Boston Planning & Development Agency and Boston Transportation Department launch the Fenway Transportation Action Plan
Aug 01, 2023
Staff will host a series of “Chat with a Planner” engagement events as planning and design effort begins
The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) and the Boston Transportation Department (BTD) today announced the launch of the Fenway Transportation Action Plan (FTAP). The Action Plan is a holistic planning and design initiative to guide changes to Fenway streets and public realm through 2030.
The Action Plan will prepare preferred design concepts for the reimagining of Kenmore Square, Brookline Avenue, and the Van Ness Street / Ipswich Street corridor. First, it will analyze existing transportation needs alongside City and State plans and projects in the Fenway area. This analysis will also help inform the review of development proposals in the Fenway. The goals of the Action Plan will be to expand walking, biking, and transit networks in the neighborhood that are safe, reliable, and connected; ensure Fenway remains a welcoming urban neighborhood for all people; and ensure it is resilient to climate change.
The Fenway neighborhood has grown significantly in recent years. More than 10 million square feet of development in the area is under review, permitted, or under construction. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s Bus Network Redesign proposes more high-frequency bus service in and around Fenway, and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is planning changes to the Bowker Overpass and Storrow Drive ramps. BTD is currently implementing or has completed improvements along Boylston Street, the Fenway Multiuse Path, and at Audubon Circle. In addition to these proposed changes, City and State transportation guidelines, policies, and plans have evolved since the 2009 Fenway-Longwood-Kenmore Transportation and Pedestrian Action Plan, including the citywide transportation plan, Go Boston 2030, and the Boston Complete Streets Design Guidelines.
This summer, BPDA and BTD staff are kicking off online and in-person engagement for the Action Plan. Today, the BPDA and BTD launched an online survey to help understand the current perspectives, needs, and aspirations of users of the Fenway transportation network. This brief survey is available in English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Spanish, and will be available through September. Additional online surveys will be published throughout the Action Plan process.
Staff will be available through August and September in and around the Fenway neighborhood for informal, in-person conversations at “Chat with a Planner” events. All thirteen events will highlight the same information and provide identical opportunities to speak with BPDA and BTD staff directly. The first of these scheduled events will occur on August 2 at the intersection of Park Drive, Boylston Street, and Brookline Avenue. Please check the Action Plan website for locations, dates, and times of all thirteen events.
In addition to these conversations, staff are engaging with neighborhood and advocacy organizations, medical, educational, and arts/culture institutions through small-group conversations. These discussions are taking place early in the planning process to learn more about interests, concerns, and ways to engage with a broad and diverse set of organizations.
Information learned from all engagement activities will help inform the Action Plan’s multimodal vision, eventual recommendations, and conceptual street improvement designs. These activities are just the start of the engagement process. Successful engagement builds on past processes, employs diverse tactics, and focuses on strategic feasibility.
BPDA and BTD staff plan to share the results of this first round of engagement later this fall, alongside draft findings from initial planning and analysis work. Staff anticipate planning and analysis to continue into 2024, with street design also starting in 2024.