Town of Hudson Hudson, MA
Downtown Rotary and Streetscape Improvements
BSC Group worked with the Town of Hudson to plan, design, and construct improvements to the Town’s historic rotary. This project transformed an aging, industrial downtown to a vibrant, modern civic space. A cluster of restaurants, microbreweries, and cafes has earned the Town designation as a “culinary mecca for entrepreneurial restaurateurs priced out of Boston” by Boston Magazine.
Throughout the planning and design process, two priorities emerged as the key considerations behind all decisions: safety and parking. BSC successfully tackled both challenges. Dominated by the large central rotary, the downtown’s initial traffic configuration was treacherous for vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists. BSC’s design includes neckdowns and channels to slow vehicular traffic while effectively directing movements to preserve the roadway’s functional capacity. Crosswalks were incorporated at all legs of the roundabout, and traffic islands were installed to provide shelter during crossings.
The preservation of on-street parking was identified as critical to supporting local businesses. However, the need to create wider, accessible sidewalks and accommodate bicycles made it extremely challenging to provide street parking. BSC’s team successfully advanced a design that resulted in the loss of just two on-street parking spaces. More importantly, as part of the design, our team provided linkages to an off-street municipal parking lot by creating accessible, well-lit and clearly-signed walkways from the downtown area. Affectionately known as “The Alley,” this path directs foot traffic past small shops and cafes, further invigorating the area’s economic vitality.
A creative funding strategy was essential to the project’s implementation. The team effectively stitched together a patchwork of resources, including MassWorks Infrastructure Grants, municipal funds, and private traffic mitigation money from a nearby commercial development. A rigorous value engineering program, as well as the completion of some tasks by municipal DPW staff, also allowed the Town to optimize funds and achieve greater overall value.
Image by Ideal Video Strategies, LLC