Hey, there! Log in / Register

City plan would cut Franklin Park road from Roxbury to Forest Hills

The Bay State Banner reports a design firm working on the city's proposed revitalization of Franklin Park would turn Circuit Drive into a pedestrian and bicycle path and would instead funnel all car traffic from and into Roxbury.

Neighborhoods: 
Free tagging: 

Ad:
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

Pour one out for the people who drive through the park (I can't find a traffic count but I assume one exists) but I would be interested in what would happen to the 16 bus, which provides key bus route service levels (it, and the 31, provide this level of service, but are not officially key bus routes, because MBTA I guess) and runs through the park.

Sure, it could be run along Morton and American Legion, but that adds more time to the service. One option would be to add bus lanes on Morton from Forest Hills to American Legion, and then on American Legion to Blue Hill, which would also help the 21, 31, and 14 buses, and basically mean a bus on Morton Street every 4 minutes much of the day. Which would be nice to have, even if the 16 were retained in the park.

Another option would be to retain Circuit Drive as a transitway for the 16 bus. It could even, potentially, be retained as a single-lane, bidirectional transitway from the Zoo to the Shattuck, which could be signaled so that only one bus was using it at a time (obviously) and would minimize the amount of pavement needed. This could take the roadway from 40 feet wide to 12, and also retain it for emergency vehicles (which could override transit signaling).

If the T really had its act together (hahhah, I know) it would work with BTD to turn Columbus into a street with BRT and there would be a fast, frequent, reliable corridor from Forest Hills to JFK. I won't hold my breath.

up
Voting closed 37

?

up
Voting closed 9

Is this really because of those losers playing their speakers at night?

up
Voting closed 16

Close it to private vehicles

up
Voting closed 15

The complaints about increased traffic on Seaver Street are valid. Is there any reason there needs to be car traffic within the park at all? There's already a zoo entrance on Blue Hill Ave ("zebra entrance") that can be used by people needing to get there by car for disability reasons. Could Franklin Park do something like accessible pedicabs for folks looking to get to the cookout areas and stadium who need accessible transport?

up
Voting closed 23

Eeka, the Pierpont Street entrance services the FPZ veterinary facility and the maintenance & facilities grounds. In addition to the zoo visitors & staff, you've probably noticed the parking are there is used for events in the park fields & at White Stadium. It's been a while since I've walked around there-- or, more honestly, gone from El Dugout to the zoo :) -- but I don't remember Pierpont actually cutting all the way through, or having a service road, to Seaver Street. I don't drive, so maybe I've missed it. Or are you talking about people parking in the lot on Seaver?

Could the increased traffic be because of the new bus lane configuration on Seaver?

Ari, you have a good point about the buses. It's already hard for the many, many non-driving high school & early twenties seasonal workers to get to & from the zoo. The 16 & the 22 serve a lot of them. Maybe the road could be closed to vehicle traffic except buses between the turn-off for Pierpont Road the Shattuck Shelter, which presumably needs access for state vehicles & EMTs.

up
Voting closed 8

I'm talking about the layout that's proposed in the article, and people's objections to directing all that traffic to Seaver St.

Do they need car traffic in the park at all is what I'm asking. They could have accessible parking at the zebra entrance off of Blue Hill, and possibly a small pullin with accessible spots on Walnut Ave closer to the stadium. This is a city, it's green space, and we should be encouraging people who don't need accessible parking to walk/bike/take transit.

up
Voting closed 6

This is at the cost of the black community to benefit the upper-middle class in JP. It cuts off Forest Hills to that part of the city which doesn't have a major transit hub, all so white folks from JP can enjoy their bike rides through the park.

The solution their proposing would be an absolute nightmare during rush hour, not to mention during the school year.

This isn't a side street, it major road which countless people rely on.

Enough with putting the SMALL percentage of Bostonians (transients who aren't from here) who ride a bike over the VAST majority.

up
Voting closed 80

I live in J.P. and routinely use Circuit Drive to get to Roxbury and beyond for work. It’s not only about isolating Roxbury from J.P. (don’t be a victim we need to get places too) it’s about pandering to another special interest group - the bicyclists and idle morons who flit around with no true purpose. If anything park a traffic cop on the drive 24/7 and actually have them write speeding tickets to all the a-holes who use it like a raceway - justify their paycheck.

