Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Casey Arborway Annotated: The South/Washington Corridor

On Novemeber 19th, MassDOT revealed their final design for the $59 million Casey Arborway project. Latest information is that they will advertise to contractors on January 25, select the lowest responsible bidder and issue a Notice to Proceed around May 30, 2014. Substantial demolition will have taken place by the end of 2014 - likely working from the ends towards the middle - and the project is expected to be completed by September 30, 2016.

The following link points to an in-depth, annotated look at the designs for the South St/Washington St corridor on the western side of the project, with annotations added by me. Apologies if I've mis-characterized anything heard at the meetings. Other portions of the design will be annotated in subsequent blog posts.

This annotated image can be clicked to enlarge, which might make it legible, but the link above is better:

Design highlights of the South St./Washington St. corridor include (north to south):
  • "Don't Block the Box" striping on South St at Arborway Rd.
  • Arborway Rd relocated northward approximately two car-lengths at South St to create more southbound queue space at the South/Arborway intersection and to allow easier entrance/exit to Arborway Rd.
  • Bike and pedestrian crosswalks are visually distinctive. 
  • Crossing lights have count-down timers and audible signals, medians have safety islands with crossing buttons. 
  • Corners of intersections have special hexagonal pavers that signal to pedestrians and bikers that they are in a "mixed use zone" - contrasting visual cues indicate where bike lanes continue.
  • Ramps at all crossings.
  • New sidewalk and on-street bike path along westbound Arborway west of South St, with pedestrian-activated crossing light at Arboretum's Forest Hills Gate.
  • Two-way off-street bike path and separate sidewalk sheltered by trees on eastbound Arborway side.
  • New northern plaza between South and Washington includes a new MBTA Head House providing direct access to T platform below without crossing Arborway. Large enough for "programmable use" such as Farmer's Markets, Art Fairs, music festivals, etc. Includes bike racks and benches, permeable surfaces for drainage, many new trees.
  • Southern plaza re-designed, revamped, re-landscaped, providing space for vendor kiosks.
  • Taxi stands moved to Arborway along southern plaza.
  • New "bicycle rotary" slows bikes coming from Southwest Corridor Park.
  • Current mid-block pedestrian crossing eliminated.
  • Off-street bike paths continue south on Washington beyond Asticou Rd., becoming off-street cycle track further south.
  • Off-street bike paths and sidewalks along eastbound Arborway.
  • "Don't Block the Box" striping at Washington/South light by VFW.
  • "Table" crosswalk hump at Asticou to discourage non-local traffic.
  • New roofed Upper Busway, south of existing one. The 39 bus moves here. Buses separated from Washington St and Asticou neighborhood by bermed, landcsaped island. Exit island directs exiting buses and their headlights away from neighbors, lights shielded by walls. Busway extends over lower parking lot, supported by pylons.
  • School buses and parent pick-up consolidated in lower parking lot.
For additional annotations describing the rest of the project see:
The Annotated Casey: Western End

The Annotated Casey: Eastern End

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