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Blue Hill Avenue Transportation Action Plan

We're investing in Blue Hill Avenue 

 Mayor Michelle Wu and the Streets Cabinet announced a historic investment to redesign Blue Hill Avenue to better serve bus riders, create safer conditions for pedestrians and drivers, increase the tree canopy, and install new amenities for a more vibrant small business corridor. A new multimodal design will add a center running bus lane for the more than 37,000 bus riders who travel on Blue Hill Ave every weekday, and better define spaces for drivers and pedestrians creating a safer, calmer experience for everyone. The City and MBTA will work with the communities along Blue Hill Ave to design the corridor, block-by-block. View the press release.

We Heard From You

For almost two years, the City of Boston has been working with MBTA, BPDA, and community organizations to learn more about residents’ experiences with Blue Hill Avenue between Grove Hall and Mattapan Square to best understand how to move forward with the Blue Hill Avenue Transportation Action Plan. After contacting 23,000 households along the corridor and collecting over 2,000 comments, the project team is excited to share a comprehensive summary of what we heard. 

The Blue Hill Avenue Transportation Action Plan seeks to enhance and support the experiences of everyone along the Avenue.

Blue Hill Avenue runs through the heart of the City, connecting people with places of education, worship, and recreation both locally and throughout Boston. It is a vibrant commercial corridor full of bustling minority-owned businesses. The corridor provides vital access to and from the city's major employment centers for Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan residents. This three-mile stretch also supports the highest bus ridership in the entire MBTA system, with nearly 37,000 people getting on and off buses each weekday. 

Short-term Improvements

We heard from residents that Blue Hill Avenue needs upgrades now. Over the spring and summer of 2024 we will be making a number of short-term improvements to bring the street into a state of good repair. This work is outlined here. Check back each month for updates on the work we've completed and what's still to come. 

Already completed (as of April 2024) 

  • 54 potholes filled 
  • Over 70 street lighting outages addressed 


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Have a question you don't see addressed in the FAQs? Ask it here
  • This is not a complete list of all of the important questions we have received from members of the community. As we receive more questions and are able to answer them, we will update this document

Project Area

Project Focus


How do you travel along Blue Hill Avenue? What do you like about it? What would you like to see changed? We welcome concerns ranging from traffic congestion to bus stop cleanliness and anything in between. 

Let us know by emailing

To keep up to date with the City's ongoing transportation projects, visit our project map!

We know that vehicle speeds along Blue Hill Avenue are high. But, we'd like to hear from you about how to make it safer for all users. How does Blue Hill Avenue feel as a pedestrian? Have you felt unsafe while waiting for the bus or cycling? 

Let us know by emailing

Visit our Vision Zero page to learn more about the City's commitment to eliminate fatal and serious traffic crashes by 2030. 

Examples of public spaces include:

  • sidewalks
  • plazas
  • parks
  • playgrounds, and
  • seating areas.

Let us know how you feel about the current public spaces along Blue Hill Avenue and what you would like to see in the future by emailing

Boston's citywide transportation plan, Go Boston 2030, lays out a commitment to increase the amount and quality of public space available in the City. Learn more about our work in the public realm. You can also find out about the work of the Parks and Recreation Department to create and maintain public spaces. 

We know that the neighborhoods along Blue Hill Avenue experience extreme heat and a lack of shade in the summers. Greenery helps mitigate this urban heat island effect, improving health outcomes, economic outcomes, and more. How can we bring more greenery and climate mitigating elements to the corridor? How can we ensure that Blue Hill Avenue is around to serve generations to come? 

Let us know by emailing

Learn about the work the Environment Department is doing to increase Boston's resiliency in the face of extreme heat. 

Public Commitments

chart going up
Data and Process

The City and engagement team are committed to making informed, data-driven decisions which respond to questions raised by the public. Planned studies include the following topics:

  • housing impacts
  • parking assessment, and
  • Columbus Ave bus project post-implementation evaluation.

Results of those studies will be posted here and presented at community meetings.

