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State re-opens road next to Jamaica Pond to traffic

Parkman Drive is once again open to cars, seeing as how there's no longer any need to provide extra space for walkers and joggers around Jamaica Pond, or something. In any case, DCR said it was removing the barriers tonight.

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Comments

Man the hits just keep on coming. Damn you 2020!

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This is shitty and stupid. Not having cars on that block made the pond safer and more pleasant. There never should have had cars that close to the pond in the first place.

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And the road has been there long before you were a twinkle in your parents' eyes.

At the end of the day, when traffic was low it made sense. If traffic is going up, the road has it's purpose. I mean, unless you think it's better for more traffic to be on the Jamaicaway/Pond Street. That's the barrier to the pond.

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There are no abutting residences or businesses that front on it. And yes, it's better to put the traffic on the Jamaicaway than here.

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Is to drive northbound from the Arborway to Brookline, because there's no left turn on Perkins. Or, conversely, its purpose is to drive southbound from Perkins, because there's no left turn on the J-Way.

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If those are the only reason this road needs to be open, just remove the signs.

There's probably a safety-related reason for disallowing left turns there.

Taking down those signs would likely involve a safety study (read: $$$) of the intersection and surrounding roads.

Have you ever made a left turn off of Jamaicaway? Not a good survival rate.

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where signage indicates - Bynner, Perkins, Pond. Otherwise, I go up to the rotary, go around it and head back so I can take a right.

It's not rocket science.

You can't use the rotary to turn left on Perkins while heading north, because you already passed it.

I'm always surprised that they allow those southbound lefts (Perkins only outside of rush hour). It's convenient for getting to JP, but one car waiting to turn blocks the left lane, and it feels very dangerous. In other places the DCR just bans lefts everywhere without providing an alternative.

In this case there is a northbound alternative: using the rotary to turn left on Francis Parkman.

We did the Parkman Drive experiment for a couple of months, why not this one as well?

last week there were very few people walking along that road.

And taking the actual left onto Perkins isn't the dangerous part, its the drivers behind that person aggressively switching back into the right lane to go around the left turn vehicle.

They also probably spent a million dollars putting in that light on Perkins/Pond a few years ago.

Some left turns off the Jamaicaway used to be permitted, but a lot of them were very treacherous. In fact, a friend of mine once had her car totaled while making a left at Perkins. If they restore any turns they'll have to put in protected turn signal phases.

protected turn signal phases.

I thought those were illegal in Massachusetts.

... monitor for speeders and ticket them with heavy fines and suspension of license for repeat offenders.

instead of a signal, perhaps? That will help calm the traffic, too, as well as giving pedestrians right-of-way in all crosswalks at all times.

Good idea, but nobody would ever stop on the J-way. You'd literally have to have a cop stationed there 24/7 for like a year. Which, honestly, doesn't even sound like a bad idea. You could even have a cop stand in the middle of the intersection and direct traffic like in the old days while we're discussing pipe dreams.

That would waste massive amounts of everyone's time, and create a perpetual traffic jam where there isn't one today. And it wouldn't make things any better for transit riders, cyclists, pedestrians, or nearby residents.

I'm glad nobody in charge would ever consider this suggestion.

Protected lefts aren't really possible without widening the road to put in left turn lanes.

The reconstructed surface Arborway took this approach - protect all the turns, which means longer red lights and bigger queues, so throw even more extra lanes at the problem. Now pedestrians and cyclists have to deal with this mess: https://goo.gl/maps/3Q7T9mpEbjaB7S8N8

It has all the charm of Mass Ave/Melnea Cass. But they doubled all the crosswalks with green dashed ones with red tactile pads for bikes, so hey it's all good.

Taking a left onto Perkins, the signal has a left turn arrow for the first how ever many seconds of the light.

EDIT: Wait - no, Bynner has that. Sorry.

Again, is it better to have even more traffic on the road that stands between the bulk of Jamaica Plain’s population And the Pond just so a road that serves purposes other people have spelled out can stay closed?

