Allston-Brighton is experiencing an unprecedented wave of transit-oriented development without any perceivable improvements to our transit system. The wave of construction since the Great Recession of 2008 has added approximately 3,785 new housing units (these are either under review, BPDA approved, or under construction). While many of these projects are labeled “transit-orientated,” neighborhood residents have not seen any significant improvements to the T, or to our already over-capacity bus service. We also lack a network of safe, protected bicycle lanes.
On March 7, 2019, Mayor Marty Walsh announced a plan to create a designated bus lane for the morning (5:00 to 9:00 a.m.) commute on Brighton Avenue from Union Square to Packard’s Corner. Liz applauds this step in the right direction and will work to reduce travel time and improve cycle safety on this busy corridor.
HOV Lane on the Mass Pike
While it is outside the purview of a Boston City Councilor, Liz is a strong advocate for evaluating the feasibility of a dedicated High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane or dedicated bus lane on the Mass Pike between Newton Corner/Brighton and Boston for the morning and evening commute.
Green Line Improvements
While the MBTA requires large-scale investment to its infrastructure over the longer term, Liz supports some simple reforms — identified by transportation advocates — that could have a large impact in improving Green Line efficiency. Changes with the most impact include:
bolstering signal priority on Commonwealth Avenue
adding protected bike lanes to Commonwealth Avenue from Allston-Brighton to Kenmore Square
and consolidating T stops while making all the remaining stops fully accessible
These improvements should be given priority in the short-term while we wait for a more extensive overhaul of the Green Line in the longer term, including newer-generation trains.
Commuter Rail Improvements
The commuter rail station at Boston Landing represents a significant investment in our public transit infrastructure. However, passengers using this stop are experiencing significant frustration due to the limited schedule, frequent delays, and overcrowding that results in inbound trains not stopping to pick up passengers. Apart from scheduling improvements and the addition of more trains on the route, Liz supports exploring the feasibility of introducing a local light rail service on the existing railway line to expand our mass transit options and reduce carbon emissions.
I-90/Soldiers Field Road, West Station
The I-90/Soldiers Field Road realignment is a $1.1 billion multi-year project that will have tremendous implications and impact for Allston-Brighton. The approved design, announced in early 2019, was improved by the prolonged and robust advocacy of the I-90 Task Force, which has been meeting for over five years. As the city councilor representing Allston-Brighton, Liz will continue to be a vigorous advocate for early construction of West Station as a multimodal transportation hub with a light rail link across the Charles, on the existing Grand Junction railway line to Kendall Square. Timely investments in these infrastructure improvements will be an economic driver for the region. They would also signify Boston’s and the Commonwealth’s serious commitment to reducing carbon emissions by offering viable mass transit alternatives that reduce traffic congestion.