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Design a Better Boston Are you disappointed with the state of Boston's current architecture/development? Think you have a better idea? Post it here.

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Old 01-15-2011, 01:10 AM   #1
czsz
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Boston Complete Streets Initiative

Not my idea, though thought it was worth posting here:

http://americancity.org/buzz/entry/2850/

http://www.bostoncompletestreets.org/
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:07 PM   #2
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Re: Boston Complete Streets Initiative

Hmmm. Does anyone have the Boston Courant for the past couple of weeks? I seem to remember some story written by Scotty Van Voorhis about the constant delays in getting this done. It may have been in a different newspaper, though.

This was the same project that was proposed in the early 2000's, the one that redesigned Broad Street, right?

It looks as though it has new life.
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:27 PM   #3
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Re: Boston Complete Streets Initiative

I think you're thinking of the Cross Streets initiative downtown. This is a broader, city-wide project.
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Old 01-15-2011, 03:02 PM   #4
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Re: Boston Complete Streets Initiative

Their design philosophy seems to consist of extending the sidewalks, then jamming as many trees, micro-lawns, raised planters and assorted obstacles on those sidewalks as possible. Looking through their projects I can only assume their true goal is to impede the pedestrian's freedom of movement as much as possible, physically corralling them with "green" barriers so they can't interfere with sacred auto traffic.

At the top of their About page, they begin with a Menino Quote: "The car is no longer the king in Boston." If this were actually true we wouldn't be so obsessed with segregating cars and people; nor would the city's zoning code be filled with parking requirements.
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Old 01-16-2011, 12:39 AM   #5
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Re: Boston Complete Streets Initiative

I think they were largely meant to "color between the lines" on this. Clearly nothing radical. Still, an improvement if it comes off. Look at the intersection of Mass. Ave. and Main St. in Cambridge to see what extended sidewalks and street furniture can do...from asphalt anonymity to a public square nearly as lively as the main plaza in Central Square itself.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:44 AM   #6
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Re: Boston Complete Streets Initiative

CZ, Jill Brown-Rhone Park feeds off Central Sq and university Park providing an actively edged public space that fills a gaping void left by those places. It was also a pretty major and well-thought-out reconfiguration of a major intersection.

In comparison, the Boston Complete Streets projects seem to be a collection of superficial applications of current "green" fashion and little else. Some may see these as innocuous, cosmetic improvements, but these streetscape projects will actually play a significant negative role in defining how pedestrians experience the street.

For example, look at this Boylston St./ Fenway project by BCS. What is this planting wall but a green barrier corralling pedestrians onto an unneccesarily truncated sidewalk, visually isolating them from the rest of Boylston and treating the actual street like a highway? Do you want to live in a city full of sidewalks like this?
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Old 01-27-2011, 03:13 AM   #7
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Re: Boston Complete Streets Initiative

Agreed; the sidewalk plantings are a pretty terrible idea. But it looked like there were some better ideas on the site...a lot of intersections turned into "squares" with larger pedestrian areas.
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