City Looks to Improve Mobility Around North Station

By Dan Murphy

In the draft final report for its “action plan,” the city is making several short- and long-term recommendations for improving various modes of transportation around North Station.

The project area, bound by Cambridge Street on the south, New Sudbury and North Washington streets on the east and the Charles River on north and west, includes areas adjacent to the station, including the Bulfinch Triangle, the TD Bank Garden, Charles River Park, the Brooke Courthouse, Nashua Street and Massachusetts General Hospital. Using both federal funds and mitigation monies from private developers, the plan conceives of improvements for various modes of transportation (i.e. pedestrian, bicycle, public) in the project area.

Short-term items, which can be implemented within one to five years, include new signal and intersection improvements at Lomansey Way and Nashua Street as part of the developer’s mitigation for the Garden Garage project. When the project is built, a more direct way to access Massachusetts General Hospital and points beyond will open up via Thoreau Path, likely resulting in more pedestrian traffic and the need for a new signal to manage the crossing.

Other short-term items include giving pedestrians priority on Canal Street, which is poised to see more than double the foot traffic with the completion of the Hub on Causeway and Bulfinch Crossing development projects, and making improvements to pedestrian conditions at Charles Circle.

Another short-term item entails using street-direction changes and new curb uses to improve access to Bulfinch Triangle while preserving the pedestrian-friendly nature of Canal Street.

The city is also encouraging Massport to create a new shuttle that would provide service from North Station to Logan Airport.

Meanwhile, the reconstruction of the North Washington Street Bridge includes plans for a new inbound bus lane, and as part of the “action plan,” the Boston Transportation Department is proposing extending it onto North Washington Street to the Haymarket MBTA station.

Additional short-term items include installing a protected bike lane on Cambridge Street, creating a bike lane on Blossom Street and retiming the traffic signals on Cambridge Street, among other suggestions.

Long-term items, which are expected to take six or more years to implement, include a protected bicycle lane on Nashua Street that would connect to the existing bike lanes on Lomasney Way; a priority bus lane between North Station, the Seaport and South Station; and a “shared-street’ design for Canal Street.

To view the North Station Area Mobility Action Plan (NSAMAP) Draft Final Report, visit Comments on the plan can be submitted until July 10 to Josh Weiland at the Boston Transportation Department, 1 City Hall Square, Room 721, Boston, MA 02201-2026.

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