Oasis Greenways: Developing a New Model of Urban Park within Street Right-of-Ways in Dorchester, Boston

Abstract

Oasis Greenways: Developing a New Model of Urban Park within Street Right-of-Ways in Dorchester, Boston æThe need for safe and comfortable walking and biking facilities coupled with the desire for more urban greenspace has led to a push for new innovative ways to create urban parks. But how does one create a continuous urban park, in a linear fashion, when there is limited public right-of-way? This research develops a model for a new type of urban park: the ñOasis Greenway.î æAn Oasis Greenway is a linear park created within the right-of-way of narrow streets. It combines Portland-style ñNeighborhood Greenwaysî with Dutch-style ñLiving Streetsî (known as ñWoonerfsî) and adds an element of Olmsted-style linear parks that adds a park-like asset to a neighborhood as well as a regional level low-stress bicycling corridor. æThere are two aspects to this model: the Spatial design and the Traffic design. The Spatial design involves developing the dynamic envelope for each of the road users, flexible parking provisions, and various forms of permeable pavement. These elements are combined to maximize shared use of space, so that as much space as possible can be devoted to vegetation and creating a park-like environment. The Traffic design includes using a trip generation model, traffic diversion, and traffic calming in order to make space-sharing safe and comfortable. æThe design is then applied to the Fairmount Corridor in Dorchester, Boston, to show the feasibility of creating a linear park and continuous bikeway in a dense urban environment with limited right-of-way.