Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Final Casey Arborway Corridor Overview

MassDOT has made available a final overview rendering of the Casey Arborway corridor.

Click the image for a larger version

External link to larger image

In addition to vastly expanded off-street and on-street amenities for pedestrians and cyclists throughout and newly revitalized connections between the Arboretum and Franklin Park, some of the highlights include (left to right, west to east):

  • A bow-tie u-turn lane at the Forest Hills Gate of the Arboretum. There will be no westbound left turns at South St/Washington and those seeking that route will need to reverse direction here. There will also be a pedestrian- activated crosswalk there, and a new northerly sidewalk from South Street to it.
  • The smaller, upper Arborway frontage road is going to be relocated approximately two car-lengths northward at South Street to create more queueing space at South/Arborway.
  • The 39 bus which currently terminates under the Overpass is being relocated to a newly expanded Upper Busway south of the T station. Residential neighbors here are shielded from noise & visuals by a bermed and landscaped hump between the busway and southerly Washington St. Bus exits are steered around a small island so that their headlights don't shine on residential homes.
  •  The current T station plaza south of the new Arborway is being revamped, and off-street east-west bike paths and sidewalks created. The taxi stand currently alongside the upper busway will be relocated to both sides of the Arborway, along with pick-up/drop-off space for cars.
  • At the end of Southwest Corridor Park a new plaza is being created that features a new head house for direct access to the T platform from the north side of the Arborway. Dedicated bike and pedestrian paths - including a bike rotary - as well as benches and new 'programmable space' for things like farmer's markets and fairs will be here too. The current mid-block crosswalk is being eliminated, and there will be substantial planting boxes and smaller flowering trees in the median above the tracks.
  • An eastbound bow-tie u-turn will be created in front of the Court House (there will be no left turns onto northerly Washington from eastbound Arborway). A crosswalk here leads to a Court House parking lot on the Arborway Yard site.
  • The north side between Washington Street and Franklin Park will have dedicated off-street pedestrian and cycling paths.
  • The Shea Circle rotary on the eastern end is being replaced by a signalized intersection dubbed Shea Square. On the north side, Franklin Park expands a little. South of the intersection will be a small park in front of Franklin Park Villa. Sidewalks are being added to and through the island at Forest Hills Cemetery.
There are more details not easy to spot in this rendering such as grade and surface differentials between pedestrians and bikes, corner "mixing zones" where they come together, refuges in the medians, a thoughtful mix of plants etc. Hollow trees shown are existing ones, solid trees are all new.

Some construction will begin in late 2014 and the project is still expected to be completed in late 2016.


  1. Do you know how much of an overhang there will be for Upper Busway over the Hyde Park Av parking lot? I'm wondering if this will affect the Forest Hills Improvement Initiative plans to redevelop the lot. Can't imagine much could be build with a busway hanging overhead.

  2. Looks like more than 40' on the rendering shown in the powerpoint prepared for the Weld Hill neighborhood meeting (available on MassDOTs Casey website under 'meetings'). The lower lot will be the future home of pickup and dropoff for regional school buses (and parents), a plan generally hailed by MBTA, BPS and the DAG committee. Not sure whether that effects the development parcel north if Ukraine or not.