents in the audience he told them not to worry because most of the residents would go the opposite direction through Dedham to get to 95/128. That area was already traffic congested and that was before the new Amazon Distribution Center moved in.

I am all for affordable housing and I'm happy to have it in/near my town but this location is a very poor choice and will impact their ability to find tenants. A smaller complex or small affordable houses rather than 305 units would be able to give affordable housing options without creating such a massive impact on the surrounding neighborhoods.

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This is a perfect underutilized location. People cannot live in shelters because of traffic. You have many options and need to take responsibility for your choices.

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I am worried the water this developer is drinking makes absurdity come alive. Attempting to access to River Street,HydePark Ave.,Walcott Sq. area anytime after 2:30 PM, is the virtue of patience.

Industrial or commercial buildings with nighttime shifts blends with this area. Stop and Shop warehouses were down the street and it didn't interfere with the flow.
Try a study of the East Street/Canton Street volume connecting Dedham, Westwood and Canton areas. That has been in affect for decades and moves swiftly. Place more funds in local transportation. Our roads aren't designed for the present volume. Take footage from the front of the property and make double lane on one side.

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Voting closed 0