If you have questions to pass along to our team, fill out this form or email us.

shovel going into a sidewalk
Pedestrian Safety Investments

The City and engagement team are committed to improving pedestrian safety along Blue Hill Ave. This means improving sidewalks, roadways, signal timing, and other aspects of the pedestrian experience. This does not have to include center-running bus lanes. The City does have an opinion on the benefits of bus priority and center-running lanes. The City will only spend public money on a project with public support.

The City will invest in infrastructure improvements along Blue Hill Ave. The exact nature of the design will be determined through sustained and varied engagement with those who live, work, play, and travel along Blue Hill Avenue.

person with money falling into their hand
Community Funding

The City and engagement team believe that the public funding for this project should be allocated based on public priorities. This means that the City will regularly share data and engagement updates. We will be transparent about the decision-making framework for design and implementation. This also means that the City will provide diverse and accessible opportunities to connect with the project team — virtually, in-person, and through surveys.

Blue Hill Avenue Materials and Updates

Project Materials

Here, you can find PDFs containing all of the engagement data collected over the last 2 years. The data has been anonymized to protect the privacy of the individuals who participated in our engagement process. 

At the May Community Meeting, we presented a list of design metrics that we will use to discuss design scenarios for Blue Hill Avenue. These metrics will help the project team and community members talk through the tradeoffs between alternative design scenarios and compare changes to proposed designs over time.

View the Blue Hill Avenue Design Metrics

Meeting overview:

  • 65 members of the public attended the meeting. The people who attended the meeting primarily travel on Blue Hill Avenue using the following modes:
    • Bike - 0%
    • Bus/train - 24%
    • Drive - 66%
    • Walk - 7%
  • We shared updates on the bus rider survey conducted from April through June along Blue Hill Ave. Our team collected over 500 surveys in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole at the busiest bus stops along Blue Hill Ave during weekdays and weekends. Some major takeaways:
    • More than half of the respondents exclusively take the bus along Blue Hill Ave. The remainder ride the bus in addition to walking and/or driving.
    • The most common reason for bus trips was getting to work. The four most common destinations were Mattapan, Downtown, Roxbury, and Dorchester, in that order.
    • The most common requests to improve the bus rider experience were more consistent buses (32%) trips being less affected by traffic (24%), and knowing when the bus is coming (23%).

Meeting overview:

  • 55 members of the public attended the meeting. The people who attended the meeting primarily travel on Blue Hill Avenue using the following modes:
    • Bike - 8%
    • Bus/train - 23%
    • Drive - 54%
    • Walk - 12%
  •  We shared more details on two alternative design scenarios for Blue Hill Ave (you can check those out above or in the meeting slides), and answered the following questions:
    • What are the scenarios? How did we land on these?
    • What is the City’s preferred approach, and why?
    • How will the City decide on an approach?

Meeting overview:

  • 55 members of the public attended the meeting. The people who attended the meeting primarily travel on Blue Hill Avenue using the following modes:
    • Bike - 4%
    • Bus/train - 37%
    • Drive - 52%
    • Walk - 7%
  • We previewed some survey findings from “Complete Street Deetz” (youth workshops). Here are some data points that we shared:
    • The majority of respondents were high school age (62% were 15-19 years old).
    • When asked, “How would you like to see the following change on Blue Hill Ave?” the two most popular responses were: (1) Having safe crosswalks (71%) and (2) Improving public transportation services (65%).
  • We shared some updates on how the BHA engagement process will connect to the design process. 
    • As a reminder, the City has not yet finalized a design. 
    • The design team is working to compare alternative design scenarios using a set of qualitative and quantitative metrics. You can see those proposed metrics here. During the meeting, 68% of participants said these metrics somewhat reflect or strongly reflect their interests and design questions, 18% reported that they were neutral, and 14% said they somewhat do not reflect their interests and design questions.
    • The scenarios will be constructed based on best practices and public feedback collected at the virtual meetings, in-person events, the online form, and other discussions with the team.

Meeting overview:

  • 66 members of the public attended the meeting. The people who attended the meeting primarily travel on Blue Hill Avenue using the following modes:
    • Bike - 9%
    • Bus/train - 32%
    • Drive - 56%
    • Walk - 3%
  • BTD staff presented findings from their study of Columbus Ave between Walnut Ave and Centre St, where the center-running bus lanes are located. That report will be available on the Columbus Ave project website.
  • Kate England, Director of Green Infrastructure, presented on the City's new green infrastructure policies and the potential for trees and other greenery on Blue Hill Ave
  • 41 respondents responded to the question, "What would you like to see more of on Blue Hill Ave?"

