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Brighton Guest Street Area Planning Study

Boston Redevelopment Authority
Boston, MA
100 acres
Planning and Urban Design
Additional Services
Community Engagement
Completed 2011

The Brighton Guest Street Area Planning Study establishes the framework and urban design guidelines that will shape future development of an innovative and vibrant mixed-use urban destination in Brighton, Massachusetts. The underutilized 100-acre district will become a destination in the heart of the Allston Brighton community with a unique identity and an attractive blend of pedestrian-scaled streets, public parks and plazas, and neighborhood amenities.

Building on a rich, intertwined history of transportation and workplace, the planning study seeks to position the area for new economic prospects as an 18-hour vital urban center. Home to the WGBH headquarters and development plans for New Balance, the study area is on the cusp of a major transformation. The Brighton Guest Street Planning Study, which is pending approval from the BRA board, will be a valuable resource as the community, the city, and private landowners and businesses work together to realize a shared vision for the district.

Once well-positioned in terms of transportation, access in the area has deteriorated over the years. The study proposes a robust transportation strategy, which begins with intersection and traffic changes that improve access to the regional network (I-90). In the near term, 500,000 to 700,000 square feet of mixed-use development can be accommodated in the area provided a number of traffic improvements and transportation demand management (TDM) measures are implemented. Sasaki’s study identifies the specific transportation improvements that must be pursued as the area develops and becomes one of Boston’s creative engines, generating jobs and new businesses in a diverse and sustainable urban context. In the long term, up to two million square feet of mixed-use development will depend on additional TDM measures and more comprehensive transit investments including a commuter rail station. Major transportation investments include connecting Guest Street to Braintree Street via Everett Street, creating a comprehensive grid of streets, improving intersections and changing traffic flows east of Everett, improved transit service, and building a commuter rail station.

Connecting the Brighton Guest Street area to its context is critical to the success of the district. The area has long suffered from a lack of integration with the adjacent neighborhoods and a disconnected grid of streets. The planning study proposes a series of connections that will tie the district to the surrounding communities, both to the south and to the north across the turnpike, to the Charles River via Market Street and North Beacon, and to Brighton’s main streets in Brighton Center and Allston Village.

The area occupies an approximately mile-long frontage along the Massachusetts Turnpike, one of the most prominent approaches to Boston. The plan includes urban design guidelines that call for variety, transparency, and innovative and expressive building design—a bold strategy to express the creativity and vitality of Boston’s innovation economy along the turnpike.

For more information contact Dennis Pieprz.

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