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On-Ramp Impacting Proposed Back Bay Station Redevelopment To Close Permanently

Rendering of Boston Properties' approved 1.2M SF proposal to redevelop Back Bay Station

A high rate of vehicle crashes is causing Massachusetts transportation officials to close an Interstate 90 access point in Back Bay

The Clarendon Street on-ramp to I-90 will close Sept. 3, MassDOT announced Tuesday. The westbound access point has about 75% fewer vehicles per hour than nearby ramps on Arlington and Dartmouth streets, but more crashes, according to MassDOT. 

“This on-ramp has limited sight distance for drivers, meaning they have little visibility of other vehicles when they are merging onto the highway, and it is too short for vehicles to accelerate to the appropriate speed at the access point,” MassDOT said in a statement. 

The transportation agency had been in talks with neighbors for more than a year on whether to close the ramp. Back Bay Association President Meg Mainzer-Cohen said the move will make Clarendon Street safer to pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles. 

It will also give Boston Properties the potential for more developable area with its planned Back Bay/South End Gateway project. The 1.2M SF proposal includes a 618K SF office tower, but it would have lost 12K SF if the ramp remained open.