    Light fixtures - 68%

    Real-time bus arrival signs - 68%

    Trees and other greenery - 66%

    Trash cans - 61%

    Public art - 51%

    Plaques featuring neighborhood history - 51%

    Seating - 49%

    Outdoor games - 24%

Meeting overview coming soon!

Meeting overview:

  • 85 members of the public attended the meeting. The people who attended the meeting primarily travel on Blue Hill Avenue using the following modes: 
    • Walk - 4%
    • Drive - 46%
    • Bus/train - 14%
    • Bike - 7%
  • Attendees' top two concerns that they believe should be addressed are double parking (70%) and availability of parking (51%)

Representatives from the Mayor's Office of Housing joined this meeting to provide updates on new low-income homeownership programs, development of city-owned land, and other programs. 

We also responded to a common question about parking on BHA: What is the plan for parking? 

  • We talked about how parking availability depends on both the total number of spaces and the total number of people who can use each space per day. We also discussed a parking study pilot that will begin in May, to start to look at how the existing parking is being used on Blue Hill Ave.


Meeting overview:

  • 102 members of the public attended the meeting. The people who attended the meeting primarily travel on Blue Hill Avenue using the following modes:
    • Walk - 6%
    • Drive - 65%
    • Bus/train - 17%
    • Bike - 12%
  • Someone from MBTA presented data to help answer the following questions:
    • How do you expect people to choose the bus if it's not reliable?
    • What is the MBTA doing to make buses more frequent?
    • How does better bus service help small businesses?
  • Attendees' top two benefits that they believe should be prioritized are safety for pedestrians (76%) and faster, more reliable bus service (54%).
  • Attendees' top two concerns that they believe should be addressed are car congestion/more traffic (71%) and negative impacts on small businesses (49%). 

Meeting overview:

  • 86 members of the public attended the meeting. The people who attended the meeting primarily travel on Blue Hill Avenue using the following modes:
    • Walk - 6%
    • Drive - 68%
    • Bus/train - 15%
    • Bike - 9%
    • Other - 2%
  • The majority of attendees supported ideas to make the corridor more lively and beautiful through trees, greenery, plantings, public art, and improved lighting. Attendees also spoke of the importance of more trash receptacles to keep the streets and sidewalks clean, and to minimize the presence of vermin. 
  • Many people voiced dismay at the current condition of the physical infrastructure, noting that Blue Hill Ave. needs to be repaved, and the sidewalks are in terrible shape with a lot of buckling from tree roots making it challenging for those in wheelchairs and walkers.
  • Attendees expressed concern that a reduction in the number of travel lanes would cause congestion. However, a reduction in traffic congestion did not necessarily mean participants wanted traffic to be faster. Several spoke on speeding being an issue and called for speed reduction and traffic calming measures to ensure a safer corridor for all users.
  • Several attendees acknowledged the goal of a multimodal corridor as creating safe and accessible options for users of all ages and abilities.
  • Opinions for/against bike lanes existed in the feedback, as well as opinions for/against center-running bus lanes.
  • Some attendees felt parking is a challenge on Blue Hill Ave. Many participants said that there was not enough parking along the corridor, and that double- and even triple-parking creates numerous safety and traffic flow conflicts.
  • Many attendees valued the presence of small businesses on the Avenue and expressed support for ways to support them, such as providing wider sidewalk space so there could be more outdoor dining.

Meeting overview:

  • 144 members of the public attended the meeting. The people who attended the meeting travel using the following modes:
    • Walk - 20%
    • Drive - 38%
    • Bus/train - 27%
    • Bike - 13%
    • Other - 2%
  • 60 members of the public contributed to the discussion verbally or in the chat.
  • 12 members of the public were responsible for more than 50% of chat comments.
  • 37 individuals gave feedback on what they would like to see from a project to redesign Blue Hill Avenue. The most common feedback included:
    • more lighting
    • new sidewalks
    • more crosswalks
    • more trees
    • better bus stops
    • support for small businesses on the avenue
  • Town Hall hosted by Councilor Julia Mejia and Notorious V.O.G. at the Morning Star Baptist Church in Mattapan: Recording of the Town Hall (video starts at 10:23)

Mattapan Square Materials and Updates

The Mattapan Square Redesign Community Engagement Report by Consult Lela is a summary of two years of engagement focused on youth and young adults aged 10-35 years. The report is not a recommendation to the City on the transportation changes that should be made, but is instead a reflection on the feedback heard, and the effectiveness of the community engagement strategies.

