Morrissey panel recommends timeline extension to year’s end

The Morrissey Boulevard Commission voted unanimously to recommend an extension of the project deadline to Dec. 31 of this year at a virtual meeting held last Friday morning (May 31). The previous statutory deadline was set for last Saturday (June 1).

State Rep. Daniel Hunt, a commission member, specified in the recommendation that the upcoming series of community meetings meant to come up with options for the reworking of the Morrissey Boulevard corridor wrap up before Thanksgiving, and that the remaining time be used for commissioners and MassDOT to draft an official plan for the Legislature to consider.

Added state Sen. Nick Collins, also a panel member, “An unending commission is not what the public is looking for, but to maybe give a little more breathing room to both public discourse and the production of a report. That’s something I would be in favor of. The folks that we represent are looking for action.”

Chris Osgood, the City of Boston designee on the commission and Mayor Michelle Wu’s senior advisor on infrastructure, reiterated a past theme that the panel should focus on “near term” improvements, as recommended in the commission’s formative legislation, and that both a new blueprint and an implementation plan be considered part of its mandate.

“We have to build from the good momentum of this commission to actually put in place the recommendations that come from community consensus,” he said.

In the public comment portion of Friday’s meeting, a few residents took issue with the commission’s exclusion of renovation plans for Kosciuszko Circle. In past meetings, MassDOT officials have said that K Circle’s redesign is being dealt with as a separate endeavor from the Morrissey Boulevard project. MassDOT project manager Ethan Britland, who works in the K Circle project’s planning department, said on Friday that the planning is actually ahead of the Morrissey project in terms of process, calling it “a good thing.”

Looking forward, panel member and City Councillor John FitzGerald said on Friday that he will be hosting an informal public gathering at Southline Boston (the former Globe building on Morrissey) on Mon., June 10, at 6 p.m. to allow for community members to discuss previous designs in detail and maybe reach a more informed consensus ahead of the next official public meeting. FitzGerald said he was open to inviting MassDOT representatives to attend on the 10th and take questions from attendees.

On hearing Britland’s comments on K Circle, FitzGerald said he would like MassDOT to share more about its progress, preferably before the June 10 meeting, as a way to help the public reconcile the plans for K Circle with ideas for the Morrissey corridor.

MassDOT’s David Mohler said that commissioners and the public should expect the next official meeting to take place sometime in July, with none held in August, and monthly sessions into December, as necessary.

More details concerning the Morrissey Boulevard project can be found at

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