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Mayor Walsh announces South Boston emergency transportation reconfiguration

February 14, 2015

Transportation

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Transportation

Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced today the South Boston Emergency Transportation Reconfiguration (ETR) will go into effect on Saturday, February 14, 2015 at 10 p.m. to reconfigure several streets in South Boston to one-way only in an effort to improve public safety. The ETR will end on April 1, 2015.   

In advance of the upcoming blizzard, a snow emergency and parking ban in Boston will also go into effect today at 10 p.m.Ticketing and towing will not begin until midnight.    

"Boston has seen unprecedented levels of snow over the past few weeks, totaling nearly 80 inches, and more is expected," Mayor Walsh said. "Boston's Public Works Department has been working around the clock to remove snow from the neighborhoods, however this emergency reconfiguration will help assure the safety of residents and drivers, and improve access to roadways for public safety officials."  

The Walsh Administration met with local elected officials on Friday to develop the ETR plan.  

"I applaud Mayor Walsh for working with South Boston's elected officials to facilitate a plan to get our neighbors around in the safest manner possible," City Council President Bill Linehan said. "We've had historic amounts of snow in a very short period of time. Sub-zero temperatures and potentially 15 more inches of snow on the horizon require creative measures.  We should always sacrifice convenience for safety."

"I have heard several concerns from constituents about traffic and congestion in the neighborhood, which affects response time of police, fire, and emergency vehicles," City Councilor At-Large Michael Flaherty said. "Public safety is our first priority, and I support the Mayor's decision to redirect traffic in an effort to restore order and improve accessibility on South Boston's streets." 

“The city’s public safety officials have decided that, due to these unprecedented conditions and the cumulative snow fall, this is a necessary measure. We ask for the public’s cooperation during this effort in what we all hope will be a short term solution,” State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry (D-Dorchester) said.

"As elected officials, public safety is our #1 priority," State Representative Nick Collins (D-South Boston) said. "I applaud Mayor Walsh and his team for coming up with a bold and innovative strategy to make our streets in South Boston more accessible in the aftermath of the unprecedented amount of snowfall this winter season. I ask that residents remain patient as this process unfolds and as the city and state work together to improve transportation and safety conditions."

"As the Police Commissioner and a lifelong resident of South Boston, I support the Mayor in implementing this temporary traffic reconfiguration," Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said. "Public safety is my first priority and this plan will assist my department in delivering effective services. "   

"This reconfiguration will enhance the public safety response in South Boston," said Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn. "Minutes count for firefighters and alleviating congestion on the side streets allows for a better response to those who need our help." 

"This effort will have a significant impact on access to the side roads in South Boston and help Police, Fire and EMS when they are in an emergency situation," Boston Transportation Commissioner Gina Fiandaca said. "BTD will be working in the neighborhood all day to ensure that appropriate signage is up before implementation so residents are aware of all changes and how it might impact their travel."

"Nobody knows the city streets better than Mayor Walsh and nobody knows better how to keep them safe," Suffolk County Superior Court Clerk for Civil Business and South Boston resident Michael Donovan said."It takes a great leader to take this step and, once again, Mayor Walsh is getting out ahead of the next impending storm."  

Even numbered streets will be west-bound and odd numbered streets will be east-bound. Main arterials will remain two-way streets. Streets that are currently one-way streets will maintain their original direction.   

Boston Transportation Department will place "Do Not Enter" signs and barricades at 7 a.m. in advance of the emergency reconfiguration going into effect at 10 p.m. City employees will be in the neighborhood beginning at 8 a.m. to discuss the change with residents and provide detailed information.    

Boston Police Department will have an increased presence in South Boston to help with adoption of the emergency program. 

For updates on how the ETR will impact MBTA bus routes in South Boston, please visit http://www.mbta.com.