At its regular meeting on Thursday, the Boston Planning and Development Agency, or BPDA, approved two new developments that proponents say will encourage cycling, walking, and public transit — part of a transit-oriented development initiative aimed at connecting neighborhood centers across the city. But housing advocates continue to worry about affordability in an area already battling over development.
The agency approved funds for two bike and pedestrian crossings over Soldiers Field Road — a footbridge at Telford Street and a street-level crossing at Everett Street, according to a memo to the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Harvard will kick in up to $3.5 million for design and construction as part of a 2014 cooperation agreement with the BPDA. The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation will oversee the project.
It also approved the $101 million Residences at Forest Hills, which will take over what's now a parking lot across from the Forest Hills T station in Jamaica Plain. It's currently slated to include 250 units, 50 of them income-restricted units, along with 4,070 square feet of commercial space at street level, according to the BPDA. Residents will receive complimentary bicycles, according to BPDA, and there will be storage for 250 bikes on-site.
"The project will enhance pedestrian access and bicycle connectivity by improving pathways and providing easy access to the popular bicycle commuting route of Southwest Corridor Park," the agency said in a statement.
"The amount of what's called affordable housing in new developments is really inadequate," Blanco told WGBH News. "They're not matching it to neighborhoods."