Tonight, the Waban Area Council held a public forum on roadway design for the new Zervas. With an increase in the student population and a larger school district, congested streets seem likely to get worse once the school reopens.
The project traffic consultant presented three design options, each attempting to increase roadway capacity on Beethoven in various ways to accommodate (and arguably encourage) more vehicle traffic. Srdj Nedeljkovic gave some context for these proposals with traffic projections and his analysis. Stacey Beuttell of WalkBoston spoke about Safe Routes to School and the value of active transportation. (I will try to get references to their presentations to post here)
Among the changes suggested by the consultant:
- widening the roadway so that blue zone drop-off would not block traffic (while inexplicably retaining the time-restricted half closure of Beethoven Ave)
- adding a third lane for “free” right turns (making for a larger and less pedestrian-friendly crossing at Beacon)
- moving crosswalks back for improved accessibility (but causing line of sight issues)
Sean Roche (the name sounds familiar, I think he used to hang out here?) made the comment of the night when he implored residents to consider safety of the students first, and suggested that anything else was a compromise for parent convenience or cut-through traffic. Sean asked an interesting hypothetical question: what would the design look like if the city put safety first in its school site designs?