Pedestrian Improvements Eyed for Joy St.

Representatives from Connect Historic Boston outlined a preliminary plan to make Joy Street more pedestrian friendly at a meeting sponsored by the Beacon Hill Civic Association (BHCA) on Thursday.

Connect Historic Boston – an initiative between the National Park Service and the Boston Transportation Department – proposes building a pedestrian entrance at Joy and Cambridge streets to the African-American National Historic Site; paving Joy Street with durable, special pavers and installing flush granite curbs east of Smith Court; shifting on-street parking from the left side to the right after Smith Court to slow vehicular traffic; placing curb extensions at the entrance to the Boston Common at the intersection of Joy and Beacon streets to improve pedestrian accessibility; and repaving sidewalks with wire-cut brick. The design lead for the project is Nitsch Engineering of Boston, and the estimated cost is $519,000.

Vineet Gupta, director of planning for the Boston Transportation Department, said a design for the Joy Street has to be finalized by May 31 or funding for the project would be reallocated.

“We want good design direction from the community,” Gupta said. “That’s what we’re really looking for.”Gupta said he would return to the BHCA in January with “the next level of design.”

The Connect Historic Boston is subsidized by a $15.5 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER discretionary grant, awarded to the city by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The first phase of the initiative also includes designs for planned improvements to Constitution Road in the Charlestown Navy Yard and the Blackstone Block located between the Haymarket MBTA station and Faneuil Hall, as well as a historic bike trail around the downtown area.

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