Both neighborhoods should get their acts together and work together - to prevent stupid suggestions like this. It’s a link we all need - these are our neighborhoods otherwise the roads will turn into an ass backward jumble of one way streets like in the theatre district which is an absolute cluster….!

Bicyclists will be fine with heavy traffic - they’ll just have to ride faster and actually pay attention. Bicyclists should enjoy the same privileges as motorists the day they start registering their vehicles (their bikes, just like you had to back in the day), paying insurance, and following the traffic laws.

The proposal is total BS and benefits all the douchey outsiders who truly belong out in some non-descript suburb that feel the need to experience city life - on their terms only. One more step to destroying our city and handing to special interests.

up
Voting closed 24

Bicyclists will be fine with heavy traffic - they’ll just have to ride faster and actually pay attention. Bicyclists should enjoy the same privileges as motorists the day they start registering their vehicles (their bikes, just like you had to back in the day), paying insurance, and following the traffic laws.

Ooh, I got Cager-Talking-Points Bingo in just one paragraph! Can't believe you left off excise taxes, though.

up
Voting closed 31

Or use tax, or something for all the bike lanes that are being built. Doesn’t need to be a lot, but they need to start paying their fair share.

up
Voting closed 8

when cars start paying their fair share of the services and roads they require, we'll talk about it.

up
Voting closed 27

It's about $10 if we're being generous here Robbie.

https://www.mass.gov/guides/motor-vehicle-excise

up
Voting closed 9

$10 is a good start and will generate a lot of revenue from the freeloaders.

up
Voting closed 4

and how much do you think that will cost?

the freeloaders

I seem to recall paying sales and income taxes in Boston and Massachusetts, even for bicycle-related purchases, so I must be missing the "freeloader" part here, especially given the low cost of bicycle-specific infrastructure (but you already knew that, I'm sure)

up
Voting closed 4

The freeloaders are private car owners.

up
Voting closed 7

The taxes that apply to cars do not pay for roads. Drivers have pretty low standards for themselves compared to their expectations pedestrians and cyclists.

up
Voting closed 20

How about bikes cover 50% of all bike lanes? Sounds like a fair deal to me

up
Voting closed 8

How about drivers start paying for roads?

up
Voting closed 15

50% of them. Bikers need to pay their fair share.

up
Voting closed 7

How is 50% a fair share for drivers? Why should the expensive services required for car ownership be shared with all taxpayers? Governments spend more non-user tax dollars on highways than on transit, bicycling, walking and passenger rail travel, combined. 50% would be an improvement, but it is not enough. the car lobby has scammed the public into subsidizing the auto industry.

up
Voting closed 15

Services all require maintained roads. Even if you don’t own a car, you benefit from maintained roads.

Bikes pay nothing into bike lanes. How is that fair?

up
Voting closed 7

That is untrue. If you looked at the just the taxes that bicycle owners pay that go to the maintenance of roads it is 10 times the amount spent creating bike lanes. it is cars that are being subsidized not bikes.

up
Voting closed 12

Even if you don’t own a car. Car owners pay, in addition to the same overall taxes the bicycle owners pay, registrations fees every two years, gas tax, excise tax, and sales tax on the initial vehicle purchase. Bike owners pay nothing for the bike lanes they solely use.

up
Voting closed 8

Everyone benefits but not to the extent of private car owners. Each delivery vehicle is serving hundreds of people. You can not put those people's share of road use equal to private cars.

up
Voting closed 11

For the roads they use. How much do bike owners pay for their bike lanes?

up
Voting closed 6

100%

up
Voting closed 9

Nt

up
Voting closed 8

We both swung too far to each end. The answer is not 0% and it’s not 100%.

