FAQ – The Arborway Yard: A Superior, Transit-Located Alternate Site

  1. I’ve heard about an alternative at the Arborway Yard. Can you explain?

As found in a collaborative study with Northeastern University, The Arborway Yard site has enough acreage to safely accommodate all services proposed by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), including wrap around services which are not required in the Commonwealths’ proposal for the Shattuck Site. The Arborway Yard can also accommodate all promises to community and the space for an electric bus fleet and charging stations as required by the MBTA.

  1. Is the MBTA willing to collaborate?

During a joint meeting with the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board, the MBTA confirmed the timeline for the Bus Yard’s transformation aligns with the proposed five-year plan for the redevelopment of Shattuck. During the same meeting, they announced the MBTA is willing to discuss multiple uses for the site. More information can be found here: https://cdn.mbta.com/sites/default/files/2021-04/2021-04-26-fmcb-6-bus-transformation-update.pdf

  1. What would happen to the Bus Yard?

Developing the Arborway Yard would not detract from the Bus Yard’s current function — in fact, a new electric bus facility could hold twice the number of buses currently housed at the site.

  1. Isn’t development near a bus yard dangerous for local residents?

Electric buses are safer and more attractive than typical bus fleets, as they do not emit harmful fumes. Because of this, there are more opportunities for creative development, including building buses underground and developing at ground level.

  1. These services are urgently needed. Isn’t developing at Shattuck the quickest solution?

Redeveloping the Shattuck site would not be a fast or easy process. The current proposal suggests these new services might be developed in 2024 or later, after an RPF is issued, responded to, selected, designed, and completed, scores of waivers are approved, and the city’s article 80 review process has been completed.  The current proposal for the Shattuck redevelopment does not address the urgent and critical need for services.

  1. With so many important, pressing needs, why should the Commonwealth consider the possibility of restoring the parkland?

Franklin Park, is a key open space for neighboring communities, providing a gathering space for events, as well as a welcome respite from city life. However, much of the parkland is no longer truly free and open to the public, with over 200 acres altered, including, the addition of the Franklin Park Zoo, the William J. Devine Golf Course, and the Shattuck Hospital (built on what was formerly Heathfield), and other facilities. These uses are primarily sited on the Dorchester/Mattapan/ Roxbury sides of the park, and limit accessible free and open space for those communities.  These uses make up over 40% of Franklin Park, restricting open space availability and access in high-needs Environmental Justice Communities (Fig. 1).

  1. Where are we in the process?

DCAMM held a virtual public hearing on Tuesday, April 13, to present the draft Project Proposal and provide an opportunity for the public to provide comments. Approximately half of the speakers at the hearing felt the Arborway Yards site would be the best location for the supportive housing and services. At the hearing, two former governors, Governor Bill Weld and Governor Michael Dukakis, both spoke and insisted that the Commonwealth can, in fact, take action.

Now, without preforming a Feasibility Analysis or Alternative Analysis, or further engaging residents of Mattapan (where the Shattuck Campus is located), DCAMM intends to hold a Community Advisory Board (CAB) meeting on June 22nd, where the CAB will have the opportunity to preview a final RFP. A final vote by DCAMM’s Asset Management Board is anticipated to occur on June 29 at 3PM. More information can be found here: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/shattuck-campus-redevelopment-at-morton-street-proposal

  1. How can I get involved/learn more?

To help, please contact your local City Councilor, State Representatives and State Senators and encourage them to ask DCAMM to postpone a vote for a final FRP until community members have been properly engaged, and until an Alternative Analysis and Feasibility Analysis have been performed.

Your local State Representative and Senator can be found here:  https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator

Your local City Councilor can be found here: https://www.boston.gov/departments/city-council/who-my-boston-city-councilor

Congrats to the winners of our U.S. Open raffle!

Please give a golf clap to Juliette J. attending the championship round on June 16, and to Tim R. who will see the practice round on June 15!

Thanks again to The Country Club for making this raffle possible.