The state Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) plan for improving safety and access to the parklands and parkways of the Emerald Necklace in Jamaica Plain is progressing at a snail’s pace and it appears the Perkins Street and Francis Parkman Drive intersection will be the first area tackled.
The project focuses on three different areas: the aforementioned Perkins Street and Francis Parkman Drive intersection; Centre Street, from VFW Parkway to Murray Circle; and the Arborway between Eliot Street and South Street, including Kelley Circle and Murray Circle.
DCR held a series of meetings on the project last fall. The meetings were co-sponsored by the Emerald Necklace Conservancy and state Reps. Jeffrey Sanchez and Liz Malia and state Sens. Sonia Chang-Diaz and Michael Rush.
According to DCR spokesperson Kevin O’Shea, the department and its design firm are finalizing the design for the improvements to the Perkins Street and Parkman Drive intersection. DCR expects to present the plan to the Boston Landmarks Commission and the Boston Conservation Commission in the next two to three months, according to O’Shea.
DCR presented a plan last fall that would widen and lengthen the medians on Perkins Street; install a traffic light at the intersection and bump-out the curb on the right side of Parkman Drive; place crosswalks at the intersection and another crosswalk on Perkins Street east of Cabot Estate’s driveway, which has been a priority for residents living there; and build two separate waking paths along Perkins Street that would allow access to the Jamaica Pond looping path.
According to O’Shea, DCR is working towards a 25 percent design phase for the plan for Centre Street, from VFW Parkway to Murray Circle. The department expects to complete that design phase in fall 2016. DCR is also working towards a 25 percent design phase for the Arborway plan, anticipating completion of that this summer. Consultants are undertaking an engineering survey of the project as part of the 25 percent design phase process, according to O’Shea.