Toole Design Group (TDG) is working with the City of Boston and BETA Inc. on the reconstruction of Commonwealth Avenue between Packard’s Corner and the Boston University Bridge. The corridor runs through the Boston University campus, and as a result, sees a high volume of pedestrian and bicycle traffic. This busy stretch of Commonwealth Avenue sees a total of 100,000 daily users. It has been the site of numerous pedestrian and bicycle crashes, highlighting the importance of building increased safety into the design of the roadway.
The new design will balance the needs of all road users and provide new benefits for every mode of travel. Wide sidewalks and shorter crossing distances will enhance pedestrian safety, curb-separated bike lanes will protect bicyclists from major roadway hazards, and new left turn lanes and signal timing will streamline vehicular operations. The design will also increase the width of the median, which carries the MBTA’s Green Line light rail line.
This is a complex corridor with many users, and safety is the number one priority when considering changes to roadway geometry. TDG led the design of the intersections and recommended protected intersections, which increase visibility and predictability for all users, decrease the number of conflict points, and reduce speeds. The proposed intersection features include corner deflection islands, raised crossings, bicycle signals, left-turn queue boxes, and ADA-compliant ramps. TDG continues to work with the team to finalize the design by Fall 2015 in anticipation of construction beginning in Spring 2016.