If you assume cars cover half of the road costs and everyone pays equally to cover the remaining 50%. Lets say bikers account for 25% of the population (I have no idea what the right number is here, but 25% seems somewhat accurate). That means the driving population covers 75% of the remaining 50% or 37.5% and bikers cover the remaining 12.5% of all road costs. Sounds like bikers are not paying their fair share.

up
Voting closed 5

Bicycles do not cause even 5% of the wear and tear on the roadways. People receiving services and deliveries do not cause 50% of the wear and tear on the roadways. Commercial vehicles pay more taxes than private vehicles. Private vehicles cause 90% of the damage and pay less than 50% of the taxes.

up
Voting closed 11

Bikes don’t just ride on bare pavement and those things are not free.

I need to try some facts? Private vehicles cause 90% of the damage? You’re going to have to provide a citation for that one because one 18 wheeler causes the equivalent damage of 9600 cars.

up
Voting closed 3

you first. I have provided more links than you

up
Voting closed 9

The report documents that the amount that road users pay through gas taxes now accounts for less than half of what’s spent to maintain and expand the road system. The resulting shortfall is made up from other sources of tax revenue at the state and local levels, generated by drivers and non-drivers alike. This subsidizing of car ownership costs the typical household about $1,100 per year—over and above the costs of gas taxes, tolls, and other user fees.

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/10/driving-true-costs/...

And I guess we can try addressing this too.

The state highway system needs $6.5 billion more than its budgeted revenue over the next 10 years to maintain roads, bridges, and tunnels, according to the report. The MBTA is set for the next five years, but after that it will face a $1.9 billion shortfall, brought on largely by diminishing federal funding and less state borrowing capacity, the report says.

The funding shortfall is just for maintenance of existing infrastructure and doesn’t include money needed to modernize, expand, or decarbonize the state’s transportation infrastructure. Not included in the funding forecast are proposals to expand the commuter rail system into a subway-like regional rail system, to build South Coast Rail, to connect the Red and Blue Lines, to expand South Station, or to construct the Allston interchange.

https://commonwealthmagazine.org/transportation/report-transportation-fu...

Care to explain how my $10 in excise bike tax is gonna make up for the $6.5 billion budget shortfall? hahahahaha

Also where did you get the 25% of road users are cyclists that you posted earlier? If thats true, do we get infrastructure that reflects that? Cause you can't make the claim that 25% of road space is accommodating just cyclists. What about highways that we cannot ride on?

up
Voting closed 7

Tolls, sales tax on vehicle purchases, and registration fees. I’m ok if they raise these things to cover more of the maintenance costs. How about raise vehicle costs and implement a bike registration fee and yearly fee? Sounds fair to me.

Highways? That’s why my proposed fee is really low. I don’t understand why bicyclists are so against paying their fair share? I paid $2200 in excise tax last year alone and was happy to do it. I guess bicyclists are selfish? I dunno.

up
Voting closed 3

What you paid is still less than the costs to taxpayers. So if you understand math, then bicyclists are still overpaying.

up
Voting closed 10

so you agree that bicycles owners pay more than they owe for roads? did you read these articles?

up
Voting closed 9

The report documents that the amount that road users pay through gas taxes now accounts for less than half of what’s spent to maintain and expand the road system. The resulting shortfall is made up from other sources of tax revenue at the state and local levels, generated by drivers and non-drivers alike. This subsidizing of car ownership costs the typical household about $1,100 per year—over and above the costs of gas taxes, tolls, and other user fees.

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/10/driving-true-costs/...

up
Voting closed 8

Do I need to copy and paste my above post regarding percentage paid by bikes vs cars? 12.5% is minuscule.

up
Voting closed 4

But why should non car owners subsidize roads? they still pay more than they owe.

up
Voting closed 9

All that paint, lane markers, pavement, traffic lights are not free. Eating up parking with bike lanes, which is a revenue source for the city.

You pay $1200 because you benefit from the road without ever owning a car - package deliveries, mail, groceries, goods, MBTA, and emergency services (fire, ambulances, police, etc). You don’t need to drive a car to reap benefits of the roads.

