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Small Roslindale street to go carless for a week

Birch Street ready for pilot closing

All ready to go. Photo by Robert Orthman.

Birch Street, which lets motorists endlessly drive around the Roslindale Square building where the brewery is going in, will be blocked to cars for several days, starting Tuesday, as Roslindale Village Main Street tests out various configurations for a more permanent effort to create a pedestrian plaza there.

Schedule of events for the Birch Street Pop-up Plaza.

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For people who aren't on Facebook?

RVMS seems to be big fans of Zuckerberg and hide everything over there.

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Voting closed 10

WEEKDAYS DURING THE DAY:
Tuesday, April 30th - Friday, May 3rd
* Enjoy a cup of coffee, breakfast, or lunch on the patio seating provided on Birch Street.
* 12:00pm-2:00pm - Meet and greet with the designers from Merritt Chase during their outdoor office hours.
* 11:30am-1:30pm or 5:00pm-7:00pm: Give feedback directly and in-person by chatting with volunteer from Walk UP Roslindale or RVMS.

LIVE MUSIC
Thursday, May 2nd, 5:00-7:00pm: Steel Pan Drum Performance with Charleston Sarjeant
Friday, May 3rd, 5:00-7:00pm: Local musician and performer Yoni Gordon
Saturday, May 4th, 5:00-7:00pm: Chamber music with Resident Musicians & Students from musiConnects
Sunday, May 5th: 3:00-5:00pm: Singer-songwriter duo performance by The Boston Imposters

SIDEWALK SALE SATURDAY
Saturday, May 4th, 10:00am-2:00pm: Shop the street at local businesses and from local artists and makers. Lists of businesses participating: Boston Cheese Cellar, Birch St. House & Garden, Joanne Rossman- Purveyor of the Unnecessary & the Irresistible, Solera, A Shrine to Wine, Roslindale Soap Company, Fire Garden Pottery, Pop Teez, and Christoph Gervais - Twisted Tree Photography.
* 9:30am-11:00am: Outdoor office hours with City Councilor-at-Large and Roslindale Resident Michelle Wu
* 11:30am-1:30pm or 5:00pm-7:00pm: Give feedback directly and in-person by chatting with volunteer from Walk UP Roslindale or RVMS.
* 12:00pm-2:00pm - Meet and greet with the designers from Merritt Chase during their outdoor office hours.

FAMILY-CENTERED SUNDAY
Sunday, May 5th, 10:00am-12:00pm: Entertainment for all with big, giant, beautiful bubbles thanks to Mr. Vinny the Bubble Guy.
10:00am-12:00pm: Dig for Dinos on Birch Street with Birch St. House & Garden and Proof Handmade! They will have an excavation site set up on the plaza. While kids are digging for fossils, shop Proof Handmade, a local line of STEM inspired clothing for infants, toddlers and young children. There will also be an outdoor photo booth set up with dinosaur props.
* Corn-hole, hula hoops, jump ropes, and colorful chalk will be available for fun on the street
* 11:30am-1:30pm or 5:00pm-7:00pm: Give feedback directly and in-person by chatting with volunteer from Walk UP Roslindale or RVMS.
* 12:00-2:00pm: Meet and greet with the designers from Merritt Chase during their outdoor office hours.

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Voting closed 18

I wonder if the long term goal would be to just put this in instead of the Cohasset St. parklet or in addition to? The parklet is fine but something permanent would be better.

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The long term goal would be a permanent pedestrian plaza on Birch St. Would not replace the Cohasset St parklet, which is going back in this coming weekend for the season.

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Fantastic!

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While this seems cool, my only biased concern stems from teaching and practicing yoga at Akasha. I wonder how the volume of the street will impact the quality of classes over time. In the summer, we definitely can hear the revelers in the courtyard (along with children running amok and banging on our windows, but I digress...). I already have had to ask people who stand in our doorway, chainsmoking and/or having loud cell phone conversations, to please move along or to be mindful of the yoga class in session.

As a Rozzident, I think this could be another great opportunity to use outdoor space in a creative way to build community and support local businesses. I'm curious to see how this all plays out.

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People are more quiet and safer than cars. Making small commercial streets like this pedestrian only is a no brainer. It has been successfully done all over the world for centuries.

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Voting closed 24

It is pretty quiet, on street parking notwithstanding.

My classes are interrupted far more often by people being loud than by the handful of cars that park on Birch.

Again, I'm not anti-pedestrian ways. I am curious and concerned about how this will impact the small business that I work at.

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Voting closed 10

S/he thinks parked cars are dangerous.

Allergic to the word car.

Personally I think the account is just a Russian troll.

