New development review guidelines launched to reduce Boston’s traffic, congestion

by Liz Hughes

Developments over 50,000 square feet are now required to adhere to new guidelines launched to reduce traffic and congestion in the city of Boston. 

The Boston Transportation Department, in partnership with the Boston Planning & Development Agency and the city’s environment department, launched the new guidelines last month, requiring large project developers to complete a demand management point system tool to increase sustainable transportation access for their tenants. The goal is to reduce the number of residents driving from new developments. 

According to a release from Boston Mayor Kim Janey’s office, the point system provides developers with strategies to deliver this access, including the use of subsidized transit passes, carpooling, car sharing, bike share passes and parking pricing. Developers can choose any combination of strategies before submitting them as part of the transportation development review process.

“As development grows in Boston, we need to keep working toward a city that works for everyone,” Janey said in a press release. “These transportation management standards will help our city expand in the right way, by making sure building does not come at the expense of green space and encouraging use of public transit.”

The guidelines also include new maximum parking ratios based on the development’s walkability and mobility choices. 

“By reducing the number of required parking spaces in areas well-served by transit, we can lower the cost of new housing and decrease the amount of traffic in our neighborhoods,” BPDA Director Brian Golden said in the release. “I thank the Boston Transportation Department and our planners at the BPDA for constructing these policies that will ensure that Boston grows in a more sustainable way, for both the environment and affordability of the city.”

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