Pedestrian Mall Information
The conversion of Blandford, Cummington, and Hinsdale Streets to pedestrian malls and the acquisition agreement with the City of Boston require some very important changes in the use of these roadways;
- Blandford, Cummington, and Hinsdale will be closed to all personal vehicles, starting Monday, July 30. Access to the Warren Towers Garage from Hinsdale remains unchanged.
- BU Community members who have been using the City of Boston Handicap Parking Spaces on Blandford, Cummington, or Hinsdale and need to arrange for nearby HP parking should contact Parking & Transportation Services immediately.
- As part of the agreement on the discontinuance of these city streets with the City of Boston, the roadways are now to be known as Blandford Mall, Cummington Mall, and Hinsdale Mall. The identifying building address numbers do not change. For example, “44 Cummington Street” will now be known as “44 Cummington Mall”.
Twenty-four hour/seven days a week vehicular access will be maintained for;
- delivery vehicles with commercial license plates,
- paratransit vehicles picking up or dropping off persons with disabilities,
- and Boston Fire Department and other emergency service vehicles.
The street closure announcement triggered several questions and some concerns. Below are responses to the questions that seem to apply to sizable segments of the BU Community. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact Craig Hill in Auxiliary Services at firstname.lastname@example.org
How will the pedestrian malls be designated and what will commercial delivery vehicles encounter on July 30th?
- Temporary signs announcing the street closures and the removal of the City meters have been on site as of Monday, July 16th.
- On July 30th, flexible stanchions will be installed at the right hand lane of the Blandford roadway (as you face Blandford from Commonwealth Avenue) and across the entire intersection of Hinsdale and Cummington as a visible deterrent to general vehicle traffic and to restrict traffic flow. Hinsdale Mall will become a dead-end roadway. Vehicles exiting east from the Warren Towers Garage must turn left on Hinsdale and right (east) on Commonwealth Avenue. Warren Towers Garage parkers wanting to head west on Commonwealth Avenue should make use of the new west exit from the garage.
- Starting on July 30th and for several months thereafter, a parking attendant will be stationed at the entrance of the Blandford Mall from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday, with extended hours for Red Sox home games. The attendant is responsible for controlling vehicular access to the malls, assisting vehicles making deliveries, and providing information to drivers who are redirected away from the malls.
- The removal of City meters from Blandford, Cummington and Hinsdale roadways will begin on Tuesday, July 31st.
- Installation of the permanent traffic, mall, and wayfinding signage program will begin on Wednesday, August 1st.
Where will the vehicles go that now use the metered public parking spaces on the Blandford, Cummington, and Hinsdale Streets?
- Metered public parking spaces are available on Beacon Street and Bay State Road.
In preparation for this transition, Parking & Transportation Services surveyed the usage of metered public parking spaces on Beacon Street (Park Drive to Kenmore Square – 138 metered spaces) and on Bay State Road (186 metered spaces) and found that the average total of vacant metered spaces on these two streets (137 vacant spaces of the combined total of 324 metered spaces) exceeded the average demand for the Blandford, Cummington, and Hinsdale metered spaces (98 vehicles) providing a viable alternative for those that wish to continue to use metered public parking.
- The Bay State Road meters have the same maximum time limit of 4 hours and rate of 25 cents per each 12 minute increment as the Blandford, Cummington, and Hinsdale meters.
- The Beacon Street meters have a maximum time limit of 2 hours with each 15 minute increment costing 25 cents.
- Public street parkers also have the following options of purchasing University fixed price or pay-on-entry parking permits and park in University permit lots and garages.
Depending on how many times per week a faculty, staff, or student commuter comes to campus, as well as the arrival time for each day, determines whether the University’s; (a) day commuter fixed price parking permit, (b) day commuter pay-on-entry parking permit, or (c) evening fixed price parking permit is the most cost effective alternative for on campus parking. The demand for central campus permit parking spaces is increasing and finding a parking space in the most convenient location is not guaranteed. These are important factors to consider when deciding whether the parking permit program is right for you.
- Day commuter fixed price parking permit:
- Faculty and staff day commuters might opt for the “green” permit and student day commuters may choose the “blue” permit allowing them to park in one of the permit lots or garages designated for their particular permit color.
- This fall, the cost of the green and blue permits will be $22.95 per week.
- Fulltime faculty and staff have the option of payroll deduction and lowering the effective cost because the parking pass fees are deducted on a pre-tax basis.
- With the New Balance Field construction project underway resulting in the closing of the Babcock Lot on West Campus, student day or blue permits will be limited to the 808 Commonwealth Avenue Lot until the Babcock Lot reopens.
- Day commuter pay-on-entry parking permit:
- If the fixed price parking pass is not cost effective, faculty, staff, and student day commuters also have the option to park in certain attended permit parking lots and garages on a pay-on-entry basis by obtaining a “red” permit (faculty and staff) or a “black” permit (students).
