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Old 06-21-2011, 09:47 AM   #21
cden4
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Re: Riverside Station development

Does anyone know if bike lanes are planned for Grove St or any of the internal roads to the project? I think that's an important component that may be missing, especially if they truly want this to be a "smart growth" project.
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:58 AM   #22
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Re: Riverside Station development

Newton's traffic planners hate bikes despite whatever PR is put out there. Last year two prominent doctors were run down there and the city didn't even shed crocodile tears.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:53 AM   #23
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Re: Riverside Station development

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Originally Posted by cden4 View Post
Does anyone know if bike lanes are planned for Grove St or any of the internal roads to the project? I think that's an important component that may be missing, especially if they truly want this to be a "smart growth" project.
Adding bike lanes has a somewhat low priority in Newton (on Walnut St, for example, residents vehemently opposed the lanes in favor of on-street parking), but that's not what's keeping them off Grove St. The Riverside Development is designed to connect to a planned DCR rail trail (you can see the connection in the upper-left of the site plan) which will allow bike access from Lower Falls and Wellesley. With the grade on Grove St. and the need to expand it already for more traffic lanes, my guess is that bike lanes were deemed redundant.
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:43 AM   #24
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Re: Riverside Station development

I know that people from Auburn and Newton are worried about traffic. I think this is the biggest concern about it from most residence. (at least what I hear)

There is a trellis bridge that is now run down, it is being rebuilt to extend a path into the shops from other residential area.

Although Grove St. is a bit of a scenic residential road, I think the development is ok. I would rather see it closer to the city, but it is better than happening somewhere in NH or western MA and a town forest is cut down and leveled for this then they find out it was a bad development since it is in the middle of nowhere.

I agree that the height being lowered is bad. I do not think height of buildings would be an issue here. Some of the conceptual drawings and renderings actually make this place look nice. Newton is older, and is very overgrown with old trees and greenery, I like this. This new development must pay close attention to keeping it looking nice and planting enough to soften up the area. If it ends up looking nice, and the roads are designed well, I feel that this will be a good build. However, there is already traffic during events, (especially sox games) and this may be worse with this development, again this will be dependent on how the roads are designed to allow for maximum traffic flow. Grove St is currently a fast paced moving road that people use to travel on, not shop on.

Up the road on Grove St across from the Tennis courts, that speed bump/crosswalk was put in to try and slow down traffic. So people definitely do drive fast enough on this road to make the city aware of it. This development will only aid in slowing traffic down.
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:44 PM   #25
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Re: Riverside Station development

^ The original plan called for 15 stories. I'm pretty sure Newton as a whole has fewer than 5 buildings of that height, nor is it typical along 128. It was proposed with the intention of being cut down, and that's exactly what they did as a negotiating tactic.

In other news (probably the last for a while), the EIR has been submitted and is available here if you scroll down:

http://www.riversidestation.info/riv...tiki-index.php

It goes into some more detail on things, but I didn't see any new images that weren't in the presentation slides.
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Old 10-18-2011, 08:53 AM   #26
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Re: Riverside Station development

There was apparently a meeting on October 6th about changes to the planned development. It appears the DEIR already passed so nothing too major changed, just reduction in amount of retail and apartment space, addition of a whole floor of "community space," narrowing of roads, and open space changes (including a new bike pavilion). It appears resident complaints center around traffic concerns and increase of students into the school system (even though the development team has calculated 30-40 additional students spread across all grade levels). Below you will find links to stuff.

Meeting presentation:
http://www.riversidestation.info/riverside/dl73

Meeting handout:
http://www.riversidestation.info/riverside/dl72

Newton Patch article about the meeting:
http://newton.patch.com/articles/tra...on-development

WickedLocal coverage of the meeting:
http://www.wickedlocal.com/newton/ne...#axzz1a994Dulx
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Old 10-18-2011, 09:16 AM   #27
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Re: Riverside Station development

By mildly downscaling the residential and commercial units, I theorize this will ironically make traffic worse, or just as bad. Instead of having a self-sustaining community, they'll be forced to go drive to shops in the town.
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Old 10-18-2011, 09:45 AM   #28
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Re: Riverside Station development