Meeting overview:

The City summarized design options discussed over the past five months and highlighted areas of general agreement, including:

  • The need for accessible, smooth sidewalks,  accessible parking spaces, and parking that is up to code.
  • The need for a new, direct crosswalk across Blue Hill Avenue from River Street to Mattapan Station.
  • The need for short and longer term signal changes to improve pedestrian safety and accessibility.
  • The restoration and re-installation of the RISE sculpture that was struck by a motorist last spring. Short term, it should be re-installed in its original location. Longer term, it should be incorporated in expanded plaza areas with lighting, interpretive plaques, plantings and seating.

Areas where decisions remain to be made include:

  • Precise locations for the RISE sculpture plazas. 
  • Whether there should be center running bus lanes and a direct left turn for buses into Mattapan Station.
  • Whether there should be angled parking, vs. parallel parking with fewer spaces but room for bike lanes and more street trees. Consult LeLa shared the online preference survey which will be open through August 18 @midnight.

A final decision on the design will be made by city leadership in consultation with local elected officials at the same time that a decision is made for the rest of the Blue Hill Avenue corridor. A detailed summary of community feedback will be made publicly available as part of the decision-making process.

Meeting overview:

  • The meeting focused on the design of the intersection of Blue Hill Avenue, River Street, and Cummins Highway.
  • Boston Transportation Department shared a video by Boston Artist-in-Residence Ellice Patterson, who did a public crawl across the intersection to demonstrate the challenges of crossing the street as a person with disabilities.
  • Boston Transportation Department shared new renderings of design alternatives for the intersection. The alternatives are intended to improve pedestrian safety, accessibility, and reduce travel times for bus riders. They include options for the RISE Gateway sculptures that would make them more prominent and accessible to pedestrians.
  • Consult LeLa shared the online preference survey which will be open through August 18 @midnight.

Meeting overview:

  • The MBTA's Mattapan Line Transformation team provided an brief update of their project and noted that they will be posting a recording of the meeting that is happening this same evening.
  • Boston Transportation Department shared new renderings of the design options for the segment of Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan Square, north of the big intersection. The new renderings show the options from the perspective of a pedestrian.
  • Consult LeLa shared the online preference survey which will be open through the end of July.

Meeting overview:

  • City Transportation and leadership from Arts and Culture described the crash on May 18 that resulted in the damage to one of the pair of sculptures that form the RISE. The sculpture was carefully removed by a professional arts conservator and is being assessed for damage and repairs. It will be reinstalled to restore the gateway.
  • The engagement team led by Consult LeLa and That Bike Lady described feedback received through various forms of engagement including neighbor-to-neighbor, youth-focused, education-based, and on-the ground engagement.
  • 750 people have been reached to date through pop-ups, Youth Engagement Committee events, Complete Streets Deetz workshops, school workshops, social events, and an online preference survey. Preliminary results were shared. Engagement will continue through August 18, 2023.

Meeting overview:

  • City Transportation staff described the background of the Mattapan Square project and how it relates to the larger Blue Hill Avenue Transportation Action Plan.
  • Consult LeLa introduced the community engagement team for Mattapan Square and described how the engagement approach differs from the traditional public meeting approach.
  • The engagement team described preliminary feedback from discussions and surveys conducted at events for youth and young adults, and at pop-ups, drop-ins, teach-ins, and social events, as well as some traditional public meetings.
  • A preference survey of three options for Mattapan Square was shared and will continue through July 2023

We held a public meeting to discuss the design of the main intersection. 

  • We held a meeting with the Greater Mattapan Neighborhood Council Public Services Committee to discuss the design of the main intersection. View the presentation.
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