Green T charette to consider future of Green Line T stop intersection

The Green T at Tufts Design Charette, to be held on April 1, will invite members of the Tufts community to share their ideas about the future of the Boston Ave. and College Ave. intersection, where an MBTA Green Line T stop is slated to be built by 2019, according to Betsy Byrum, the education and outreach program administrator at the Office of Sustainability.

The meeting will be hosted by the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning (UEP) Field Projects Team, Tufts Urban Planning, Policy and Prosperity (UP3), the Office of Campus Planning and the Office of Sustainability.

Byrum, who is also a part-time graduate student in UEP, said that the charette is part of a UEP course titled “Field Projects,” which allows students to apply the knowledge and theory that they learn in the program to a real-life experience.

“Students in the program serve as consultants for a client and work on a project for them,” she explained.

According to Byrum, the Office of Campus Planning and the Office of Sustainability were both interested in looking closely at the intersection where the T stop would be built, and her team wanted to find “a niche where [they] could fit in and add something of value to the process.”

“Something that we thought would be really interesting would be to figure out a way to engage the Tufts community in the process,” she said. She noted that the charette will focus on topics such as pedestrians, bicycling and vehicles, and will also hear attendees’ general feedback on the station.

According to Program Director at the Office of Sustainability Tina Woolston, she is most interested in the look and feel of the intersection and seeing a design that is safe and welcoming for pedestrians and bicyclists.

“I would love to hear people’s support for looking at something innovative like that,” she said.

According to Byrum, the Tufts Campus Sustainability Council released a report in 2013 that contained many sustainability goals for the university, including developing new transportation initiatives to reduce the impacts of commuting.

“They have been working on producing a transportation demand management plan … and that is one of the other reasons why this is all timely, because since that planning has happened, it is also a great time to think about how the MBTA station can be leveraged to help shift the transportation mode of people at the university,” she explained.

Byrum added that the ideas raised during the charette will be applied to the work being done by clients surrounding the planning for the station and the intersection.

“It’s an opportunity to work on a project that can actually be applied to real work that the university is doing,” she said.

According to Director of Campus Planning Lois Stanley, students provide an important perspective on the future of the intersection.

“Students are users of the campus … so their perspective is especially important,” Stanley said, noting that this is the second time that she has worked with a team of UEP students.

“I’m really impressed by the professionalism of the students and the thoroughness that they bring to the task, and as I did last time, I am looking forward to their analysis and their recommendations,” Stanley said. “They’re professionals.”

“This is a great opportunity for students and employees to … have their voices heard about their thoughts around the intersection, and about the new Green Line station,” Byrum said. “We know that … student, staff and faculty use that intersection regularly, and a lot of them take the T, so this is a great opportunity to come with their thoughts and opinions and share them. We’re super excited about hearing what everyone has to say.”