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If parked illegally, that could prevent an emergency vehicle from getting through.

Whatever, Kinopio doesn't worship at the same altar in the Church of Cars, so what? She/He/They do appear to live rent free in your head.

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I suppose that means you oppose this proposal, since all the things set up for the pedestrian zone would hamper access even more than cars parked on the block would.

Also, your comment shows that you have no clue about the area.

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Voting closed 4

I was specifically talking about the dangers of an ILLEGALLY parked car, nice try. You know, like the one in Southie. But do tell me how the chairs and milk crates will block a road more than a car.

Also my father worked in Roslindale Square in 80/s90s and uncles and god mother lived on Washington St. and I was talking about the generalities of an illegally parked car being dangerous but go off on the neighborhood gate-keeping.

Pretty sure I live rent free in your head too.

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That even in the best of times there is no way a fire truck goes down that road? That may have been the reference.

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You made a super general point that a parked car isn't dangerous to try and dunk on Kinopio, now you're talking specifically about this street to save face.

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Waquiot made the following comment:

Also, your comment shows that you have no clue about the area.

Anybody that knows that street knows what W is talking about. A police SUV would struggle to navigate that street, much less an ambulance or fire truck.

And a parked car is not dangerous, unless maybe if it's parked illegally on your head. Reasonable people don't make ridiculous assumptions like that, but we've learned the biker crowd out here is far from reasonable so I'll try to qualify every conceivable scenario under the sun going forward. Going forward I'll be sure to specifically exclude:

Illegally parked cars (handicapped spots, fire hydrants, double parking etc.)
Cars that contain cats if a person allergic to cats is nearby etc.
Cars that contain dogs that might bite you if you stick your arm in the car
Cars that are on fire
Cars that are carrying explosives (especially if they are on fire)
All Teslas because one spontaneously exploded in a parking lot in China once
This also applies to all parked 737 Max planes because they might attempt to take off

Please elaborate on all the other exclusions the biker crowd would like to apply to "parked cars". If your lawyer has any more, we'll add those too.

Seriously?

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I was responding to your carefully worded comment about a parked car not being dangerous, I called you out. Waquiot just HAD to say something in response because I live rent free in both of yalls heads, so they conjured up some neighborhood gate-keeping and claimed this was all a Waquiot then hilariously tried to claim that milk crates and chairs would impede an emergency vehicle more than a car.

You both know what was going on there but you continue to trololololol away. Cute.

A parked car is dangerous, as evidence by the incident in Southie where the emergency services couldn't get there in time because of a selfish motorist.

And whats really funny, this wasn't even about bikes but you just couldn't resist yourself! hahahaha lmao

You're not a reasonable person, I don't really think you're owed any reasonable discourse.

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A fire engine could drive down that block of Birch, but there's no way to illegally park save completely blocking the street, which drivers are wont to do. Double parking on Corinth, or parking on the block of Poplar between the Square and Roslindale House is doable (though is and should be illegal) and could impact emergency service response.

But this isn't about Birch Street, obviously. Kinopio wants to turn anything into a rant about cars and Spin wants to agree with him, so here we are.

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Voting closed 4

The Fire Dept. is a part of the permitting process for this. They will have always access to get onto the street if needed. As others noted, it'll probably be easier for the Fire Dept. to access a Birch St without parked vehicles given how tight it is now with parking there and very limited turning radius.

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People are more quiet and safer than cars. Making small commercial streets like this pedestrian only is a no brainer. It has been successfully done all over the world for centuries.

Just a general statement about cars and care-free streets being successful, dunno whats so objectionable about this statement, especially compared to other more incendiary statements Kinopio makes, its pretty tame.

But it still triggered both of you and you just had to do something because you felt someone was being mean to cars. Boo hoo.

Like I said, we live rent free in your head.

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My classes are interrupted far more often by people being loud than by the handful of cars that park on Birch.

Again, I'm not anti-pedestrian ways. I am curious and concerned about how this will impact the small business that I work at.

That's the actual comment based on a non-theoretical situation.

Much like "thegirl", I'm not anti-pedestrian (walking is my top means of transport) or anti-bike or anti-any form of transportation. I'm a multi-modal guy. Others, on the other hand, can somehow find reasons to hate motor vehicles out of thin air.

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But thats not what you both were talking about, that comment has been there this entire thread but you only just brought it up to shift the goal posts a littler further into your narrative. Again to save face.

The comments from a business actually impacted are extremely valid. Of course, we also need to take that with a grain of salt because just like some of the business-owners on Newbury St. said the car-less days negatively impacted their business, it could be a dubious claim in self-interest. But I do believe it to be a sincere observation.

