Update: Morrissey Boulevard Redesign Project

After meeting with CSHCA representatives on November 6th, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) provided CSHCA with follow-up communication about the Morrissey Boulevard Redesign project. DCR Commissioner Roy stated in a November 7, 2017 letter (Adobe PDF; 373 K bytes):

“… DCR recognizes that Morrissey Boulevard, as a critical arterial roadway that not only services regional commuter traffic, but also local institutions, residents, and businesses, is not as welcoming as it could be to users wishing to cross it or travel along it. As we heard from your members at the meeting, with its multiple travel lanes, fast-moving traffic, large intersections, and inconsistent landscape treatments, the corridor can be difficult and intimidating to navigate… Our goal with this project is to reconstruct Morrissey Boulevard so that it is more accommodating of all modes of travel (motorist, cyclist, and pedestrian) and more of a connector — and less of a barrier — between abutting neighborhoods.”

The DCR presentation included the following “primary project goals:”

  1. Storm water and Flooding: provide storm water improvements and climate resiliency
  2. Transportation: ensure the finished project will not worsen traffic congestion or encourage more traffic from I-93. The project must accommodate all road users – when finished (i.e., motor vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles)
  3. Landscape & Urban Design: enhance parkway character and strengthen connections to recreational facilities, natural resource areas, and neighborhoods

The DCR presentation also included the following “concept features:”

  • Elevate roadyway for coastal resiliency: a) Green infrastructure and drainage improvements; b) Limit to 3 full-width closures per year (max.) from tidal flooding in 2065
  • Maintain traffic capacity throughout the corridor: a) Targeted land reductions; b) Optimized intersections
  • Design and posted speed of 30 mph (vs. 40 mph): Will undergo MassDOT approval process
  • Separate bicycle and pedestrian facilities where feasible: a) Cycle track at same grade as sidewalk; b) Combination of 1-way paths (running with road traffic) and 2-way cycletracks

The DCR presentation cited input collected from the public:

  • Corridor-Wide: reduce traffic speeds; connect neighborhoods to parks/shore; provide dedicated bicycle and pedestrian facilities; change character from highway to urban boulevard; enhance aesthetics and landscaping
  • Specific Locations: intersection operations for all users; drieway safety; additional crosswalks, U-turns, left turns; enhance/take advantage of natural features (beaches, wetlands, open space)

The presentation also contains several design images and a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section with detailed answers about hot topics (e.g., the proposed land drop).  Proposed short-term improvements will focus upon the Bianculli Boulevard and Freeport Street intersections.

Persons interested in more detailed information about the project can download the full DCR presentation from the November 6th meeting (Adobe PDF; 2.2 MB), and/or visit the Morrissey Boulevard Redesign For Reconstruction site. Information is also available within the Morrissey Boulevard section of the CSHCA site.

Commissioner Roy’s letter also outlined next steps:

“As a next step in the public process, DCR will hold a fourth public meeting to present 75 percent design plans for the middle segment of the project, extending from the southern side of the Patten’s Cove culvert, which is located between Bianculli Boulevard and Old Colony Terrace, southerly to a point just south of Victory Road. The timeline for this public meeting will depend on the depth and volume of the comments received…”

Scope. Morrissey Blvd Redesign Plans. DCR. June 27.

Morrissey Boulevard Design Project Scope