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Boylston Street Corridor Neighborhood Forum - Shared screen with speaker view
Wendy Machmuller
35:23
Link below is the Committee's website
Wendy Machmuller
35:32
https://www.brooklinema.gov/1605/Boylston-Street-Corridor-Study-Committee
Wendy Machmuller
38:12
Toole's design presentation will be available on the website (link above) by end of day on Thursday.
Wendy Machmuller
40:59
A recording of this entire session will also be available on the website tomorrow. Last week's recording is already up.
Deane Coady
41:33
green space could be greatly enhanced by adding/promoting green roof gardens and solar panels. Think flat roofs: Audi, newer residential and commercial construction, the historic fire station, for examples. Think carbon sequestration, transpiration from plants/trees, evaporation - green lush gardens bring temperatures down!
Wendy Machmuller
44:12
Thank you Deane, all great ideas!
Wendy Machmuller
44:45
Please type your questions in the Q & A
Wendy Machmuller
45:02
Feel free to provide comments in the chat!
Wendy Machmuller
45:48
Susan, later in presentation we will talk about areas to enhance, improve.
Wendy Machmuller
46:28
As for developers we have been holding interviews with many, as well as existing property owners. We will discuss briefly later in presentation
Wendy Machmuller
47:44
Roof top gardens and roof tops restaurants were a big ask during the Visioning process
Michael Berger
50:23
The current corridor development seems to have very little concern for tree canopy and open space. The new Audi dealership and the new Hotel have no or very limited trees. This is not conducive to pedestrians.
Wendy Machmuller
50:34
Sam, welcome to the neighborhood. We would like to see the same.
Anne Sudduth
51:12
The heat on the Audi dealership corner is intense in comparison to the gas station corner that has big tree cover.
Cathy Neal
51:43
RE: Deane’s comments - Lincoln School Students did an after school program redesigning the same issues of pedestrian access, bikes, greening.
Cathy Neal
52:07
Assuming that Route 9 is still a state highway, how can the town make any significant changes to the sidewalks, cross walk functionality, enhancements that truly make this a “place” rather then primarily a car route?
Wendy Machmuller
52:59
John, a lab use may be a possibility in the future at 10 Brookline Place. A market analysis done by Pam McKinney during the visioning process revealed that lab space was not particular viable on the corridor due to the narrow sites.
Bryan Fuller
53:45
Would a cross bridge make more sense at Lincoln?
Wendy Machmuller
54:42
Cathy good questions. A transportation / design study was done by the State to address some of these element. A copy of this Study is on our website.
Wendy Friedman
55:02
Gordon, I think without lights/exit points along Boylston, as center lane would be difficult. But an interesting thought to consider!
Michael Berger
55:29
The corridor seems to be a dividing line between different uses on either side. The design should include ways to cross over Rt. 9.
Cathy Neal
56:33
Bryan - Cross walks slow down traffic AND make the street more of a “parkway/ community avenue.” We want to encourage more people to populate Route 9 so those commuters recognize its NOT a highway.
Bryan Fuller
57:10
i agree, I just mean for Lincoln. The other two cross walks would still slow it down
Michael Berger
58:00
Since Rt 9 is a state road, what restrictions are placed on the design to make the road better for Brookline?
Linda Pehlke
58:01
Now you’re talking!
Scott Englander
58:09
Bryan, pedestrian bridges aren’t used in contexts where the goal is to be people-friendly and walkable. The ramps (assuming there were space for them) double the crossing distance, and the grade changes increase effort required, especially for those with disabilities. They also create isolated confined spaces that can feel unsafe at night.
John Bassett
01:00:07
I was involved in the permitting process for 2 Brookline Place. We decided against allowing lab use there. Safety requirements for level 2 or 3 labs are extensive. Public safety people need special training to respond. Cambridge has done this. Our fire ladders only reach about 80 feet. 2 Brookline Place is too tall to be all reached. This is not true of 10 Brookline Place. But if you read the safety requirements for level 3 labs you might question the safety of putting such labs in a place dense with other uses. John Bassett
Cathy Neal
01:00:19
Alex - Bravo - also the issues of heat gain can be mitigated better with increased trees @ grade.
