Unanswered Questions on Traffic Impact of Cushing Square Development

A new, proposed residential/commercial project now under review by the Belmont Planning Board will bring significant, additional traffic to  Cushing Square and all surrounding areas.  A recent study was conducted to analyze this. Significant questions still need to be addressed:

  • What is the Cumulative Impact?  What is the impact of cumulative parking and traffic on the square from the entire overlay, not just Cushing Village?  Once Cushing Village is completed we have to expect that Winter’s, Ben Franklin, UPS and Brother’s Pizza areas will follow similar developments. This density growth need to be included in this analysis to determine if the mass, parking, traffic density is safe, effective and viable for total volume of Cushing Square.
  • Why are Traffic Counts Declining?  Is this an artifact of the recession rather than actual throughput?  June was described a peak month, but school is out for 1-2 weeks of it, so traffic counts would seem lower than in months with schools and work in session the whole time.  It is very important that the  baseline off of which the traffic studies drive is both realistic and accurate.
  • How are Trucks and Deliveries Figured into the Analysis?  Will trucks be allowed to park and unload supplies on Trapelo, Common, or Belmont Street and is there black out times for noise and pollution mitigation?
  • Do Delay Calculations Reflect Real Conditions? Are traffic delays realistic given the traffic “calming” measures both installed since 2010, and being proposed for Trapelo Road?  Lanes in the intersection will have no flexibility for stuck cars to bypass an impediment.  This will likely make  not only buses, but also incoming vehicles from Cushing Village , much more likely to bottleneck the flow of traffic.

 

Review of the Cushing Square Development Financial Impact Report

As hearings continue into the proposed Cushing Square commercial/residential project, a Financial Impact Report was submitted to the town Pllanning Board by the development team. A review of the report has been developed to clarify some of the assumptions used by the developer, and to identify places where either the assumptions or conclusions within the document seemed problematic. These include changing assumptions on student and vehicle counts, inclusion of revenue categories without offsetting costs, and some potential methodological problems with the manner in which property tax projections and impacts on the school system were assessed. Please click below to access the review.

Review of Cushing Village FIR_Oct12 (1)

“The review was done by Belmont Resident Doug Koplow, who is also a CSNA member. Mr. Koplow is founder of the policy consulting firm Earth Track.  He holds an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and a BA in economics from Wesleyan University.

How Big Will the Proposed Building Project Actually Be?

What would the proposed Cushing Square development actually look like in the town of Belmont in relation to the buildings and homes already here?

Click below to get a sense of the size, scale and mass of similar projects in nearby cities and towns:

Build Comparisons

ICON – Peer Review Consultant for Cushing Square Development

Click Here to view discussion about the visual impact of size, scale mass and height as ICON began their review of the proposed Cushing Square project.

ICON_Needed Tasks_July 2012v2

YouTube Video of Cushing Sq Overlay District Discussion

Click here to view some  foundational Town Meeting discussions on the substance and intent of the Cushing Square Overlay District By-Law.

Ten Things to Consider about Cushing Square

Based on analysis of data available through April 17, 2012

Ten_Things_to_Consider_About_Cushing_Square

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