This isn’t Memorial Drive. It is at one point roughly 15 feet above the Pond and the walkway around it, separated by a bank of trees. So long as walkers are wearing face coverings while in proximity of other Pond walkers, people should be fine.

You are really annoying La Cosa Velopedia with your straightforward answers and logic.

LOL. Try tediously simplistic and obsessively reductionist.

If this is an important road for traffic, why does the DCR have it in the first place? Their roads were not built for that - they were built as parkways "for pleasure vehicles only".

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How did you decide that by definition all DCR roads are not important for traffic?

Many of them are the most important through routes in the area. And were built for that purpose.

The former MDC had a lot of parks, but that wasn't their only thing. They were a regional services agency. For example, their mandate also included the region's water treatment and delivery system, sewage treatment plants, and bridges that aren't part of parkways such as the Mass Ave and Longfellow. It's no accident that "parks" or equivalent was not even in their name.

It's valid to question the importance of a road. It just happens that in my opinion the road has more vehicular importance than some people think.

I mean, unless you are Kinopio. In that case, there is no value to motor vehicles, even those that bring goods to his house (directly or indirectly.)

And people lived near the pond long before cars were invented. So I don’t think you have a point. You just value cars over people’s health.

You're the one that loves the roadway that separates the center of JP and Jamaica Pond so much that you want the Parkman traffic to use it. That can't be healthy.

You're the one that loves the roadway ... so much

You forgot to ask him if he's going to marry it.

Not having cars on that block made the pond safer

How about making it one-way for car traffic with a lane for bikes and pedestrians? Prince could cater to traffic going to Perkins at, Parkman drive could carry traffic from Perkins.

Indoor dining 2 weeks after we started outdoor even though we have been having several times more daily cases than South Korea (whose capital city is 1.5 the size of our whole state). Bumbling Baker just couldn't stand something that benefited pedestrians and bicyclists if it inconvenienced even one precious suburban driver. The roads are still very empty compared to normal but it just irks the guy who raised T fares twice, made bus substitution even worse by using intercity rented buses that made boarding glacial while lavishing money on huge highway projects but keeping the gas tax and tolls steady.

Please return to your regularly scheduled driving cars on absolutely every continuous paved surface in all of creation, without exception, thank you.

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Don't like this?

Email DCR: [email protected]
Tweet DCR: @MassDCR

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Emailed

How much foot traffic did it get during the pedestrianization?

N/t

Ah, at last, a welcomed bit of news for Boston.

DCR stands for Department of Conservation and Recreation.

It does not stand for Department of Cars and Roads.

I don't think their leadership quite understands the difference.

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The MDC was the branch of state government set up in the 1890's to get around pesky things like the people of Brookline who did not want to be part of Boston. There was a need for better regional planning.

The MDC set up Revere Beach and Nantasket Beach, the Blue Hills, the Middlesex Fells, and other recreational spots. They also set up a series of Parkways for the good people of Boston and other area cities and towns to access these areas with ease. You know them as such roads as The J-Way, West Roxbury Parkway, Morrissey Boulevard, Blue Hills Parkway, etc.

So, yes, it is called the Department of Conservation and Recreation. The merger eliminated duplicate jobs in state government and increased efficiency.

Just because the name changed, doesn't mean the old roadways went away. Your logic is not sound.

Think about it. Does Apple sell fruit? Does Southwest only go to the Southwest? Did Josie and The Pussycats in Outer Space really go to outer space? Maybe with your logic they did, but in reality, they didn't.

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Do not argue with Karen, she will demand to talk to your manager.

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Murkin, while you're stereotyping, have anything to say about Mexicans, how about gay people or Jews? Sit down, bigot.

Just because this road is currently under the jurisdiction of a patronage agency doesn't mean it has stay there. Perhaps the best solution would be to return jurisdiction of this road and the Southwest Corridor to the people of Boston and their elected leaders.

had the unintended consequences of greatly increasing the traffic on residential side streets that have no sidewalks for the most part. The cars didn't go away, they relocated to other streets.

