Ruggles Street Plans Aim for Safer Link From Dudley Square to SW Corridor

A rendering of the proposed Ruggles Street improvements illustrate new bike lanes, shortened, raised crosswalks, and increased sidewalk space for pedestrians and bus riders. The planned reconstruction project is scheduled to begin in 2020. Courtesy of the City of Boston.
A rendering of the proposed Ruggles Street improvements illustrate new bike lanes, shortened, raised crosswalks, and increased sidewalk space for pedestrians and bus riders. The planned reconstruction project is scheduled to begin in 2020. Courtesy of the City of Boston.

The City of Boston Public Works Department is finalizing plans to rebuild Ruggles Street, a street lined with affordable housing developments, with narrower car lanes, wider sidewalks and new protected bikeways.

The project spans only about 2,000 feet of roadway, but it is bookended by two major transit destinations: the Ruggles T stop and the Southwest Corridor paths to the north, and, to the south, to Dudley Square’s commercial district and bus station.

In between, Ruggles Street passes through two major affordable housing neighborhoods, including the Whittier public housing complex, which is in the midst of a major redevelopment that will bring hundreds of new homes to the area.

In that section, Ruggles is currently a very wide one-way street, and residents report that wrong-way driving and high vehicle speeds are common.

To improve safety, the city is proposing to narrow the street by designating new dedicated lanes for bicyclists – including a protected, sidewalk-level westbound bike lane – and add new curb extensions to reduce crossing distances for pedestrians.

The city is also planning a two-way bikeway connection across Tremont Street to connect the improved street to the T station and Southwest Corridor path:

A plan view of the new Ruggles Street at Tremont, where cyclists will be able to access a new 2-way bikeway link to the Southwest Corridor path and the Ruggles Orange Line stop.  Courtesy of the City of Boston.
A plan view of the new Ruggles Street at Tremont, where cyclists will be able to access a new 2-way bikeway link to the Southwest Corridor path and the Ruggles Orange Line stop. Courtesy of the City of Boston.

For the block east of Shawmut, where Ruggles Street occupies a narrower right-of-way, city officials are still evaluating two possible cross-sections. One alternative would leave most of the street available for two-way car traffic, with a contraflow bike lane added, while a second option would reduce car access to set aside space for bike lanes in both directions.

The city is still accepting public feedback on these two alternatives, and the public can weigh in by emailing comments to pwdengineering@boston.gov:

City officials are accepting public input about the narrower section of Ruggles Street between Shawmut and Washington, which could either accommodate 1-way vehicular traffic with protected bike lanes in both directions, or 2-way traffic for cars and one unprotected westbound bike lane. Courtesy of the City of Boston.
City officials are accepting public input about the narrower section of Ruggles Street between Shawmut and Washington, which could either accommodate 1-way vehicular traffic with protected bike lanes in both directions, or 2-way traffic for cars and one unprotected westbound bike lane. Courtesy of the City of Boston.

A separate project, currently under construction, is adding additional safety improvements to the Dudley Square area in the vicinity of the neighborhood’s branch library, which is scheduled to reopen in 2020 after its own extensive renovation project.


Submit feedback:

City of Boston: Ruggles Street reconstruction project information

Submit comments to PWDENGINEERING@boston.gov

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Rendering courtesy of the Friends of the Dedham Heritage Rail Trail.

Saturday: Dedham to Hold Delayed Vote on Trail Referendum

|
Voters in Dedham will head to the polls on Saturday to decide whether to support the Dedham Heritage Rail Trail, a 2-mile connection between downtown Dedham, the town’s schools and the Readville commuter rail station. The advisory referendum asks voters whether they “favor, if there is no cost to Dedham taxpayers for design and construction, […]
Arborway project map

DCR Hosts Virtual Meeting to Discuss Arborway Safety Improvements

|
The state Department of Conservation (DCR) hosted a second public meeting Wednesday night for a project that’s expected to create new, protected bike and pedestrian routes along the Arborway in Jamaica Plain. The DCR’s “Arborway Parkways Improvement Project” kicked off last winter, and is aiming to produce detailed designs for a construction project that would […]
Advocates say that these upgrades to the commuter rail network would allow trains to run every 15 to 30 minutes on most lines. Courtesy of TransitMatters.

TransitMatters Issues Detailed Game Plan for Regional Rail Upgrades

|
Advocates from TransitMatters have released a detailed, $2.6 billion strategy for upgrading key commuter rail lines to attain 15-minute, all-day service to Beverly, Providence, and along Boston’s Fairmount Line. Last November, the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) endorsed an aspirational vision to electrify the MBTA commuter rail network to provide all-day, rapid-transit-style service […]