Traffic Commission Approves MBTA Bus Stop Improvements

The MBTA will improve two bus stops this summer, making them ADA compliant and more accessible for people with mobility issues.

On Tuesday, the city’s Traffic and Parking Commission approved the plans for the upgrades to the bus stops at Washington Avenue at Annese and Garfield Avenue at Fenno. The work is scheduled to be done this summer, and will take about a week or two to complete, according to MBTA design consultant Katie Moulton.

At the Washington Avenue stop, there will be new bus stop markings along with a longer bus stop and the elimination of one parking spot. At Garfield Avenue, the work will include new curb ramps, sidewalks, and improved crosswalks. The stop will also be moved closer to the intersection, allowing for the creation of two new parking spaces.

“Currently, the (Washington Avenue) stop is 15 feet from the front bus stop sign to the rear bus stop sign,” said Moulton. “That is not enough space for a 40-foot bus to pull up and safely pick up a passenger that’s waiting to board the bus.”

By extending the stop to 50 feet, Moulton said it will allow the bus to safely pull in and have riders board and deboard the bus.

Other safety improvements near the bus stop would include new crosswalk markings and a ramp on the opposite side of Annese and a new ADA compliant sidewalk.

The bus stop at Garfield and Fenno will be shifted closer to the intersection, creating two new parking spaces. Other improvements at that stop include two new wheelchair ramps and a new crosswalk.

Alex Train, the city’s housing and community development director, said that while the MBTA and other agencies often focus on larger infrastructure projects, the smaller work like the improved accessibility at the bus stops should not be overlooked.

“We’re fully supportive of this effort to improve accessibility to the MBTA bus stops,” he said. “It will be consequential for residents with mobility impairments as well as disabled residents, and we would encourage the MBTA to continue investing in this area, particularly in Chelsea, given the needs of its residents.”

Moulton noted that the MBTA got approval for improvements to bus stops at Park and Hawthorne last year, and said that work will also take place this summer.

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