I never realized bikers are such a cheap and selfish bunch.

up
Voting closed 2

wow still no links supporting your claims? the ones you posted supported the facts that cars owners don't pay their fair share.

up
Voting closed 13

The 2023 city of boston budget itemizes the cost for adding bike lanes.

https://content.boston.gov/sites/default/files/file/2022/04/FY23%20Full%...

Some highlights:
STRATEGIC BIKE NETWORK: MASS. AVE. SOUTH OF MELNEA CASS BLVD. $2.4M

STRATEGIC BIKE NETWORK: CAMBRIDGE STREET $900k

It’s just paint. It’s cheap. Ya, right! Start paying for these improvements that only bikes use.

up
Voting closed 5

But how does that compare to the amount the city spends on services for automobiles?
Are neighborhood parking stickers free? Do Boston police officers work for free? Do you know how much pedestrian and cyclist injury and death costs? Every household in Boston subsidizes auto 1100 dollars per year. Keeping the cost of driving artificially low wears the roads out faster because they are overused. Bike and pedestrians don't cause this kind of wear and so this money spent now, will save money in the long run.

up
Voting closed 9

Everyone benefits from roads. Everyone! Private vehicle owners pay 50% of road costs and tax payers cover the other 50%, which includes private vehicle owners. Bike lanes are only used by bikers and they pay nothing for them. If you want to make the argument that they do because they pay taxes. I would say, I’m paying for bike lanes and make zero use of said lanes along with a majority of MA residents. It’s selfish that bikers push for more bike lanes and don’t want to chip in anything to help pay for them. I’m not saying they should pay for everything. How about 50% like private vehicle owners? I’d even be happy with 25%.

I don’t know anything about you, but $2.4M a year for bike lanes sounds like a lot of money to me.

up
Voting closed 2

What is selfish is a car owner that overestimates the share of taxes they pay to drive and still feels entitled to accuse other taxpayers of not paying enough. The low cost of these lanes will save lives. Cyclists have paid more than enough.

up
Voting closed 11

.

up
Voting closed 5

I'm not saying that his opinion should be determinative in 2022, but we should at least ask this question, since he designed the park.

up
Voting closed 7

of FLO did not include a hospital, golf course, stadium, and zoo.

Life changes--

up
Voting closed 4

The hospital doesn't, and neither do the cars.

up
Voting closed 7

I've heard people who question that anything is in the park. Just saying that contributing to the park is a subjective opinion and in JP, at least, no one will agree on anything.

up
Voting closed 4

Isn't that what parks are for?

up
Voting closed 18

I agree with the comment, letting the 16 use the circuit road. Where do you park for the zoo?

up
Voting closed 12

I assume the little loop ("Franklin Park Road" officially) at the zebra entrance would still be in use. It has a few dozen parking spaces, and it's a wide open area that could easily be configured to have more.

But this is a city. Why not make all of those spots accessible parking placard spots, have an active dropoff lane for buses/vans for field trips, and people who don't need to come by car for disability reasons can walk, bike, take transit? And if there are really people who want to come by car so badly, I'm sure a local business owner could toss up a $40 parking garage as is done with other city locations to which people really shouldn't drive because it's a damn city.

up
Voting closed 19

The article covers this, and if you don't want to read the whole thing, just look at the two diagrams showing now vs. proposed. There will be car routes to all existing parking lots, just not through access from one side of the park to the other.

up
Voting closed 14

I'm concerned as the word is that the Shattuck will be leaving and patients will be seen on BU side of BMC Campus. What will happen to all the Mass/Cass folks who have been moved up to the little prefab houses?? What will happen to the 13 acres of Shattuck in this scheme?

up
Voting closed 13

I'd say "click on the link" but honestly I only did that right before responding to you.

The park wouldn't exactly be closed to traffic. The route to the Shattuck and down the section of Circuit Road by the hospital would still be open. In addition, the road would be open around the zoo, and in fact the sketches ponder reopening the entrance on Seaver Street to vehicles. Basically, it would no longer be a through road from Dorchester to Jamaica Plain, but it wouldn't exactly be closed.