Susan Kaplan
01:01:22
Please note- rte 9 or Boylston St is a highway. For most people it is a road that goes west or east-I would love to see more trees etc. But we can't lose sight of the purpose of rte 9.The back roads are now jammed as more drivers try to maneuver around Rte 9. Those lovely neighborhoods have become congested and clogged
Bryan Fuller
01:02:12
I love this example, but I would be shocked if DOT was okay with it.
Scott Englander
01:02:45
Eliminating a travel lane on each side really opens up the possibilities, and
Scott Englander
01:03:06
…and I’m guessing will help reduce/slow traffic.
Cathy Neal
01:03:09
Alex - can this example of center planting medium only be achievable if Boston moves in the direction of other cities across the globe that create parking outside the city with buses leading into the city center
T C
01:03:49
worrying that the traffic could be worsen
Bryan Fuller
01:04:24
I agree with TC, it would be bumper to bumper
Anne Sudduth
01:04:55
Don’t forget the need for trees in the Cypress/Brinton section.
Scott Englander
01:04:56
There is plenty of experience from other places where decreasing traffic capacity simple eliminated traffic.
Scott Englander
01:05:06
*simply
Scott Englander
01:05:28
…just as adding capacity will increase traffic.
Cathy Neal
01:05:57
Scott, LOL -yes BUT having a reliable alternative with bikes, public transportation, walking needs to be accomodated
Anne Sudduth
01:06:32
Can you show the image with the four options shown graphically?
Scott Englander
01:07:10
Cathy: Not necessarily. Regional traffic seeks other routes 9like Mass Pike), people choose other options, as limited as they may be, and low-value trips are often eliminated.
Scott Englander
01:07:47
...A good local example was Longfellow Bridge during construction.
Lynnae Terrill
01:08:00
I think all of these options are wonderful for calming traffic and hugely improving the benefit to Brookline residents and folks visiting local businesses, not to mention protecting pedestrians and cyclists in this currently-dangerous corridor.
Cathy Neal
01:09:01
Scott, BUT we want to keep more cars off Walnut St and other parallel routes that are residential… there already is excessive traffic on Walnut for folks wanting to avoid Rt. 9. How does Cambridge address this?
Bryan Fuller
01:09:01
If there truly no traffic increase, then two lanes seems to be the right answer.
John Bassett
01:09:10
The traffic volumes suggest that now a lot of traffic diverts itself to parallel neighborhood streets (Walnut and Davis) between Cypress and Washington. What ever is done should reverse this and get some traffic off Walnut and Davis and back on to Route 9. John Bassett
Frank Mendoza
01:09:11
I am here Rep!
Frank Mendoza
01:09:26
And I am very excited. This has come such a long way in a wonderful direction.
Wendy Machmuller
01:09:29
Great, Frank, thank you for coming!
Frank Mendoza
01:09:52
This is Nika :) Does it say Frank? I think Frank is also here.
Deane Coady
01:10:38
Hi Nika! glad you're with us and advocating for us!
Cathy Neal
01:10:47
Kara - AND timing for cross walks
Wendy Machmuller
01:10:53
Welcome, Nika! SO glad you could join us! Yes, says Frank.
Frank Mendoza
01:10:55
Yes it’s me :)
T C
01:11:41
does the designs provide solutions for huge snow piles during the New England winter?
Linda Pehlke
01:11:43
CTPS= Central Transportation Planning Staff! In house consultants to State transportation agency….
Wendy Machmuller
01:13:37
Monica, yes, the gas leaks are something we did bring up during the visioning process. With the climate legislation I hope we can tackle the gas leaks during the future developments.
Deane Coady
01:13:40
lets have rain gardens so we can save rainwater runoff - don't let it go down the drains!
