Stonybrook to participate in City’s Slow Streets program

The Stonybrook neighborhood will be one of two areas that will participate in the City’s Neighborhood Slow Streets pilot program, according to Boston Transportation Department (BTD) spokesperson Tracey Ganiatsos.

The Stonybrook neighborhood is roughly bounded by the Arborway and Forest Hills, Williams, and Amory streets. The Stonybrook Neighborhood Association (SNA) had sent letters to the City about being part of a program to calm traffic in the area.

“The Stonybrook neighborhood of Jamaica Plain is one of two pilot areas that have been chosen for the Neighborhood Slow Streets program based on past discussions that residents of these neighborhoods have had with City planners,” said Ganiatsos in an email.

The other area is the Talbot-Norfolk Triangle in Dorchester.

The Slow Streets program is part of the City’s Vision Zero project, which is a commitment of resources to eliminating fatal and serious traffic crashes by 2030. The effort is being led by BTD in collaboration with other City departments, including Public Works, the Boston Police Department, and Emergency Medical Services, according to Ganiatsos.

“Neighborhood Slow Streets is an initiative that is in the process of being developed to design effective and sustainable traffic-calming measures for residential streets,” said Ganiatsos. “By taking a zone-based approach, we have the ability to look at an area comprehensively to determine the most efficient steps to take that will result in safe speeds on local streets.  In particular, we are interested in considering ‘self-enforcing’ design features that prohibit motorists from comfortably navigating them while driving faster than 20 mph.”

SNA has been working for several years to bringing traffic-calming measures to the area, according to SNA member Carl Lowenberg. He said in many places in the neighborhood there are no sidewalks or crosswalks, and that “cars whip through,” making it unsafe for pedestrians. Lowenberg said SNA had sent the City letters saying that there is new technology for traffic-calming and that “we will be the guinea pig” to test those measures out.

Lowenberg was one of several SNA members who had a walk-through in the neighborhood with City officials in November to discuss the program.

“I’m really encouraged that this is happening,” Lowenberg said after the walk-through. He said he hopes that the pilot program will “pave the way for the whole city.”

Ganiatsos said that the walk-through was “intended as a small meeting to gather additional information, as the initiative is still in the active planning stage.” She said that there will be a public meeting to present the proposal to the community later this winter.

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