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Project Overview

East Milton Square is a healthy business district of the Town of Milton featuring a vibrant array of retail, services and office uses. The Square is surrounded by thriving residential neighborhoods on all sides. Nonetheless, there is general agreement that East Milton Square could be improved. Several longstanding issues include the following:

  • I-93 bisects East Milton Square. The presence of the below-grade interstate highway means a less-than seamless connection between the east and west sides of the Square. This tenuous connection is especially true for visitors to the area once they have left their cars. Parking to the west of I-93 is often relatively plentiful even when the Square's eastern half is full.
  • In the 1990's, a deck was placed over I-93 between Adams Street and Boulevard Street. This deck supports a landscape area honoring Joseph M. Manning and was supposed to reunite the two halves of the Square. Unfortunately, it remains little-used as either a pedestrian corridor or recreational space.
  • Despite the health and strength of the businesses in East Milton Square, there is a widespread perception that the current supply of parking does not adequately support local shops and offices.

The East Milton Square Parking and Access Study

To address the issues outlined above, between 2010 and 2011 the Town commissioned the East Milton Square Parking and Access Study, which began by analyzing local travel and traffic patterns, parking usage, business needs, and an array of other factors to gain an understanding of current conditions in East Milton Square. With a solid grounding in current conditions, the project team worked closely with the Town of Milton and all impacted stakeholders to develop a set of options for the redesign of the Square. Public involvement was also a substantial part of the parking and access study. Throughout the planning process, the project team communicated with the Milton community through this project website, social media, and large, well-attended public information meetings. Over the course of the study, the Business and Citizens' Advisory Committee (BCAC) met approximately every six weeks to develop and refine concepts for East Milton Square and work through the details associated with the project. Over the course of the planning period, the project team briefed local elected and appointed officials several times to ensure that these community leaders were fully aware of project developments. The consultant team's report for the Park and Access Study was presented to the Town of Milton in June, 2011.

The East Milton Square Design Process

In the final report of the Planning and Access Study, several options for long-term change in East Milton Square were discussed. Of these, the one selected by the Town for design most closely resembles the one called the "Hybrid Alternative." Generally speaking, this plan closes Adams Street where it crosses I-93 and routes all eastbound traffic around the southern end of the deck via Boulevard Street. As residents of Milton and the abutting communities are likely aware, this change to traffic pattenrs was implemented on a temporary basis within the past two years and has generally been acknowledged to work successfully. The Hybrid Alternative connects the space occupied by the discontinued section of Adams Street to the general area of the landscaped deck. This area is in turn repurposed as a combination parking area and landscaped pedestrian connector. The existing memorials currently on the deck will either move to this pedestrian space or elsewhere within the Town of Milton.

The goal of the design process will be to take the Hybrid Alternative Concept and make it into a buildable design through the MassDOT design process. This effort will involve obtaining new data about traffic operations in East Milton Square to reflect current conditions, developing a Functional Design Report, and 25%, 75% and 100% design packages for review by MassDOT. The design phase will also include an official MassDOT 25% design public hearing. Structural analysis will be conducted on the deck and its support structure to ensure that it can support the proposed changes. At the end of the design project, the Town of Milton will have a buildable design that it can advertise for construction.

Public involvement will continue to play an important role in the design process. While the design is being developed, the Town and its consultant team will keep the community updated and solicit the input of residents, business-owners, and other stakeholders through public information meetings and digitally through this website and email as occured during the study period. All materials generated to support the public involvement process will be made available through this website.