Anne Sudduth
01:16:13
Yes to managing rain water with green infrastructure beyond trees — the planted medians look great.
Cathy Neal
01:16:37
Hey T C - we need to look how melting equipment is used in Canada and possibly other urban setting like NYC. ( Its removed and melted off site.) The large piles are clearly in conflict with pedestrian access.
T C
01:19:17
Good point/thoughts, Cathy Neal. As we often see worse traffic jam during snow days as the driving lanes got even narrower, considering with either of the new design options.
Linda Pehlke
01:21:36
I think we should only consider the concepts that increase the sidewalk width, this seems essential to me. Next essential element, trees.
Monica von Huene
01:21:45
Four trees in front of the Homestead hotel “died” this year. I am hoping thoughts about trees are long term visions. I do hope trees are included either way
Kara Brewton
01:22:56
OK, that works for me!
Scott Englander
01:25:21
What Emily said!
Lynnae Terrill
01:25:34
Here here, Emily!
Monica von Huene
01:26:54
Snow removal on sidewalks has been far superior than in the past, but it is always better when Old Lincoln is in use.
Wendy Machmuller
01:29:25
Monica, thanks for the observation on those trees. Yes, it is a precariously narrow area to allow trees to thrive and withstand the wintertime salt
Wendy Machmuller
01:30:22
Thanks everyone for all of your comments!!! We are challenged to keep up with all of them and answer them, but we will save this chat thread so that we can see ALL of your feedback, questions, etc!
Monica von Huene
01:30:40
Snow removal on High Street up is one of the biggest problem areas, but also in front of Boylston park, and all of the South side of the street where the sidewalks are much narrower.
Monica von Huene
01:32:51
In the graphic I wonder what the overhang is? So
Bryan Fuller
01:34:05
thanks everyone
Wendy Machmuller
01:34:15
https://www.brooklinema.gov/list.aspx please sign up for NOTIFY ME via this link
Monica von Huene
01:41:13
Look how narrow the parking is. Sidewalks are also very narrow
Monica von Huene
01:43:29
There is an underground culvert running along the tracks that
Monica von Huene
01:45:12
Actually, sometimes we need some more pedestrian services here in Brookline.
Wendy Machmuller
01:46:37
This will keep you apprised of all of
Cathy Neal
01:47:04
Two thoughts about commercial use: 1. Any “improvements” may make rents unaffordable to small merchants. 2. How can we justify more commercial when we already have numerous vacancies within Brookline Village @ existing storefronts @ “Cypress Crossing?
Cathy Neal
01:47:31
And @ Cypress Crossing
Wendy Machmuller
01:47:42
My apologies, please disregard. That was to say that the notify me link will keep you apprised of all future meetings and activities of this Committee
Monica von Huene
01:49:48
This is not showing current construction
Amanda Zimmerman
01:49:50
We absolutely could use laboratory/biotech commercial here. Has the committee spoken with real estate experts who understand what the minimum density is to support office and/or lab space?
Wendy Machmuller
01:50:05
Since we skipped the survey results in this presentation, please refer to our slides from last week's session to see our findings: https://www.brooklinema.gov/DocumentCenter/View/24756/Boylston-forum_Jun-2-2021
John Bassett
01:52:10
We do need auto related uses. Audy's garage provides valuable repair services.
Monica von Huene
01:53:19
I hope we are not thinking about a downtown Boston corridor like Brookline Ave at Fenway has become. It’s Brookline.
Monica von Huene
01:54:08
There were about 100 trees removed in the last few years
Wendy Machmuller
01:54:10
Yes indeed, John. The Mobile station was considered a site to PRESERVE for the foreseeable future. Elias Audy is very involved in the work we are doing here.
Lynnae Terrill
01:54:51
I would agree that the height profile should increase to mimic the Madris building. Greater density of both residential and commercial use properties would go a long way to improving both the character and the usability of the area.
