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Comments on Notice of Project Change for the Mohegan Sun Massachusetts in Revere EEA #15006

Comments on Notice of Project Change for the Mohegan Sun Massachusetts in Revere EEA #15006

March 7, 2014

Secretary Richard K. Sullivan, Jr.
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA)
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900
Boston MA 02114

RE:  Comments on Notice of Project Change for the Mohegan Sun Massachusetts in Revere EEA #15006

Dear Secretary Sullivan:

WalkBoston has reviewed the Notice of Project Change (NPC) for the Mohegan Sun Massachusetts project in Revere and offers the comments below.

The NPC was prompted by the shift of the project location to Suffolk Downs property that is located solely in Revere. This change will have significant impacts on pedestrian movement into and through the project. The elements of the project – two hotels, large gaming space, numerous restaurants and spa– have not changed. But, in the new location, the buildings have a substantially reduced footprint and are much closer to existing business and residential areas.

Walking Access to Transit – Beachmont MBTA Station

The principal impact of the project change for people arriving on foot is the much greater proximity of the development to transit access, now shifted to the Beachmont MBTA Station (formerly focused on the Suffolk Downs Station). The revised location for the proposed resort places the main entrance only 300 feet from Beachmont Station, and will likely shift some trips from autos to transit because of this proximity.

In order to encourage transit and walking trips, we suggest exploring several pedestrian amenities including the following:

  • A significantly wider sidewalk along Winthrop Avenue between Beachmont Station and the site of the resort.
  • An weather-protected sidewalk along Winthrop Avenue between the primary entrance and exit locations at Beachmont Station to Washburn Avenue. The canopy or arcade should connect directly to the existing MBTA station entrance which already has weather protection.
  • A weather-protected walkway from the edge of the resort property on Washburn Avenue to the main resort entrance.
  • Significant upgrades in wayfinding inside Beachmont Station and along the route to the resort to encourage transit ridership and reinforce the convenient transit access.
  • Upgrades of escalators and elevators inside Beachmont Station to adequately and safely handle greater numbers of riders using transit.
  • Signalization or signage protection for pedestrians crossing Washburn Street on the south side of Winthrop Avenue.

Traffic Mitigation

We are fearful that the project will add a great deal of traffic to an area that cannot handle it easily. Winthrop Avenue and the Revere Beach Parkway are heavily used already. Improvements to the interchange with Route 1 will only add to the use of these streets, which cannot easily accommodate them.

Better access might be provided via Tomesello Way, from Route 1A the Suffolk Downs Racetrack parking areas, which will have greater capacity for storage of vehicles and a more orderly approach to the casino. We think the proponent would be well advised to encourage use of Tomesello Way and the MBTA Blue Line for principal access points into the casino property.

In addition, the parking garage is enormous, suggesting a commitment only to vehicular access. Perhaps the proponent could save some of the construction cost of this garage through the use of thoughtful techniques of encouraging patrons not to drive – perhaps a benefit of some sort that patrons could use on the floor of the casino.

We appreciate your consideration of our comments and look forward to your responses to them.

Please feel free to contact WalkBoston with questions you may have.


Robert Sloane
Senior Project Manager

Cc Massachusetts Gaming Commission
Mayor Dan Rizzo