Public Information Session on Commonwealth Ave/Auburn Street Intersection Redesign

01/14/2021
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

This City of Newton session will review MassDOT proposed improvements for the Auburn St @ Commonwealth Ave intersection on Thursday, January 14 at 7 pm via Zoom.  Learn about a proposal by MassDOT to reconstruct the intersection of Auburn Street at Commonwealth Avenue.  This work is part of MassDOT’s reconstruction of the bridge over the Charles River project.  A number of alternatives for that intersection are being considered.  As part of its statewide bridge rehabilitation and replacement work, MassDOT must reconstruct the Rt-30 overpass over Route 128 and the Charles River, as well as Commonwealth Ave. from the river through the Auburn St. intersection. A “no build” alternative is not an option, and any alternative will be required to meet current standards for traffic design, safety, and accessibility.

The Commonwealth Avenue Carriageway Redesign Project will redesign, reconstruct, and restore a critical compromised segment of the Commonwealth Avenue Carriageway from Lyons Field to the Marriott.  The project will create new green space and add a continuous walking and bicycle path where the roadway currently exists by rerouting vehicular traffic from the north of the median to the south. Project benefits include: a) increase the overall amount of green space b) link myriad trail networks including the Charles River Path, the Riverside Greenway trail network (in development), and Weston’s planned shared-use path, currently at 25% design, running along Commonwealth Ave from the Newton to Natick borders, d) increase visibility and access to the Charles River at the historic boathouse e) improve transit access in the area by upgrading bus stops.

Construction is fully funded through MassDOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program with $5.9 million in funding confirmed for FY2025.

There have been several presentations since September.

See the official flyer for this event showing all alternative renderings  at Public-Meeting-Notice-Comm-Auburn-2020.01.14
MassDOT had developed four preliminary design alternatives for the Auburn St./Comm. Ave. intersection:

● Option 1 (“Continuous Westbound Thru” is the design most similar to the current conditions. It is considered by MassDOT to be insufficiently safe for pedestrians crossing the westbound side of Commonwealth Avenue.
● Option 2 (“Displaced Left Turn”) requires drivers turning from Comm. Ave. westbound to Auburn St. southbound to make a U turn at a traffic signal, with a roadway width of more than 6 lanes and 95 feet across at Oakland St.
● Option 3 (“Traditional T Intersection”) has extremely long and unprotected crosswalks across Comm Ave, (approximately 60-80 feet).
● Option 4 (“Modern Mixed-Lane Roundabout”) is a modern roundabout design with pedestrian safety enhancements. This option is MassDOT’s preferred option.

The contact for this meeting is Nicole Freedman, Director of Transportation Planning, City of Newton (nfreedman@newtonma.gov, 617-879-8148).  If you wish to join the Zoom session here is the information necessary:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86718659714, Meeting ID: 867 1865 9714,  One tap mobile +16465588656,,86718659714# US (New York).

A letter from a a number of civic groups including the Riverside Greenway Working Group (of which Newton Conservators is a member,  in support of Option 4 above, can be found at Roundabout-Auburn-Comm-2021-01-10-3

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