Many Mattapan residents are glad to see the city investing in their streets after years of frustration with the clogged Blue Hill Avenue.

The city of Boston announced a $44-million investment on Wednesday to redesign the vital thoroughfare, focusing on a three-mile span of the four-mile road. The mapped-out model includes a new center-running bus lane, wider sidewalks and more speed humps on nearby streets to cut down on bus times and make things safer for pedestrians.

Edna Etienne, owner of Mattapan’s Le Foyer Bakery, told GBH News in her shop that she’s long heard the frustrations about how traffic flows on Blue Hill Avenue.

“All the people over there are complaining about how Mattapan is congested,” she said. “Anything the city of Boston or the government were to do will help the community.”

Blue Hill Avenue runs through Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan, home to many of Boston’s Black and brown residents. Black and Hispanic Bostonians face much longer commute times than their white counterparts: one 2017 study found that Black residents spend 64 more hours on MBTA buses each year than white residents.

Fatima Ali-Salaam, chair of the Greater Mattapan Neighborhood Council, says that the city of Boston failed to address the neighborhood’s concerns for decades.

“Blue Hill Avenue itself had not been touched in over 80 years,” she said. “I walk Blue Hill Avenue in its entirety every Sunday, about the last four years, and one of the first things as a pedestrian is to be able to walk safely. Because everyone's a pedestrian first, before they’re anything else.”

The announcement came after years of community meetings with residents, where they shared complaints about frequent speeding and traffic.

The city’s initiative hasn’t been free from residents’ criticism. Some say the investment is a waste of time, like Kevin McGee, who argues the money should instead be spent on schools.

“I’m against it because I feel the construction will cause more traffic than Blue Hill Ave. already has,” he said. “With the bus in the middle lane like that ... we have reckless drivers, so people will use the bus lanes to drive [and] get around traffic.”

Repair work will start up this spring, which includes sidewalk repairs, putting green roofs on bus shelters, and refreshing crosswalks and pavement markings. Residents won’t see work on the most prominent feature of the redesign, the center bus lane, until 2026.

“[The investment] should respond first and foremost to increase the outcomes in bettering our public health. And public health, that includes public safety as well as a sense of beauty,” Ali-Salaam said.