Notes from the February 28, 2013 Dudley Vision Advisory Task Force Meeting

February 28, 2013
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Location:  The Central Boston Elder Services Community Room, 2315 Washington Street, Dudley Sq., Roxbury

The meeting commenced with a parking study presentation, Boston’s Chief Planner and Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) Planning Director. Mr. Shen was assisted by the BRA’s Jim Fitzgerald, Senior Planner for Transportation, and Pat Hoey, a Senior Planner at Boston Transportation Department (BTD). The presentation’s focus was to continue a community discussion and build upon prior traffic and parking research to better understand the Dudley Square area parking issues.

Goals of the upcoming study would be to perform a comprehensive inventory and to understand current and future parking demand generators and future supply sources that will arise with new development.

Joyce Stanley, DVATF member, and other community members noted that the study should include perspectives of district business owners and employees who struggle to access long-term daytime parking.

Mr. Shen emphasized that the BRA could potentially facilitate ways to find paid long-term parking in the district, but that it is a citywide, long-standing policy that the City and BRA do not provide free long-term employee and merchant parking. The study period is estimated to span over three months (once a consultant is engaged), and the DVATF, business and residential communities could expect to be involved.

Following the parking presentation, Chris Gordon, project consultant for the Dudley Sq. Municipal Center, provided a follow-up presentation from the January 31 DVATF meeting, to discuss the retail tenant procurement strategy for the new facility. Mr. Gordon reported that in the coming months there would be a Request for Proposals (RFP) for retail real estate consulting services to help recruit potential tenants and promote the opportunity.

A Request for Proposals from potential tenants is to be issued in September 2013, with a goal of tenant selection in the first quarter of 2014. In the meantime, questions should be directed to Roger Mann at the BRA, either via the website, or phone: 617-918-4421. There were suggestions from DVATF and community members to explore ways to include local merchant participation in the new retail space, within the requirements of a public procurement process.

The final presentation of the evening concerned an initiative to revitalize the main entrance and vicinity of the Dudley Branch of the Boston Public Library. Jonathan Evans of the Boston-based design firm, Utile Design, presented slides showing the color, lighting, way finding, landscaping, and other changes proposed to enhance the front entrance’s visibility safety and overall attractiveness to visitors Dudley Branch Library Design Presentation.

Pat Hoey, Senior Planner for BTD, announced an upcoming meeting to review concepts for the Dudley Square Complete Streets Design Project: March 11, 2013, 6-8 p.m. at the Dudley Branch Library.

The meeting adjourned at around 8 p.m. (City Councilor Tito Jackson and State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz were in attendance). The next scheduled DVATF meeting is for Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 6-8 p.m. at the usual location of Central Boston Elder Services Community Room, 2315 Washington Street, Dudley Square, Roxbury.

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