By Rick Winterson
Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack today joined Congressman Stephen F. Lynch, Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver, Department of Conservation of Recreation Commissioner Leo Roy, Senator Nick Collins, municipal officials, and local leaders in South Boston to highlight improvements to William J. Day Boulevard including a new speed-humps pilot program, as well as a recent reconfiguration of the roadway that has resulted in one motor vehicle travel lane in each direction with new bicycle, pedestrian, and parking accommodations, and upgraded traffic signal and sidewalk infrastructure.
These improvements are the result of the combined findings of the South Boston Waterfront Sustainable Transportation Plan and a recent Day Boulevard Road Safety Audit, which found a need for improvements and concluded that traffic volumes did not warrant the previous four lane (two lanes in each direction) configuration for motor vehicle travel. Construction activities occurring now had originally been scheduled for 2019 but have been accelerated based upon public feedback and input received over the past several weeks.
“By putting in place multimodal accommodations, reducing the number of motor vehicle lanes, and adding new speed-humps and speed feedback signs, we are helping ensure this roadway works for everyone regardless of their mode of travel,” said Secretary Pollack. “MassDOT is continuing to work closely with the South Boston community to improve local mobility options and facilitate effective travel throughout this area.”
“I am very pleased to see the improvements to pedestrian safety that have been made by the State DOT and the City of Boston on Day Boulevard and L Street,” said Congressman Lynch. “As the City has continued to grow we must make sure that public safety remains our top priority. I certainly appreciate the responsiveness of Governor Baker and Mayor Walsh who have taken a direct and personal interest in making sure that these improvements were made and that together with our local elected officials we will continue to work together going forward.
The speed-humps pilot program is being implemented immediatley and consists of temporary devices that span the width of the roadway in order to help reduce motor vehicle speeds. These devices will remain in place at locations along Day Boulevard abilities, and links travelers with jobs, friends, families, and opportunities throughout the region,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Leo Roy. “The Day Boulevard safety improvements serve as an excellent example of the Baker-Polito Administration’s continued efforts to optimize the Commonwealth’s many parkways. ”
MassDOT is continuing to make other improvements along this parkway including upgrading traffic signals at the intersection of Day Boulevard and L Street so there is a fully signalized intersection with an updated signal for pedestrians. Crews will also be carrying out work including installing new signage and repairing sidewalks between I Street and Farragut Road.
“Thank you to my colleagues from the South Boston delegation, Governor Baker, Mayor Walsh along with my colleagues in the Legislature. Most importantly, thank you to residents of South Boston for advocating for safer streets,” said Senator Nick Collins. “Due to their combined support we were able to provide $2.5 million in order to provide support to the Massachusetts State Police in their efforts to curb the flagrant abuse of the roads by irresponsible drivers on Day Boulevard. As a community, we are going to join together in order to send a message that pedestrian, cyclist and motor safety is top priority.”
“I would like to thank the people of South Boston for being such strong advocates to improve pedestrian safety and road safety for all,” said Boston City Councilor Ed Flynn. “Their persistence has brought action from their elected officials and city and state agencies. We know there’s a lot more work to do, but speed humps at relevant locations leading to the Curley Recreation Center and the beach will slow traffic and improve safety for our residents – including seniors, the disabled, and children. These are positive steps but we know there’s more to be done.”