Traffic has been brought up time and again in the discussion on two marijuana applicants in the Lost Village and Sullivan Square areas of Charlestown, but lost in the shuffle of that heated and right discussion is grant funding and a plan that came through last summer.
In late June, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission approved large grants for traffic mitigation that would help implement plans by the Boston Transportation Department (BTD) for easing traffic and making changes to streets. That $295,000 grant was approved by the MGC, and is on the docket at City Hall to be accepted and approved at a meeting on Nov. 30.
At the time of the grant award, which was reported in the July 2 Patriot Bridge, Boston Chief of Streets Chris Osgood said the grant was a key to the Go Boston 2030 plan, particularly the area of the Lost Village and Sullivan Square.
“The Walsh Administration has prioritized investing in our neighborhood streets to improve safety, accessibility and quality of life,” he said at the time. “These are top priorities in Go Boston 2030, the Mayor’s transportation plan, and we appreciate the support from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to help us advance these goals in this neighborhood.”
According to the grant request, which asked for $533,900 and got $295,000, the changes would help ease overall congestion, and particularly the trips to the casino.
The project would specifically focus on geometric changes at the intersection of Cambridge and Brighton Streets.
BTD and the Mayor’s office engaged the community in a process prior to requesting the grant. In addition to the transformative project that this funding is for, the City recently did a major upgrade to the street lighting in the Lost Village. The Public Works Department, Street Lighting Division, installed 42 new acorn street lights in the Lost Village earlier this year.
Residents have repeatedly called for a new traffic pattern for the neighborhood streets – such as Brighton Street – so they would be resident-only traffic and prevent commuters from cutting through. That is already the case just down the road on the Somerville side where the streets are protected by a network of one-ways and such. It isn’t certain if the grant funded project would also bring in that new street configuration.