Frank Mendoza
01:54:59
Thank you so much for the excellent facilitation, questions, and discussion. I’m especially excited about greenspace, trees, bikes, affordable housing, and slowing traffic to stop at shops! - Rep Nika
Frances Shedd-Fisher
01:55:11
I keep hearing better uses for Mobil site from speakers.
Wendy Machmuller
01:59:12
Fantastic David. Multiple messaging channels works!
Cathy Neal
02:01:06
The Greater Point neighborhood spent many years dealing with keeping them smaller, not allowing a special use permit and I think denying them a variance which is why they still have a parking lot and as In understand are still keeping cars off site. One of the bidets concerns was about cars turning left and right off Cypress.
Cathy Neal
02:01:33
Sorry them is the car dealership
Cathy Neal
02:06:04
Frances - I think we need to acknowledge that 1. The Mobil is a locally owned business, 2. The number of service stations in Brookline has been reduced significantly in recent years,
Wendy Machmuller
02:07:32
https://www.brooklinema.gov/DocumentCenter/View/24667/BSCSC-4-7-21-memo-to-Bulfinch
Wendy Machmuller
02:07:44
Bulfinch memo above
Wendy Machmuller
02:08:36
Pam McKinney's market analysis: https://www.brooklinema.gov/DocumentCenter/View/19664/Brookline---Route-9-Market-Slides-June-25-2019
Deane Coady
02:08:55
Thank you for the excellent work of this committee. I feel very well represented! I look forward to walking or biking or shopping along Boylston St.!!
Mitch Heineman
02:11:48
Auto-oriented businesses don't necessarily kill pedestrian-friendliness. There are car dealers and service along Comm Ave near Babcock, and Herb Chambers dealerships on Comm Ave and Brighton Ave. Keys are that they're small and not visually repellent
David Gladstone
02:11:57
Wendy thanks for all the committees work. I am approaching much of this as a local banker and secondarily as the President of the chamber and a long term resident of Brookline
Scott Englander
02:13:18
I agree with Linda P on form-based zoning!
Wendy Machmuller
02:14:59
Two parcels were combined at 221 + 229 to create one for the new 5 luxury apartments currently under construction. This was all in the works before we were able to mobilize this current
Scott Englander
02:15:10
Agreed, Bill. Automobile-oriented uses make the area hostile to people walking, and their parking needs result in very low tax assessments on a per-acre basis. I realize that some have commented in favor of keeping the Mobil station, but I think we need to be thinking about the future and something on such a key site that will enhance rather than deter walkability. While the site's owner may choose to keep doing business as-is for the near term, incentives for denser zoning (via overlay) on that site — consistent with those that may be proposed elsewhere in the area — would be more forward-looking, and would certainly not compel any change of use in the near term.
Monica von Huene
02:15:38
I agree, with Mitch. I like the idea if having services that are meant for more mundane needs, not just gift shopping. That’s what I meant by pedestrian.
John Bassett
02:18:42
According to DPW Commissioner Gallentine the Town has decided not to have a temporary Davis Path. The final bridge must be ADA compliant. This will take time an money. John
Wendy Machmuller
02:25:28
BHA presentation here: https://www.brooklinema.gov/DocumentCenter/View/24708/BHA-ppt-5-10-21
Frank Mendoza
02:27:23
Thank you Kara, Wendy et al. I continue to learn a lot from you and from participants. Keep my office posted on how to support. Rep Vitolo keeps me very much in the loop as well. Would love to help with spreading the word in Precinct 5! (Rep Nika, listed here as my aide Frank ;) )
Wendy Machmuller
02:27:46
One last time, our website here: https://www.brooklinema.gov/1605/Boylston-Street-Corridor-Study-Committee
Scott Englander
02:28:06
Given the skewed demographics of the survey respondents, I’d encourage the committee to do more outreach targeting under-represented groups.
Frances Shedd-Fisher
02:28:19
Thanks, all.
Monica von Huene
02:28:25
Thank you
Frank Mendoza
02:28:30
A pleasure!
Scott Englander
02:28:30
Thanks!
Wendy Machmuller
02:28:35
Thank you all!