News & Updates

Sullivan Square Study Moving Forward

Dec 27, 2013

sullivan_1.jpgStudy calls for reconfiguring Rutherford Avenue, Sullivan Square area for better walkability
The newly completed Sullivan Square Disposition Study offers a community vision for transforming the area around the Sullivan Square MBTA station into a pedestrian-friendly environment with a revamped street grid. Planners from the BRA, consulting firm Crosby Schlessinger Smallridge, and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) conducted the land use planning study, collaborating with the surrounding Charlestown and Somerville communities. The study lays the groundwork for urban design and land use guidelines in Sullivan Square and was approved by the  BRA Board of Directors at its December 18 board meeting.
"Sullivan Square is a gateway to Boston with a huge potential for smart development," said Mayor Thomas M. Menino. "Armed with this study we have the road map and opportunity to create a vibrant new neighborhood next to one of the region's key transit hubs."
“This vision for Sullivan Square is a great example of a transit-oriented development,” said Eric Bourassa, Director of Transportation Planning for MAPC.  “Sullivan Square now has the potential to be transformed into a mixed-use, walkable neighborhood with new housing opportunities, office space, shops, and restaurants, all within close proximity of the Orange Line.”
Building off of a four year planning effort conducted by the Boston Transportation Department (BTD), the conceptual plan calls for reconfiguring Rutherford Avenue and Sullivan Square to create a more walkable, gridded street pattern. The planned roadways will create several new publicly-owned parcels out of currently underutilized surface parking lots. The Sullivan Square Disposition Study was completed in preparation for the eventual disposal of these parcels for development and the creation of new open space.

Following the adoption of this Study, BTD will begin a public process to refine final roadway designs. Upon completion of the new roadway network, the BRA will implement the urban design and land use guidelines outlined in the Sullivan Square Disposition Study through an eventual Request for Proposals (RFP) disposition process for the new parcels.
The full study can be viewed online at

This project was a collaborative effort among BRA, MAPC and the consulting firm Crosby Schlessinger Smallridge, with support provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Sustainable Communities Program. For more information, contact BRA Planner Ted Schwartzberg at 617-918-4238 [email protected] or MAPC Transportation Planning Director Eric Bourassa at 617-933-0740 [email protected].

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