Wow the revisions to the streets are really nice. Bike lanes have been added to Grove St. The roundabouts are now single lane instead of double lane, which should be safer and less confusing for everyone. Grove St is also primarily one lane in each direction, which will definitely help to keep speeds down.
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:39 AM   #29
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Re: Riverside Station development

The changes look nice (though what the heck does 1 floor of "community space" mean?), but traffic is still a huge problem. Notice that the map cuts off the 128NB on-ramp just short of the river. That isn't an accident. It conveniently leaves out the massive, traffic-snarling weave that will create when the ramps from Riverside, Recreation Road, and the ramp to the Turnpike all meet far too close together. That access road regularly backs up during rush hour as it is, much less once more traffic is added to a poorer geometry, and that doesn't even count the impacts on Grove Street itself (why they haven't yet proposed to redirect mainline Grove St. onto the 128SB access road is beyond me, it would make things far more appetizing to the neighbors).

I think this project, along with the Grossman's project in Wellesley and the multi-use path which will ultimately connect them, are great in theory for Lower Falls and Newton in general. The reality of that traffic, though, is still a bit worrying to me.

Also, why an outdoor pool? This is Boston. Put it indoors.
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:34 PM   #30
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Re: Riverside Station development

Correction: This is NEWTON. In the suburbs pools belong outdoors.
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Old 10-19-2011, 02:05 PM   #31
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Re: Riverside Station development

It's no warmer in Newton than it is in Boston.
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Old 10-19-2011, 02:32 PM   #32
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Re: Riverside Station development

I was being facetious.
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:47 PM   #33
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Re: Riverside Station development

Community rooms are the latest demand of nimbys. The new project in the Fenway will have one too. Don't forget to get one in your neighborhoods too.
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:46 PM   #34
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Re: Riverside Station development

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Community rooms are the latest demand of nimbys. The new project in the Fenway will have one too. Don't forget to get one in your neighborhoods too.
Sure, but I'm involved in the neighborhood advocacy group in this case and as far as I know, no one asked for this, much less demanded it. Same goes for the "childrens' fountain" that replaced the "reflecting pool/ice skating rink" (the rain garden is actually a legit stormwater management strategy, though). These guys need to stop pandering with useless stuff we didn't ask for and figure out where all of these cars are going to go...
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Old 10-20-2011, 09:52 AM   #35
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Re: Riverside Station development

Unless i am wrong, i am pretty sure the big traffic problems people are talking about are out of the jurisdiction of the developer. As it is a highway onramp and interchange that are the main issues isn't that the states or DOT's issue. to fix it a new interchange will have to be built, an i have never heard of a developer that was require to rebuild part of a highway to mitigate traffic.
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:46 AM   #36
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Re: Riverside Station development

A few new drawings here. The concept for open space and the over all draftign are the most helpful.

http://www.riversidestation.info/riv...tiki-index.php
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:46 PM   #37
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Re: Riverside Station development

Approval likely in September for this (from Newton):

http://www.wickedlocal.com/newton/ne...special-permit

Complicating things is that they're modifying an Interstate facility, so FHWA has to approve their on-ramp designs - so does MassDOT, but the article says nothing about that part.

Latest site plan:

http://www.riversidestation.info/riverside/dl105

Updated access plan with on-ramp roundabout:

http://www.riversidestation.info/riverside/dl107

Bill Renke keeps a really good site here, btw.
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:59 PM   #38
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Re: Riverside Station development

Looks better than what's there now, though I can't help but wonder at the irony of a "Transit Oriented Development" doubling the amount of parking spaces currently there.

I just hope that the MBTA and the Commonwealth are not footing the bill for any of the garages.
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:49 PM   #39
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Re: Riverside Station development

Newton approves - construction to begin 2015 (they have to wait for the MBTA to approve and build the garage):

http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/...een_light.html
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:48 PM   #40
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Re: Riverside Station development

Great! Not to be critical, but for residents to truly adopt a TOD lifestyle, the trip on the D Branch should probably be sped up a little bit. I've ridden from Riverside a few times (I usually use Waban, Newton Highlands and Newton Centre though) and if you are going past Hynes it's quite a long ride. Heck, just adding fare gates to Newton Centre would make this project more desirable by cutting peak travel time to Resevoir by as much as 10%.
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