More people seem to be driving to work these days so the traffic has increased.

Closing Parkman on weekends for recreation would be a viable compromise, I think.

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Pond st has a sidewalk and Prince st is a one way that is wide enough for two lanes.

has a sidewalk only as far as Rockwood Terrace. Prince doesn't have sidewalks except by the houses at one end. The increased traffic noticed in the neighborhood has been people using Prince and Rockwood as substitutes for Parkman.

Is it sensible to move traffic, with the backups and idling cars, from a street with no residences (Parkman) to one with residences (Prince and Rockwood)?

I think there can be a redesign here for the future, but it is long-term, and not short-term. I can't find a perfect or even near-perfect answer, but one worth discussing is making Prince local access only--at each end-- for residents, and closing the much larger middle to thru traffic and keeping it open for bicycles and pedestrians.

Because no one is blocked from their house by closing Parkman, nor are emergency services.

You can either extend the Rockwood St sidewalk with an orange barrier, or even better make Prince St two way.

People have started to get a taste of city life with more restrictions on cars and I think they like it.

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“People have started to get a taste of city life with more restrictions on cars and I think they like it.“

That’s is true and bears repeating.

The quiet, cleaner air and safer streets for cyclists and pedestrians has been a silver lining of covid. Bostonians have now experienced how much better the city can be with less motor vehicles and aren’t likely to want it to go back the way it was.

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Any decrease in traffic is due to people staying home temporarily, not the authorities closing a few streets.

Almost nobody has gone to work, school, little league, Fenway Park, theater, or out to dinner. Shopping shifted to Amazon and Wayfair, etc. Colleges are online only. We have pretty widespread unemployment, largely mitigated by special bonus government UI checks and PPP.

Was it nice to walk/bike and even drive with less traffic? You betcha.

Does not mean it's sustainable? Nope, unless every one is giving all that stuff up.

. People have started to get a taste of city life with more restrictions on cars and I think they like it.“

That’s is true and bears repeating.

The quiet, cleaner air and safer streets for cyclists and pedestrians has been a silver lining of covid. Bostonians have now experienced how much better the city can be with less motor vehicles and aren’t likely to want it to go back the way it was.

Bike lanes should be re-purposed as activity lanes: open to use by not just cyclists, but runners, people using scooters, motorized wheelchairs, segway riders, rollerbladers and skateboarders as well. This would slow down vehicular traffic and make streets safer for everyone.

I'm betting this abrupt shift in DCR's position significantly derails tonight's virtual public meeting on the "Arborway Parkways Improvement Project". https://www.mass.gov/service-details/arborway-parkways-improvement-project

Not that it needed any help

Turn that section of the Arborway into what Commonwealth Ave in Newton looks like. The 8 lanes of flowing traffic are ridiculous. The outside lanes should have a local traffic lane and a lane converted to parking, so people stop filling up the small streets.

between the two rotaries. There's no need for that to be 8 lanes for 400 yds, then recondense to two lanes. The two lanes on the 'castle' side of the road should have been converted to a bike path to connect WR and Roslindale to the Emerald Necklace.

That is a state road I think though?

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(see link above) is about the Arborway Improvement project--from Kelley Circle (near the Pond) to Murray Circle, than on to Forest Hills.

Yes. It is a State road under DCR.

DCR needs to be pared way down and jurisdiction over so much of their fiefdom should be managed locally.

Why on earth should they be involved in this project for example (outside the fact that it's currently their turf)

I think of that every time I drive there. I never bike because even though it's super close it's horribly dangerous.

The entire stretch culminating at that horrific Center St rotary should be a natural bikeway. I've maybe biked it twice. What a waste. Especially now that there's nothing to do in pandemic times and being outside would be a good change from months of lockdown. Yet biking anywhere on a road feels so unsafe in Boston.

Even crossing that road as a pedestrian is stressful.