After years of conversations with neighbors and local and regional business groups, Suffolk Downs has made upgrading local roads and transportation infrastructure a major priority of its proposed development.
As a business in East Boston and Revere for 77 years with employees who live in the surrounding communities, we know and understand the local road conditions, especially during morning and evening peak times. Unfortunately, prior to our transportation plan, limited investment has been made in improving the Route 1A corridor north of Logan International Airport.
We started planning our transportation program with a commitment to making sure the improvements that we propose to design and fund go beyond the potential impact of our development. Click here to download the most recent version of Suffolk Downs' proposed transportation improvements.
Our main objectives are:
- Address potential impacts of resort visitation
- Address key existing conditions along corridor
- Limit resort traffic to major roadways (discourage use of neighborhood roads)
- Improve conditions for resort visitors, neighbors and regional commuters
- Engaged Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. (VHB) in 2009
- Engaged Seagull Consulting in 2011
- Held preliminary discussions with community leaders, neighbors, stakeholders, government agencies
- Updated daily traffic counts of 19 major local intersections in June 2010, at Suffolk Downs' expense
Where People Come From
Based on models from other resort gaming developments and looking at them in the context of Boston's regional and local road network, we projected how visitors by car will get to and from Suffolk Downs.
What We Studied
At Suffolk Downs' expense, traffic engineers updated the daily traffic counts at 19 major local intersections in June 2010.
- Route 1A/Tomasello Drive: Signal and turning lanes enhance primary Suffolk Downs Resort access and safety
- Route 1A/Boardman Street: Flyover and Boardman intersection redesign address deficient conditions and improve local access
- Route 145/Tomasello Drive : Enhanced intersection improves Suffolk Downs Resort access and safety
- Route 1/Route 16: Reconfigured ramp connections shift traffic from Rte 60 & Bell Circle, and improve access to Rte 1A
- Route16/Harris Street: Geometric modifications improve operations and safety, and provide missing pedestrian phases
- Winthrop Avenue/Bennington Street: Curb relocations and lane reconfigurations improve safety and traffic operationsn
- Bennington Street/Saratoga Street: Geometric and signal improvements to traffic operations & safety, including station access
- Transit Access: Improvements to the Blue Line Suffolk Downs MBTA station access including upgraded pedestrian & shuttle connections to The Resort
- Vehicular Access
- Bicycle Access
- Transit Access
- Pedestrian Access
- Shuttle to Water Transportation / Connections to Seaport, BCEC, Cruise Terminal & other Boston Tourist Attractions
- Proposed improvements go far beyond addressing potential impacts of The Resort—they will also address significant existing regional and local traffic issues.
- No other potential redevelopment plans for the Suffolk Downs site could support the scale of transportation improvements associated with The Resort.
- Our plan limits resort traffic from utilizing neighborhood roads.
- Major roadway improvements are unlikely to be realized by public agencies themselves in the foreseeable future.
Visitation to resort destinations is different than normal traffic patterns. For example, 55% of visits occur on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Visits are spread out over a 24-hour time frame, too, diffusing their impact throughout the day.
By The Numbers
Suffolk Downs is proposing to invest $40 million in private funding on local road and infrastructure improvements. Approximately $30 million of this is planned for a flyover at Boardman St., widening and adding access lanes to Route 1A and upgrading the resort's main entrance. The other $10 million is dedicated for other local and regional projects, including missing ramp connections at Route 1 and 16, in partnership with our host and surrounding communities.
See how our plan will improve conditions:
Also, Suffolk Downs and its transportation consultants have studied and developed plans for several other local intersections that will help ease congestion in Bell Circle along Route 60, improve the ramp connections at Route 1 and Route 16 in Revere and Chelsea, and improve safety and traffic on neighborhood roads and intersections near the property. These and other potential upgrades will be part of our discussion with our host and surrounding communities.
Proposed Improvements and Mitigation
In addition, Suffolk Downs will improve access from the Suffolk Downs MBTA station to its main entrances and add bike access and enhanced pedestrian access throughout the property.