Commonwealth Avenue Redevelopment

St._Paul_Street_MBTA_station,_Boston_MAA major redevelopment plan has been approved for one of Boston’s busiest streets, Commonwealth Avenue. The redevelopment is expected to have positive implications for the thousands of people who live near by and the many people who commute to work downtown.

Starting at the Boston Public Garden, Commonwealth Ave. is a massive street that goes from the center of Boston all the way to Boston College at the edge of the city. This street serves as a major transportation conduit with large sidewalks for pedestrians, bike lanes and many bus line stops. Furthermore, the entire B branch of the Green Line runs along the street from beginning to end.

Over a mile of Commonwealth Ave. is flanked by Boston University. The portion of the street running from Kenmore Square to the BU Bridge was redeveloped several years ago and is adorned with benches, trees, fine landscaping and modern iron street lamps. From the BU Bridge to Boston College, Commonwealth Ave. is a very poorly maintained streetscape with cracked sidewalks, broken curbs and outdated cement street lamps.  Soon that will all change.

The plan to redevelop the rest of Commonwealth Ave. from the BU Bridge and onward will be broken up into three phases to minimize disruption as much as possible.  When completed, the street will be completely repaved and adorned with new sidewalks, landscaping and benches for people to sit. The old cement street lamps will be replaced with the modern iron street lamps, which will help foster a more consistent look for the street.  Aside from aesthetic improvements, some of the above-ground stops on the B line will be reconstructed to be more accessible to the elderly and handicapped.

While all of these changes have received full support from the community, the planning process has been held up over the new layout of the street. Several organizations including “BU Bikes” and “Boston Cyclist Union” have been advocating for additional protections to make the biking on Commonwealth Ave. safer. With several of the safety measures now approved, construction is scheduled to start this summer.

For more information please see:

http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2014/08/27/boston-commonwealth-ave-reconstruction-plans-phase-2a-boston-transportation-department/

http://www.bu.edu/today/2015/barriers-cyclists-comm-ave/

http://keepbostonmoving.org/portfolio/commonwealth-avenue-phase-3-and-4/

Nick Lattarulo for Bostonia Properties

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