Vision Zero Boston

Give input on Beacon St

The Boston Transportation Department is exploring potential improvements to Beacon Street to slow drivers and improve safety for people who are walking, biking, and driving in the Back Bay.

Below is a list of potential project objectives that were gathered through previous meetings and surveys, and a list of tools / interventions that can be used to reach the objectives. We need to know your priorities so we can explore the right types of changes.

Review each list and then share your priorities at The survey will close on June 30, 2016.

Potential Objectives

  • Reduce conflicts at intersections
  • Reduce low-speed collisions
  • Reduce travel speeds
  • Increase dedicated space for walking
  • Increase dedicated space for biking
  • Maintain the number of travel lanes
  • Reduce the number of travel lanes
  • Install physical elements to reduce speeds
  • Provide dedicated signals for people walking, people biking, and people driving
  • Increase green space (trees, plants, flowers)
  • Maintain existing parking
  • Change parking configuration
  • Reduce illegal parking
  • Provide/maintain space for loading and unloading
  • Create safer pedestrian crossings
  • Provide physical separation between people walking, people biking, and people driving
  • Allow bi-directional bike travel
  • Allow bi-directional car travel
  • Create a space that encourages people to follow the laws
  • Help people know how fast they are going relative to how fast they should be going
  • Create a more residential feel
  • Increase visibility
  • Make the street more accessible for people of all abilities
  • Improve signals to create a more accessible street
  • Increase the number of people biking
  • Reduce congestion
  • Reduce the number of cars
  • Create a safe space for people walking
  • Create a safe space for people on bikes
  • Create an equitable space that is safe for everyone

Potential Interventions

Reallocating Space

  • Provides space for other uses
  • Decreases crashes and crash severity
  • Reduces pedestrian exposure to traffic
  • Rapid implementation possible
  • Improves speed limit compliance
  • Buffer areas can be added to separate users
  • Removes travel lane due to excess capacity
Widen Sidewalks

  • Increases pedestrian space
  • Reduces pedestrian exposure to traffic
  • Requires roadway reconstruction
  • Potential impacts to utilities, street furniture, and trees
  • 5+ years for implementation
Bike Accommodations

  • Exclusive space for bicyclists
  • Improves safety
  • Separates users by speeds
  • Reduces sidewalk riding
  • May be vertically separated by parked vehicles, flexible posts, or plantings
Daylighting Corners

  • Increases visibility between turning vehicles and pedestrians
  • Restricts illegal parking near crosswalks
  • Uses rapid implementation materials (paint, flexposts, etc.)
  • Reduces turning speeds
Curb Extensions

  • Shortens pedestrian crossing distance
  • Increases pedestrian visibility
  • Reduces turning speeds
  • 5+ years for implementation
Street Furniture

  • Typically parklets, bike share, or planters
  • Changes the feel of the street
  • Parklets provide gathering space

  • Creates “S” curves along the roadway
  • Improves speed limit compliance
  • Applicable on one-way roads with at most two lanes
Consolidate to Angle Parking

  • More comfortable for getting into and out of cars
  • Impacts ~100 parking spaces
  • Potential to pair with chicane design
  • Limits room for other interventions
Pick-up / Drop-off Areas

  • Provides spaces to park and unload
  • Typically 1-2 spaces per block
  • Typically signed with a 15-minute time restriction
No Turn on Red Signs

  • Restricts vehicles turning on a red signal indication
  • Improves pedestrian safety
  • Decreases crashes and crash severity
Leading Pedestrian Interval

  • Provides pedestrians a 3-7 second head start before turning vehicles
  • Requires traffic analysis
  • Increases visibility between turning vehicles and pedestrians
  • 3+ years for implementation
Accessible Pedestrian Signals

  • “Talking signals”
  • Multi-year implementation plan
  • Uses words and tones to communicate to pedestrians when to cross the street
Side Street Directionality

  • Continues directionality of letter streets to Back Street
  • Improves pedestrian safety
  • Reduces conflicts and confusion at Beacon Street intersections
 Volume Management

  • Improves local access
  • Requires modifications to traffic signals
  • Requires significant traffic analysis
  • 5+ years for implementation
  • Techniques include:
    • 1-way to 2-way conversion
    • Full or partial closure
    • Median barriers
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