Honestly, I don't see the point in this. I'll cross the road while running in the park, and I've never found the traffic to be deleterious to my use of the park. It could probably use some traffic calming, though. Conversely, half the road is closed to anything bigger than a golf cart now, so they are basically taking it to the next level. Honestly, even if they do it I'll most likely do that climb from the hospital to Schoolmaster Hill on the sidewalk anyway.

up
Voting closed 15

Thanks for the new vocab word!

up
Voting closed 7

So where are people who come to Franklin Park for festivals and other major events going to park? As it is, for such events cars line both sides of Circuit Drive and spill into the surrounding streets.

Is there a parking plan? Asking for all those who live in the abutting neighborhoods.

up
Voting closed 10

I'm 100% for bike and pedestrian improvements, but not at the expense of public transit. If they can find a way to keep the #16 bus on the park road while excluding all other motor traffic, great.

up
Voting closed 22

There will be a lot more traffic on American Legion Highway as a result of this, so the city will absolutely have to fix the mess they’ve made of that traffic pattern. I understand the desire to slow things down from the 50 mph speedway it used to be, but the treacherous random changes from 2 lanes to 1, back to 2, again 1 lane is dangerous and encourages reckless driving. The unnecessary traffic backups are painful and I have never once seen a bicycle on the bike lanes that replaced the car lanes. I’m a frequent cyclist myself and I’m not one of those “roads are for cars only” complainers like the Centre St. crowd in West Roxbury, but AL Highway is a mess that should be easy to fix. It has to be done before they shut off Franklin Park.

up
Voting closed 21

could probably be reduced to one lane, that would fix the issue you have with predictability. But honestly, it seems like a questionable complaint from anybody who drives it regularly. The merges are well marked, and are in fact quite predictable. It's two lanes where there is a need for access to parking lots, it's one lane where there is a need for street parking (ie where there aren't parking lots). I agree it could use some work, but in my case, I'd recommend permanent physical structures to replace the flex posts. As for the bike lanes, plenty of us use them, and it is a really good route now from Hyde Park/Rozzi/Mattapan to Dorchester. Wouldn't want that to become unsafe again.

up
Voting closed 19

And you say you're a frequent cyclist? We use that stretch all the time, and typically see others.

up
Voting closed 15

As community drama go, this episode may rival the removal of the Cassey Overpass -the long 4-lane road overpass that used to straddle Washington St in Forest Hill for those who were not around in 2014.

As predicted by opponents, once the overpass was removed traffic backed up for miles in each direction and the earth got thrown off its axis.

up
Voting closed 31

Saying Forest Hills isn’t a complete disaster? Because it is!

up
Voting closed 22

The sky isn't falling, chicken little; yes, you'll have to wait a bit if you're trying to drive through 7-9AM or 4-6PM. Car traffic isn't king when the goal is to increase residential & transit density.

up
Voting closed 28

It's nice there is a five inch wide strip of paint for a bike lane. On either end of that lane you'll need to be very brave. I disagree with another poster, the speeds are very high without regard to any pedestrian or cyclist. I would not recommend crossing near the northern entrance of the zoo with a family. Also it's a park, I'm not saying that no traffic should be the answer, but every other park on the necklace has few high speed roads in them. Yes a lot of roads to cross, but...

up
Voting closed 10

Seriously, I have never seen heavy traffic on ALH. pics please.

up
Voting closed 10

In 2015, the City closed the Central Park drives north of 72nd St. -- which also funneled speeding traffic across the park. In 2018, the rest of the Park Drives, south of 72nd St., were also closed. With each round, people who drove the road to cut across Manhattan claimed that everything would be terrible and it was seen as super controversial. If you've been to Central Park in any of these times, the reality is that the roads are now incredibly popular and well-utilized for walking, jogging, biking, stroller-ing, etc. So maybe we could have the same here. As someone who's walked, biked, and driven around the area plenty of times, it's always been a bit odd that a defining feature of Boston's largest park is that it functions as a traffic cut-through.

up
Voting closed 15

Are all of those closed? I thought major bus routes used them.

up
Voting closed 6

As of 2021, they appear to be open to traffic.

Perhaps they are only closed on the weekends. In the summer.

up
Voting closed 6