Roslindale Village Main Street reports a design firm has begun work on plans to change Birch Street between Corinth Street and Belgrade Avenue into "a permanent, fully landscaped, useable, and pedestrianized community space."
Merritt Chase was awarded the design work by A Better City, a citywide business group that will work with city planners, Roslindale Village Main Streets and Birch Street merchants on a plan to permanently close the tiny, narrow street to traffic and to make it a new place for people to congregate on foot, with tables, benches and room for pushcarts.
The firm's initial plans will be for a "semi-permanent" pedestrian space, but the ultimate goal is to shut this section of Birch to traffic permanently within two years.
The proposal would link an existing dining area used by several restaurants along Birch and Corinth with an existing mini-park where Birch and Belgrade meet - not far from the start of a proposed pedestrian/bike path from Roslindale Square through the Arboretum to Forest Hills.
According to Roslindale Village Main Street, Birch Street was shut to traffic seven times last year for various events - including an "Open Birch" day to highlight the potential for a permanent plaza there.