I'm multi-modal too, I just don't choose to gloss over the inconvenient parts of car-culture and the opposition it garners up when we try to expand and make those multi-modal options safer.

Kinopio wasn't even hating on cars, just that they are loud and dangerous. These are facts.

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No, based on practically everything he has written as comments on this websites, Kinopio was slagging on cars. It's his thing. It's what he does.

By the way, I support this project. It's not a big impact on other modes, and hopefully it will result in a lively area. That block of Birch is not exactly the most inviting, and the presence of motor vehicles has nothing to do with it (see Adams Park, aka the rotary in Roslindale Square.)

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I read this whole thread and all the references were about this particular street. You're making your own stuff up to save face. But you go off.

Next!

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People are more quiet and safer than cars. Making small commercial streets like this pedestrian only is a no brainer. It has been successfully done all over the world for centuries.

Thats the statement that triggered our resident car-apologists, can't say factually accurate things like that. I called one out for making a statement that a parked car isn't dangerous, it still can be. They dediced to hem and haw about the specifics of Birch St. to save face :)

Next!

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Blind hatred [of cars] is okay.

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Maybe if were really nice to the cars they'll graciously share some road space with us!

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That even in the best of times there is no way a fire truck goes down that road

So a fire engine NEVER would go down that street? Even if there was a fire on one of the facades facing the street? Sure maybe the hoses can get positioned on Corinth or Belgrade but what about getting ladders down there, I dunno I'm not a fire safety expert and I'll honestly defer to those that do. But something tells me you don't know either :)

Hmmm this is starting to sound like some very knee-jerk reactions because road safety man bad.

But more to the point, wow Burch St. is a mess right now, you were right, a fire engine or police SUV would struggling to get down this street. We should ban parking here during the periods of time when its not pedestrianized.

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.286666,-71.130275,3a,60y,42.25h,86.74t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s4YbujOPNSEvmmqnj7CWjyA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

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That is a dangerous situation. But it's hard to get a passenger car down there, much less a fire truck.

Take it up w the city.

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Good enough, I'll take the W.

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That is a dangerous situation. But it's hard to get a passenger car down there, much less a fire truck.

Take it up w the city.

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I would like to believe people will do the right thing given all the facts. Perhaps a cleverly worded sign in front of the yoga studio enlightening people to the fact that inside are folks trying to get their inner peace on. That might encourage people to not congregate right in front, tap on the glass, be excessively loud or puff on their cancer sticks right there. I'm betting some smarty pants Uhubber could come up with a lighthearted message that would do the trick in a non-offensive yet effective way. Any takers?

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I like a busy 'downtown' area vs. a quiet, gentrified one, but that's just me.

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People are going to be people no matter where you are. If you don't like it put your studio in a quiet office park where no one is around. I don't understand why this 'issue' needs to be addressed by anyone.

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that someone would rent one of the very few centrally located commercial spaces w/ large windows on two sides in a high traffic area and then complain about the noise. I bet the space where Tony's used to be is much quieter, let alone spaces along Belgrade, all of which only have one exterior wall.

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I'll be sure to pass along to the owner that an anonymous user thinks she should pull up stakes and move a studio that has been here for over five years because "people are going to be people no matter where you are." And considering how long the space occupied by the current real estate office was vacant, it's really helpful suggestion that a successful small business move along so that another storefront can sit vacant for years.

I don't see a reason why the pedestrian way couldn't co-exist with the community that already exists at Akasha. Simple things like not having the live music set up directly in front could help. No one is expecting silence; we live and work and practice in this neighborhood because of it's vibrancy. We are your neighbors, not some austere yogi on a mountain top.

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They may get more business. I rarely drive to the square b/c the traffic is ridiculous and worse during the FM in the summer.

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Purchase some white noise machines.

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That street looks really cool. Nice stencil.

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Birch St used to fully intersect with South St and Belgrade Ave at the traffic light. In those days the lower MBTA Parking lot was owned by the Singer Family who operated the Roslindale Taxi and Limo service. Taxis coming from West Roxbury back to base would use Birch St to access the lot which included a small building where drivers checked-in, radio dispatch happened, and a small heated waiting room for people waiting for a taxi.

After Singer closed up shop the lower lot remained empty and overgrown. With no specific need remaining, the city redesigned the street and added the small bench space (and clock) that is there now, and turned Birch Street back onto Belgrade Ave, eliminating its access at South St. There was no foresight to the possibility that the lower lot may need access again. The lot is now MBTA parking spaces.

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In today's world (with so many people in the street) temporary bollards would be a nice (safe) idea.

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