Traffic calming measures will improve pedestrian safety in Jamaica Plain
BOSTON, MA – For over three years, State Representative Jeffrey Sánchez has been collaborating with the Emerald Necklace Conservancy (ENC), the Jamaica Plain community, and neighborhood park groups to advocate for safer, improved access to Jamaica Pond in Jamaica Plain. A second public meeting was held this past Wednesday at the Arnold Arboretum by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), ENC, and Representative Sánchez to present revised design plans for the intersections of Eliot Street at Jamaicaway, Kelly Circle at Parkman Drive, and Parkman Drive at the Parkman Memorial.
Fay, Spofford, & Thorndike (FST), funded through Partnership Matching Funds and ENC, were hired by DCR and ENC as design consultants to review the three locations experiencing pedestrian crossing hazards, high speeds, and heavy traffic delays to develop options for enhancing pedestrian access to Jamaica Pond. Following FST’s presentation at the July 2009 public meeting, concerns were raised regarding pedestrian crossing locations, coordinated traffic and pedestrian signals, pedestrian sightlines, and green space. After assessing feasibility, FST integrated the public’s input into the designs presented on Wednesday.
An audience of some 40 people attended the presentation to view and discuss the revised design plans. FST proposed that the intersection of Eliot St. and Jamaicaway have two crosswalks on either side of Eliot St. with coordinated light signals for east and westbound traffic to increase visibility. The parking lane at Kelly Circle and Parkman Dr. would be removed to reduce traffic delays and increase green space; lanes would be marked more clearly and the pedestrian crossing at Parkman Dr. would be shortened to improve sightlines. The recommendation for Parkman Dr. and Parkman Memorial was to create a sidewalk along Perkins Street to align with the Parkman Dr. pathway and to install double crosswalks and a raised ramp compliant with ADA Accessibility Guidelines.
“The parkway is a beautiful asset to our community and should be respected,” said Representative Sánchez. “I use these roadways and walk to the pond. I understand the issues that exist and am committed to continue working on improving pedestrian access and safety to the pond.” Representative Sánchez anticipates that the final plans will reinforce traffic calming and pedestrian crossing enhancements, improve pavement markings and signage, and increase green space around Jamaica Pond.