- The regular day pay-on-entry rate for all of the attended permit lots and garages is $2 per half hour with a daily maximum of $12, except for the Agganis Arena surface lot and garage, which is $1 per half hour with a daily maximum of $12.
- With the New Balance Field construction project underway resulting in the closing of the Babcock Lot on West Campus, student day pay-on-entry or black permits will be limited to the 808 Commonwealth Avenue Lot until the Babcock Lot reopens.
- Evening fixed price parking permit:
- Evening faculty and students may opt for the reduced rate evening “white” permit which allows access to certain permit parking lots and garages after 2:30 pm.
- This fall, the cost of the white permit for evening students will be $85 per semester. The white permit is issued to part-time faculty at no charge.
- Public street parkers will find space in University pay-on-entry parking lots that are open to the public.
On most days there will be parking availability in the University’s east/central campus pay-on-entry parking lots that are open to the public; the Granby Lot at 655 Commonwealth Avenue and the Kenmore Lot on the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Deerfield Street.
- The day parking rate structure in the Granby Lot is $2 per half hour with a daily maximum of $12 and the Kenmore Lot is $3 per half hour with a daily maximum of $12.
- During the day peak parking periods, the primary customers of these two pay-on-entry parking lots are visitors and vendors of the University.
- Faculty, staff, and students may use these lots as well. A pay-on-entry parking permit is not needed in these two parking lots.
I don’t come to campus on a regular week “day” schedule. I often work in the lab or go to the library late at night. Where will I be able to park if I do not find an available metered public parking space on Commonwealth Avenue?
If your preference is to park at a metered public parking space (which in most cases is free after 6:00 or 8:00 pm and on Sundays) there should be sufficient metered public parking spaces available on Beacon Street and Bay State Road.
The University will also operate the central campus pay-on-entry parking lot; the Granby Lot at 655 Commonwealth Avenue, 24 hours a day, Monday through Saturday, with a lower off peak rate.
- The off peak time period will be between 7:00 pm and 5:00 am.
- The off peak rate will be $1 per hour with a $5 maximum provided the exit time is before 5:00 am.
- The 24-hour operation will be maintained throughout the 2012 Fall Semester to gauge the demand for the off peak pay-on-entry parking option. Depending on the volume of activity, adjustments will be made after the 2012 Fall Semester.
Historically I have parked on Blandford, Cummington, or Hinsdale for a few hours to do research or access my office after hours. Will I be able to park on the pedestrian malls?
No, as a condition of the University’s acquisition of these parcels, the pedestrian malls cannot be used for University parking. There are no exceptions for short-term, late night, or weekend parking needs. Such parking restrictions will be enforced by Parking & Transportation Services and the Boston University Police Department.
I need to drop off or pick up equipment or research specimens near my lab or film equipment near COM in my personal vehicle. Will I have access to the pedestrian malls?
Yes, designated 30-minute loading/unloading zones will be clearly marked on the Blandford and Hinsdale Malls and be accessible 24/7. A few spaces in the Warren Towers Garage will be set aside for this purpose as well. A parking permit is not needed to access the 30-minute loading/unloading spaces in the Warren Towers Garage.
How will the 30-minute loading/unloading zones be monitored and enforced in order to maintain equitable use of the zones?
When the Blandford Mall and Warren Towers Garage are attended, access to the 30-minute loading/unloading zones is to be coordinated with the parking attendants.
At all times, the 30-minute loading/unloading zones will be monitored by Parking & Transportation Service vehicles outfitted with license plate recognition technology.
There are many people in the Cummington area that receive rides to and from work. Will these vehicles be permitted on the pedestrian malls and can designated spaces be established for dropping off or picking up of passengers?
Vehicles picking up or dropping off passengers will not be allowed on the pedestrian malls. If a safe passenger pick-up or drop-off space is not available on Commonwealth Avenue, then side streets such as St. Mary’s Street and Granby Street (via Bay State Road) are recommended.
Will cabs be allowed to travel on the pedestrian malls?
Cabs will not be allowed to travel on the Blandford or Cummington Malls. Cabs can make use of the Hinsdale Mall, but will have to enter and exit the Hinsdale Mall via Commonwealth Avenue.
Parking & Transportation Services will investigate with the City the possibility of establishing a permanent cab stand in the central campus area, either on Commonwealth Avenue or a side street such as Granby Street.
What will be done to improve pedestrian safety in and around the Warren Towers Garage?
Both the east and west exits of the Warren Towers garage will have flashing warning lights, visible to pedestrians, accompanying the audible alarms that announce a vehicle is approaching the exit.
Both exits will also have flashing warnings signs, visible to the drivers, reminding them of crossing pedestrians. A vehicle gate similar to the one at the west exit will be added to the east exit.
Efforts will be made to improve the overall lighting of the first floor of the Warren Towers Garage with the emphasis being on the entrance, exits, and the main pedestrian crossing path in the garage.