Traffic and Parks Commission Approves Innes Traffic Plan

The Traffic and Parking Commission approved a traffic mitigation plan for the Corcoran Group’s Innes development construction at its meeting on Tuesday.

Developers were before the commission last month, but the fire department raised concerns that their plan for parking on Watts Street would hinder fire vehicles and apparatus from getting down the street.

“The last time we met, the fire department raised concerns about the site fencing along Watts and our proposal of relocating the parking of Watts from the south side to the north side,” said Mary Davis, representing the Innes development. “Between the last hearing and this hearing, we met with the Chelsea Fire Department and recognized that yes, that would narrow the road and would present a safety concern with getting their vehicles down the road.”

Taking another look at the situation, Davis said the decision was made to do away with 24 parking spaces on Watts street during the duration of the three-year plus construction project scheduled to get underway later this year.

“To mitigate this impact to the Watts residents, we propose that once the parking garage (for the project) is delivered in December of 2023, Watts residents will be allowed to use our secured parking garage from the delivery of that garage until the end of the project,” Davis said. “There will still be a 15 month period where these spaces are lost, but we hope the mitigation of being able to provide about two years of secured garage parking will help alleviate the impact to these residents.”

Davis also noted that with the housing authority residents of the current Innes apartments being relocated while those units are replaced, there should be more parking spaces available in the surrounding neighborhood.

In other business, the commission neared a final plan for traffic mitigation efforts near the intersection of Washington and Jefferson avenues.

Resident Mary Festa, who requested the traffic calming measures for the area, asked if a speed table could be included as part of the plan.

Housing and Community Development Director Alex Train said he would check with the fire department to see if a speed table would be feasible. Work on other traffic calming measures, including painted curb extensions and flexible bollards near the crosswalk at the intersection should get underway this summer, Train said.

The commission also approved traffic calming measures in the area of Summit Avenue and the Soldiers Home that will include new pavement markings, signage, and speed tables along Warren Avenue.

A request from city councilors Damali Vidot and Melinda Vega Maldonado for the placement of speed tables near 32 Franklin Ave. is still being assessed by the city’s transportation, planning, and engineering teams, according to Train. He said there could be a recommendation on the request at the June traffic commission meeting.

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