In response to neighborhood concerns regarding pedestrian accessibility, vehicle speeds, and street light reliability, the Public Works Department (PWD) asked Nitsch Engineering to design improvements to a 4,200-foot-long section of Seaver Street between Walnut Street and Blue Hill Avenue. Seaver Street is located in a residential neighborhood with one side entirely bordered by Franklin Park. Residents have requested that pedestrian crossing timings be increased and vehicle speeds be reduced to permit safer crossings of Seaver Street to access Franklin Park. Residents have also expressed concerns regarding the existing street lighting which is currently located within the cement concrete median in the center of the roadway. The lighting system is connected via an aerial cable and is routinely rendered inoperable due to vehicular crashes with the light poles.
Nitsch Engineering designed complete streets improvements for review and approval by both PWD and the Boston Transportation Department (BTD). The improvements balance the sometimes competing concerns of numerous stakeholder groups including the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, neighborhood associations, bicycle advocacy groups, church affiliations, businesses, and concerned citizens. We assisted the PWD in presenting the merits of the project at two public informational meetings held in the neighborhood.
Nitsch Engineering surveyed the length of the corridor to collect topographical information, including street right of way limits. We prepared a Functional Design Report that analyzed all six signalized intersections within the project limits.
As we moved into design, Nitsch Engineering considered the conditions of the existing site, as well as requests and concerns of the residents. We developed design plans for improvements to three of the signalized intersections, which were linked to the BTD control center. Nitsch Engineering designed the final site grading and drainage modifications.
We redesigned the roadway cross section to safely accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. New signs and pavement markings included decorative imprints to enhance visual aesthetics, and we coordinated with the Boston Street Lighting department to layout and install new street lighting.