Michelle Romero
A: Rick Bryant, Tetra Tech

“There is no one answer...

The key element of the plan is police details for traffic management.

Scheduling is very important.

Public transportation will be promoted.

Communications - Everyone needs to know what’s going on..

Monitoring - We don’t finish a plan until after we see how it is working. ”

Q: How does the Baseball Field of Dreams plan to address any potential pedestrian and automobile traffic impact this project may have on downtown Malden?

Michelle Romero, Principal Planner

Malden Field of Dreams Responses to Specific Questions provided by the Mayor’s Office

February 8, 2012

Traffic & Parking

As noted in our presentation to the Malden Redevelopment Authority on January 12, 2012, we look forward to addressing all of the transportation concerns raised by City leaders, staff and residents. Based on our past experience with other “special event” traffic generators, we are confident that we can develop and implement a successful access plan by working closely with all project stakeholders. The plan will be developed with sensitivity to local concerns, which we can only fully understand by inviting all to participate in the planning process. However, we have not yet formally begun this planning process and therefore cannot provide detailed and final answers to many of the questions that have been raised to date regarding access to the ballpark site.

The planning process we envision will include two phases relating to periods before and after ballpark construction. Before the project is built, in Phase I, we will work with the appropriate City agencies and project stakeholders to complete a traffic and access study.  The study will first define existing traffic conditions.  The City will determine the study area, which we expect will include the major access routes into the City (Route 60 and Commercial Avenue) and will build upon two studies recently completed by the City. (These two studies were a downtown study covering the intersections immediately adjacent to the ballpark site and a Route 60 corridor study that extends from downtown to I-93.)  In this Phase I study, anticipated future pedestrian and vehicular traffic conditions will be projected and analyzed assuming that the proposed ballpark is built and operational. Based on the analysis of traffic operations for the projected future conditions, alternative traffic management measures to reduce project impacts will be developed, analyzed and recommended. The recommended transportation management plan will include a variety of measures working together to improve traffic conditions, such as improved crosswalks, changes in traffic signalization, and street improvements.

The second phase of the planning process will occur after the ballpark is built and relates to implementation of the traffic management plan that evolves from the initial study. The success of the proposed traffic management plan is not guaranteed regardless of the quality and level of effort used to develop the plan. Consequently, once the ballpark is built and operational we will be monitoring traffic and parking operations to measure the effectiveness of the traffic management plan. Based on these observations, adjustments will be made to the plan as necessary to achieve maximum performance.

Throughout the two phases of the above planning process we will work with City officials, City staff and members of the public through a process determined by the City.

Independent of the above, we have provided below initial thoughts relative to a few of the questions received to date from the Mayor’s office:

Questions and Answers

1.We need to correct the pedestrian crossings around the ballpark.   It is acknowledged that existing pedestrian accommodations in the vicinity of the ballpark (crosswalks, signal control, signage, sidewalks) need to be reviewed as a part of a transportation management plan developed in consultation with the City and the community.

2.What happens if the number of cars is higher than projected?   Post-opening traffic monitoring is a critical part of the planning process so that we can gauge whether or not the traffic forecasts made before the ballpark opens are valid. Preliminary calculations indicate that the two public downtown garages will have adequate capacity to accommodate ballpark traffic. If not, the use of more remote parking lots and shuttle services will be explored.

3.Traffic and the number traffic lights are currently an issue.  There is no way to keep traffic flowing with a ballpark especially with pedestrian traffic.   As noted above, there is no single solution to effectively managing the combined ballpark vehicular and pedestrian traffic. A wide variety of strategies must be considered and used in combination. Our project team has been successful in managing similar conditions for other special events generating significant pedestrian and vehicular traffic volumes. The strategies that proved effective in these other situations will be considered for Malden.

4.What improvements to crosswalks (all 4 corners of parcel, as well as the Jackson Street intersection) are planned?  We will work with City staff to define the best crosswalk treatments for downtown Malden..

5.I'm not convinced that traffic flow will improve.  Have traffic studies been done on surrounding streets as well?  As noted above, the City has already commissioned two recent traffic studies in the area. These studies can provide some baseline data for the full study that will be conducted for the ballpark. Certainly during the pregame (weekday 6 to 7 PM) time period it is unlikely that traffic conditions will improve relative to existing conditions during this same time period.

6.What accommodations for bicycles are being planned for Canal Street, since this is a major connection street for Northern Strand Bike Path?   At this point in the planning process a detailed plan for Canal Street has not been developed. Once the detailed planning is underway the needs of cyclists can be considered in any proposed changes to the design and/or operation of Canal Street.

7.Where will parking be for the restaurant during off-season?  Restaurant patrons will be able to use the two municipal garages during the off-season that are available to all ballpark patrons during the baseball season.  Valet parking may also be available using these garages.   There is no parking proposed on the ballpark site for the restaurant.

Michelle Romero, Principal Planner

Q: Many of us know how congested the streets in Boston can be on game days at Fenway Park.  Will this proposed ballpark create a logjam on Malden streets?  How will the parking be handled?

A: Rick Bryant, Tetra Tech

“Clearly this isn’t Fenway Park.

We think the two garages can handle every car that might come to a game. But we envision satellite lots opening.”

A: Alex Bok, MFOD

“At minor league baseball games, people come early, come late or leave early because you don’t have several hundred dollars invested in coming. This spreads out traffic flow.”

“Compared to other events, minor league baseball has a higher number of people per car. The average is 2.8 to 3.1 people per car.”