Just the Facts: Sullivan Square Design Debate
A summary of what the city, as well as citizen groups both for and against the approved plan are saying.
A summary of the Sullivan Square/Rutherford Ave Design Project, from the BOSTON TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT.
"Today, traffic congestion at Sullivan Square is due to a badly designed and dangerous rotary, not because of inadequate lanes of traffic. The new design:
- Eliminates the rotary and replaces it with conventional surface streets and signalized intersections to manage traffic-flow,
- Provides Rutherford Avenue with enough traffic lanes to continue to provide for smooth traffic-flow to Everett and to account for removing the underpass,
- Extends Spice Street to Rutherford Avenue to allow for Cambridge Street traffic to bypass the rotary area.
Today the rotary and the underpass provide a dangerous barrier between the Charlestown neighborhood, Orange Line stations and proposed housing and community facilities and are a blight on the quality of life for local residents. The new design will:
- Create safe pedestrian-scale streets and crossings connecting to Sullivan Square and Community College stations,
- Use the newly available right-of-way to provide for a linear park connecting City Square to Ryan Playground,
- Reorient the intersection of Main and Bunker Hill Streets to reduce cut-through traffic,
- Increase the amount of on-street parking for Charlestown residents,
- Create parcels for neighborhood-scale housing developments."
THE OPPOSITION, led by residents Bill Galvin and John Dillon, say the plan will:
- divert excessive traffic through Charlestown worsening an already difficult rush hour commute
- be affected by a plan to build an IKEA and other new stores in Assembly Square, which will increase traffic through Sullivan Square.
- They also argue public meetings on the plan were not properly advertised.
THE SURFACE OPTION SUPPORTERS say the plan will:
- reduce congestion, improve bus service and connections to Sullivan Station
- eliminate underpass
- create gridded street network at surface to provide drivers with multiple options to move through area
- build usable green space in center of circle and along edges and create safe pedestrian crossings in area including at JJ Ryan Jr. Playground, add multi-use path to Alford Street Bridge
- provide 450 on-street parking spaces
- create several new blocks that can be developed to capitalize on proximity to Sullivan Station, increasing job opportunities, housing, and tax revenues
- cost $12 million less than a plan that would retain the underpass.
- They also point out that the plan has been endorsed by the community and the Neighborhood Council after eight well-attended meetings over a course of 18 months.