Design a Better Franklin Park

Proposition Joe

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Franklin Park is Boston's largest park and the last piece of Olmsted's Emerald Necklace; however, it leaves a lot to be desired. The park is surrounded and divided by highway like roads, has a majority of its land taken up by a golf course, and is home to a correctional hospital.

So, what could be done to improve Franklin Park? I think that removing the golf course and relocating Shattuck hospital could open up a lot of room that can be re-imagined, but what should go in their place?. Long term, this area needs rapid transit and when (lol) that happens the park could see a lot more potential visitors and remove the need for the car heavy infrastructure in the area.

I think that returning the golf course to a large urban meadow would be interesting and unique.
 

Ron Newman

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Removing the golf course? That's heavily used and one of the things that brings people to the park in the first place.
 

underground

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The Geneva Ave Fairmount Line stop isn't too far away from the Zoo. Once they get the schedule beefed up, should help. Not sure what the status is on the 28x or Silver Line extension down Blue Hill Ave, but it's at least in the works.

Also not sure removing the golf course helps for the same reason Ron mentioned. If you're looking to "activate" the park, which I'm not sure it needs, you'd be removing one of the most "activated" parts of it. What would you even replace it with that would be an upgrade? A zoo? A sports facility? An arboretum? Already there, and personally, I think the public course sort of rounds out the offerings.
 

Proposition Joe

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From what I have seen/heard the Silver Line extention is dead and never happening. The only transit upgrades that you are going to see in the area are signal priority for buses or an eventual light rail extension just after hell freezes over.
 

Matthew

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Blue Hill Avenue is a hideously wide highway but it does have a bunch of frequent buses running along it around the Zoo (22, 28, 29) as well as some other infrequent buses.
 

rinserepeat

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the casey overpass removal and the redevelopment of the forest hills area can definitely help.
 

kmp1284

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Removing the golf course? That's heavily used and one of the things that brings people to the park in the first place.
It's a decent golf course too, like George Wright it was designed by Donald Ross who was responsible for among others Pinehurst, Plainfield, Oakland Hills and Seminole, not to mention some of the better courses around Boston: Winchester, Charles River, Essex and Brae Burn. It's not going to win any awards for the quality of it's maintenance but it's an adequate test for the price. I think it's also the third oldest public course in the country behind Van Cortlandt Park in NYC and either Bethpage on Long Island or Cobbs Creek in Philadelphia.

Not to sound overly harsh, but considering the surroundings, taking out the golf course would only serve in the immediate term to allow the locals more room to drink, piss, shit, fuck, fight, get high and dump bodies while further limiting the supply of inexpensive public golf courses frequented by members of the 'hammered' middle class.
 

Proposition Joe

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Didn't know that the golf course was that heavily used. I guess the remaining major things I'd like to see that would improve the park would be to relocate that hospital to get some green space and remove the through traffic and parking within the park's boundaries.

Not to sound overly harsh, but considering the surroundings, taking out the golf course would only serve in the immediate term to allow the locals more room to drink, piss, shit, fuck, fight, get high and dump bodies while further limiting the supply of inexpensive public golf courses frequented by members of the 'hammered' middle class.
Uhhhhhh....
 

Ron Newman

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kmp1284 said:
Not to sound overly harsh, but considering the surroundings, taking out the golf course would only serve in the immediate term to allow the locals more room to drink, piss, shit, fuck, fight, get high and dump bodies
Sigh. Even when you agree with me (about the golf course), you insist on throwing in repulsive bigoted statements like the above.

Proposition Joe said:
remove the through traffic and parking within the park's boundaries.
It's a lot better than it used to be. Circuit Drive used to be just that, a complete loop open to traffic. Now only half of it is, and it has been reduced to a single car lane each way, with a bike lane added.

I think the park is too large to have no road running through it at all, especially since people need to drive to the golf course. (Not many folks are going to drag a bag full of golf clubs on the T)
 
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kmp1284

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Just acknowledging reality, pal. Perhaps you should too. Before you know it, you'll be the oldest guy left in Slummerville.
 

Proposition Joe

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With how wide Blue Hill Avenue is would an elevated line really be necessary? I assume that if they were going to put in light rail they would also put in signal priority along with it to take care of any crossings with traffic.
 

Matthew

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It doesn't "need" it but what's nice about the Parisian example is that they've effectively split the overly wide highway into two separate streets with a lovely bike/ped path in the middle. The overpass, instead of being dark and forbidding, actually creates a sense of enclosure much like street wall.

In terms of cost, the at-grade solution w/signal priority is best. I just wanted to show off a cool picture I saw recently. In terms of what's really going to happen: nothing, nothing at all, because we can't seem to build anything decent anymore. And dead-ender suburban NIMBYs would scream like hell at the prospect of removing lanes from the nasty highway.
 

Blackbird

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Seems like the golf course takes up tons of land in what’s otherwise a public park.

I can’t be alone in thinking that it’d be nice if that whole area could be brought back into Franklin Park as public parkland?
 

BronsonShore

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Good god, I couldn't agree more.

Prospect Park in Brooklyn and Franklin Park in Boston are almost exactly the same size and shape; they were designed by the same world-renowned landscape architect; and they were built at almost exactly the same time. And yet one is one of the great urban parks of the world while the other is a nothing but a giant hole in the middle of the city. The golf course is largely to blame.
 

kmp1284

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Seems like the golf course takes up tons of land in what’s otherwise a public park.

I can’t be alone in thinking that it’d be nice if that whole area could be brought back into Franklin Park as public parkland?
It’s a public golf course. The city also just sunk a bunch of money into both of its public courses to bring them up to the standard necessary to host the 2018 state amateur, an event normally hosted at top private clubs like The Country Club, Kittansett, Myopia and Charles River.
 
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Blackbird

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It’s a public golf course. The city also just sunk a bunch of money into both of its public courses to bring them up to the standard necessary to host the 2018 state amateur, an event normally hosted at top private clubs like The Country Club, Kittansett, Myopia and Charles River.
Oh, yikes. What percent of Bostonians do you think golfs?

Could you imagine a bowling alley taking up that much space and taxpayer money?
 
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Scott

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If I were king the Shattuck parcel would be returned, the zoo would be closed because it is cruel, and the golf course removed because it is a terrible waste of space. Only a few people at a time can use a large percentage of the park unlike other recreational activities. Also there would be a large flock of sheep just like in the old days.
 

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