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Blue Hill Avenue Transportation Action Plan

First things first: We want to hear from you.

The Blue Hill Avenue Transportation Action Plan seeks to improve the experience of all corridor users.

Blue Hill Avenue runs through the heart of the City. This avenue houses community organizations of education, worship, and recreation. It is a commercial corridor full of bustling businesses owned by minority entrepreneurs. The corridor provides access to and from the city's major employment centers for Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan residents. It also supports the highest bus ridership in the entire MBTA system. 

We want to hear from the people who live, work, play, and travel along Blue Hill Avenue about how the corridor can better serve you.

Project Area

Project Focus

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. 

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? 

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.

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. 

Blue Hill Avenue runs through the heart of the City. 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? 

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

Public Commitments

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 Ave. Project Materials and Updates

Project Materials

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 Project Materials and Updates

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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