Rutherford Ave/ Sullivan Square Design Project Meeting

The Boston Transportation Department wants your input to help shape the future corridor and looks forward to your participation. BTD invites you to join them for a project update of urban design and transportation alternatives for the Rutherford Avenue/Sullivan Square corridor. Visit the Rutherford Avenue / Sullivan Square Design Project page to learn more about past meetings.

Official meeting announcement here. 

RSVP via Facebook here


LivableStreets' view:
The extensive public process for the redesign of Rutherford Ave/Sullivan Square last ended in 2012 with the community reaching consensus on the Surface Option, removing and filling in the existing underpasses at Austin Street and Sullivan Square and creating a fine-grained street grid, with greatly improved connectivity for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers along AND across Rutherford Ave.

The public process was relaunched in 2016, with the introduction of a new smaller underpass option by the City of Boston. Unfortunately, smaller underpasses still create the same issues as the formerly larger ones, including higher construction and maintenance costs, transition segments that preclude pedestrian (and bicycle and automobile) crossings, and undesirable traffic capacity that will continue to draw regional traffic that should be using nearby highways.

Please come to the public meeting to express your support for a surface option, for the following reasons:

  • The Imagine Boston 2030 plan suggests the potential for Sullivan Square to be "a walkabe job and housing center with access to quality transit," which is not truly possible with a design that includes underpasses.
  • Underpasses are incompatible with the City's commitment to Vision Zero and Complete Streets.
  • This part of Charlestown is already vulnerable to flooding, and it makes no sense to build expensive underground infrastructure as this risk increases.
  • If there were not underpasses today, no one would even consider building new ones. Let's not fall into the trap of preserving what's there today simply because we are afraid of living without them. Around the Boston region and throughout the US and the world, people are tearing down overpasses and filling in underpasses, not building more of them.
  • Both car ownership and vehicle miles traveled are down since 2011 in Metro Boston’s Inner Core, and remained flat in the suburbs. (MAPC, January 2017) We should be designing for less traffic, not more.


We should be designing our streets to create the neighborhood we want to see, not one based on our worst traffic fears. If we build for traffic, we will get more traffic, but if we build for people, we will get more people. Let's enhance connectivity to the Orange Line and to the existing neighborhoods by creating people-oriented streets, parks, and development opportunities. Rutherford Ave and Sullivan Square could be as beautiul and well-loved as the historic parts of Charlestown adjacent to them, but only if we design them that way.

  • February 28, 2017 at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
  • Knights of Columbus Council #62
    545 Medford St
    Charlestown, MA 02129
    United States
    Google map and directions
  • Jim Gillooly

    617-635-3843

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