Notes from February 23, 2012, Dudley Vision Advisory Task Force Meeting

The Dudley Vision Advisory Task Force held a meeting on February 23 to discuss upcoming construction, including infrastructure projects, that will be affecting the Dudley Square area, and how to mitigate the adverse impacts of that construction.

First off, a team from the Boston Water and Sewer Commission introduced their upcoming Storm & Sewer Separation Project.  The team explained that project work schedules would be set to minimize impact and balance the needs of business owners and residents.  Street work is expected to begin mid-2012.  Finalized start dates for the Dudley Square area are to be confirmed and community stakeholders will be given advance notice.  There will be additional outreach to community stakeholders prior to project commencement.  There will be consideration given to local hiring for the project as well.  (BWSC team included Jeanne Richardson, Manager of Communications; Thomas Daly, Senior Planning Engineer; and Irene McSweeney, Director of Construction.)

Next up was Mahendra Patel, a Senior Project Manager for the MBTA.  Mr. Patel introduced the upcoming planned improvements to the Dudley Station,  including heated bus shelters, electronic message signs, and improved ADAaccessibility.  DVATF members raised concerns about maintaining a high level of communication to riders during construction to ensure efficient bus operations and customer satisfaction.  A request was made for a commitment to additional meetings with bus operations managers.  MBTA agreed to follow up and to discuss local hiring opportunities.

Following the MBTA presentation, Maureen Anderson, Senior Project Manager for the City of Boston’s Public Facilities Department presented a schedule showing all available information on the various overlapping construction and infrastructure projects that will be taking place over the next few years.  It was intended to be a guide for all community stakeholders, and will be updated as the projects proceed.  Ms. Anderson also announced an upcoming March 3 event to mark the commencement of early site operations at the Ferdinand project.

The final presenter of the evening was Pat Hoey, Senior Planner for the Boston Transportation Dept.  Mr. Hoey discussed the status and goals of two upcoming projects affecting the Dudley Square area:  (1) The DudleySquare Transportation Action Plan, and (2) Melnea Cass Boulevard Streetscape Improvements.  Goals of both projects include improved pedestrian access and safety, improved traffic flow and safety, and enhanced streetscapes to encourage future development.

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