developer of Harvard’s corporate research campus pledges to improve transportation | New
As the Boston Planning and Development Agency conducts its review of the proposed Harvard Corporate Research Campus, developers, university officials and Allston residents met virtually Tuesday to discuss plans to improve local transport.
This latest meeting of the Harvard Allston task force met following the tabling of Tishman Speyer’s preliminary impact project report – a document released on July 28 outlining the developer’s additional commitment to affordable housing.
The meeting also discussed the company’s 18-page Planned Development Zone document tabled earlier this month. This PDA document is about the initial “Phase A” of the ERC and covers everything from the appearance of the building to traffic.
The filing will facilitate the zoning of the project in the future, according to Nupooor Monani, BPDA’s senior institutional planner.
Michael Regan, Tishman Speyer’s team advisor and managing director of transport consultancy Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, offered a broad overview of the developers’ transport designs.
Regan said the developers plan to build new “multimodal” streets that allow for various forms of transportation, including on and off-street bike and walking paths.
The ERC will feature separate and protected cycle lanes, space for seating areas or potential outdoor businesses, and greenery, according to Lee Altman, director of design management at urban design firm SCAPE.
Altman added that the development will include four designated drop-off zones to serve ridesharing and on-demand delivery services to reduce conflict between drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and visitors to the hotel and conference center. of the ERC.
Regan said a possible effect of the influx of people to Allston as a result of the ERC could be an increase in passenger congestion on buses operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
To address these transit pressures, Regan came up with a three-part plan, including partnering with Harvard to provide additional shuttle services.
Regan said the developers are also looking to alleviate the build-up of traffic on local roads by decoupling the price of parking from the cost of residential units and offering a subsidized bicycle maintenance program.
Task Force member Cindy Marchando praised the developers for raising awareness, but said she was concerned that projections for vehicle numbers were underestimated and that drop-off areas would be insufficient.
“We will have a major traffic jam on Western Ave. just by the simple fact of the conference center, ”said Marchando.
Regan said the traffic analysis took into consideration the impact of the conference center, and event planners will avoid overlapping events and take advantage of all edge space to avoid traffic jams.
Task Force member Tim McHale said despite the developers’ outlines, he believes they are still missing a full transport plan and is concerned that the ERC may start to face transit issues like the Boston Seaport District.
“Show me an innovative neighborhood being planned that does not solve the fundamental problem of moving huge amounts of people,” he said. “Well, actually we did it in the seaport, and we all know how it went.”
– Editor James R. Jolin can be contacted at [email protected]