Jeff Speck shares his vision for Riverside station

Jeff Speck shares his vision for Riverside station

City planner and urban designer Jeff Speck is the lead designer of the soon to be proposed designed for the Riverside MBTA station (and also the guy behind this vision for Washington Street). He submitted this guest blog post.

As the lead designer of the proposed development at the Riverside T Station, I have been asked to write a post explaining the thinking behind the plan. While I believe that the principles and goals outlined here are shared by the entire development team, the thoughts that follow are my own

As seen below, the site is a special one, adjacent to the Charles River greenway, flanked north and south by open space and golf courses, east and west by mostly low-density development at some distance, adjacent to a major highway

‘The notion that Washington St. should be narrowed from 2 lanes in each direction down to one lane is ludicrous.’

That quote in the headline comes from this comment on a prior thread. But the “notion” that narrowing a street can improve traffic flow was also a hot topic last night at the very well-attended opening Washington Street Corridor vision event at the Second Church.

This “notion” comes from the video (below) made by by Jeff Speck, a renowned expert on this topic (with transit experts Nelson/Nygaard) who has documented where similar techniques have been successfully employed to improve traffic elsewhere.

I understand why this idea of putting a road on “a diet” sounds “ludicrous.” But before you rush to dismiss it, please take the time to watch this video. And then share your thoughts.

The Washington Street Corridor Proposal from Elkus Manfredi on Vimeo.

A vision for the Washington Street corridor

Jeff Speck recently presented his vision for the Washington Street corridor to the Newton-Needham Chamber, building upon the recent plan for West Newton Square, extending through Newtonville towards Newton Corner.  The main theme is a road diet.  By eliminating underutilized roadway, Newton could create a far more attractive streetscape, open up new opportunities for recreation, transportation safety improvements, public transit, and yes, development.

A road diet might even improve traffic conditions, channelling traffic and eliminating conflicts that come with vehicles changing lanes.  A two-way cycle track along the pike could provide top-notch bicycle facilities  The idea of a road diet and cycle track along the pike is not new; it has been the subject of previous studies and TAG has been pitching it for several years now.  With

VIDEO: Jeff Speck on walkability

Jeff Speck, one of the nation’s leading experts on walkabity and transit oriented development spoke at a recent Newton-Needham Chamber event, sharing his perspective with some examples from Newton and Needham. This is the audio and slide show from his...

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