Under construction: A new look in traffic, new business plans for East Milton Square

The work done in the summer of 2020, as these leafy-green trees show, is on hold for the winter of 2021 with the reworking of traffic patterns and the small park or deck in East Milton Square atop the heavily-trafficked Southeast Expressway beneath. Meanwhile, the East Milton Working Group continues its plans for its vision for a vibrant and economically-viable East Milton Square.

(File photo by Barry Nelson)

The East Milton Working Group will be reporting out to the community and the Planning Board the results of roughly five months of study to find a common vision “to ensure a vibrant and welcoming neighborhood that showcases the town’s history and embraces opportunities for intentional growth and change.”

A meeting will be held virtually on Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. Click here for a link to the meeting, which also can be found on the town’s website.

A consulting team led by Judi Barrett has led the working group through a study of the issues facing the main business district of Milton that abuts residentially-zoned areas.

They have discussed ways of building consensus on proactive planning for the area that straddles both sides of the Southeast Expressway and faces choking levels of traffic and significant pressure for redevelopment.

The Falconi property at Franklin Street is currently the proposed site of a 101-unit apartment 40B building program.

The group has discussed the need for possible zoning changes that could add subzones to provide buffers between the residential properties and businesses, as well as the need for additional affordable housing in smaller and more dispersed projects.

The visioning meetings also included finding ways to make the area more welcoming, attractive, pedestrian, and bicycle friendly and making better use of the Manning Park on the deck over the highway once construction there is complete.

Many of the aspects of implementing the proposed vision would then fall to other boards and committees, including the Planning Board.

Some aspects may be similar to those recently adopted by Town Meeting for Milton Village.

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