Summary of DAG Presentation – October 1, 2012 Overview In preparation for the DAG meeting on October 1st, we are providing DAG members with a summary of the materials to be covered at that meeting. This includes an overview of the schedule, MassDOT design package submittals, and description of modifications to the design since we last met. See Figure 1: Schedule through the start of construction - including DAG meetings during each design phase. 25% Design and 75% Design Packages A number of elements are identified in the 25% design package but will not show detailed design until the 75% design phase. Primary among these elements are the designs for the public space areas at the end of the Southwest Corridor, the MBTA Plaza and Shea Square. Because of the high level of concern by the neighborhood for the design of these areas and the complexity involved with each area being owned and maintained by a different public agency, a DAG review process will be part of the 75% design for these areas. The 25% design package will locate the area limits, fixed elements and circulation paths, and will consolidate to the extent possible the space remaining into contiguous areas that will maintain the greatest amount of flexibility for the design. The question of programmed space will be addressed as part of the 75% design development in a dialogue with the agencies that will be responsible for maintenance. Designs for these areas contained in the 25% package should be considered place holders for estimating purposes until a design that has received community review has been developed. Examples of other elements that will be developed in the 75% design phase: Design Element 25% Design 75% Design Landscaping General tree and plant location More specific tree and plant location and species Signage Regulatory signs Wayfinding signs Stormwater Management Calculations and Identification of opportunities Development of design options Lighting General placement of street lights Final placement of streetlights and light calculations Traffic Signals Traffic signal analysis Traffic signal phase timing and details MBTA Elements The design of the modifications to the MBTA’s Forest Hills Station (the Orange Line headhouse, the Orange Line emergency ventilation shaft, the Commuter Rail vent grate, and the upper level busway and canopy) are currently less advanced than the highway elements. The DAG will review the MBTA elements as part of the 75% design process. Modification to the Design Route 39 Bus and Taxi Swap The Route 39 bus pick-up and drop-off area is proposed to be moved from the north side of the station (roughly its current location) to the upper busway on the south side of the station. While this was initially planned as a temporary construction phasing relocation, the consolidation of the Route 39 bus operations with the other buses on the upper level is seen by the MBTA, the City of Boston, and MassDOT as beneficial enough to the overall multi-modal performance of the project area to warrant its relocation as part of 25% design. The taxi pick-up and drop-off areas on the east and west sides of the station can be combined on the north side of the station. While the distance traveled by the Route 39 bus is slightly longer, the impacts to the overall route time are minimal. When compared to the bus operations at the north side of the station, the AM peak the route time is reduced by eight (8) seconds and the PM peak time is increased by twenty (20) seconds. Bus operations are simplified. Dispatchers at two locations can be combined. Transfers between the Route 39 bus and other buses connecting to Roslindale Center and points south is easier. Overall traffic operations are improved with buses traveling through major intersections by conventional maneuvers. Signal phasing at the Arborway and Hyde Park Avenue/Washington Street signal is simplified. The relocation of the upper-level bus bays results in the bus exit shifting from the intersection at South Street to a point roughly opposite Asticou Road. Mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate headlight glare and illumination of buildings from buses exiting at this location, such as fencing and vegetation along the west side of Washington Street, are being explored as part of the design. See Figure 2A: Route 39 Bus Relocation and Figure 2B: Potential Mitigation Concept Second Left-Turn Lane at Shea Square A number of modifications to the roadway design resulted from interagency review. One of these was to reduce the length of the eastbound left-turn lane at Shea Square by adding a second left-turn lane. This change cuts the previous queue length in half - from approximately 400 feet to approximately 200 feet. A second receiving lane on Circuit Drive is also included. Left-turn traffic will be processed more quickly through the intersection. However, the pedestrian crossing distance across the Arborway is increased by eleven (11) feet. This eleven-foot distance equates to a 2.75-second walk (at a standard walking speed of four feet per second). The additional time can be accommodated within the pedestrian phase of the signal so that the crossing of the roadway can be completed in a single cycle. On the east side of the intersection the median is widened by eleven (11) feet. See Figure 3A: Single-Lane Left Turn, and 3B: Two-Lane Left Turn 4-Lane Washington Street In June of this year a three-lane Washington Street was introduced between Ukraine Way and the upper level bus exit. This three-lane configuration reduced the amount of roadway pavement, while accommodating the necessary traffic, and provided additional space for pedestrians, bicyclists and landscaping. However, based on City concerns that capacity on arterial roads not be reduced, the three-lane configuration has been eliminated and the four-lane configuration reinstituted. See Figure 4: 3-Lane and 4-Lane Configuration – Washington Street Bicycle Network Consolidated Off-Street A significant amount of work has been ongoing with bicycle professionals regarding the appropriate treatment of bicyclists through the corridor. Currently, the Casey Arborway Project is showing the bicycle facility as an off-street bicycle path between the Arborway Gate at the Arnold Arboretum on the west and Franklin Park on the east. The logic behind this arrangement is to provide a facility that encourages use by bicyclists in an area dominated by public open space, while reducing the overall amount of roadway pavement. Commuter bicyclists, who may prefer an on-street facility, would share the off-street bicycle path or ride with traffic in the street. At intersections, this off-street path accommodates bicyclists with pedestrians in terms of street crossing and signalization. The question was raised about the difference in time between a bicyclist traveling along an on-street bike lane and an off-street bike path for the length of the corridor. To answer this question an analysis was undertaken of the two options using the year 2035 traffic projections. The analysis concluded that the off-street path would be slightly slower— ranging from 0.4 minutes to 0.9 minutes depending on direction of travel and time of day.