Walnut Street Enhancements

Future streetscape on Walnut Street in Newtonville

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The City of Newton has embarked on a project to plan, design, and construct roadway, sidewalk and streetscape improvements for Walnut Street in the heart of Newtonville.

Working with the community, the project intends to enhance the safety, character, and functionality of Walnut Street for all users. Project includes hardscape elements: the street, sidewalks, landscaping, and lighting.

The City Council voted to approve the proposed road layout for Walnut Street in June, 2018. Construction began in March, 2020.

View the complete approved plans (PDF format - Caution: Large file size 66 MB may take a long time to download)

View an overview presentation of the final plans (PDF format)

For the latest construction updates, please visit the Newtonville Village Enhancement project web page from the Department of Public Works.

Project Goals

This project aims to build on ideas generated by groups in the past like Beautiful Newtonville and the Newtonville Area Council. Residents and business owners in Newtonville have discussed enhancing and beautifying the streetscape at the heart of the village over the past five to ten years (see resource documents below).

The goals of the Walnut Street Enhancement Project include:

  • Improve safety for all users in one of the worst crash hotspots in the region;
  • Beautify Walnut Street in the heart of Newtonville Village by building on ideas from the community;
  •  Meet the needs of people visiting the Newtonville and those passing through;
  • Apply a "Complete Streets" approach to the core area on Walnut Street and maximize benefits including ADA-compliant accessibility.

The project scope area, Walnut Street from Newtonville Ave. towards Elm Rd., is a crash hotspot. It has been ranked in the top 5% of the worst crash locations in the Metro Boston Region based on a combination of factors including crash incidence and severity.

How the Project Plan was Developed

Public Meeting #4: Detailed Design

On May 8, 2018 the community and project team met to dive into detailed design.  Sidewalk seating, lighting, and landscape are the focus of this meeting.  Location Masonic Hall 460 Newtonville Ave., Newton. 7:00 p.m. See event poster.

Review the presentation from May 8, 2018

Project Updates: Newtonville Area Council; Newtonville Jazz & Street Festival

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Newtonville Area Council meeting on September 14, 2017 for the Walnut Street Enhancements Project update.  Three specific updates included: 1) the proposed project does not plan to adjust traffic patterns, with the exception of removing the westbound Newtonville Ave. left turn; 2) Walnut Street Enhancements construction is anticipated to begin in 2019 after public parking has been restored at the 28 Austin Street site; 3) a gas line in good condition is located on the west side of Walnut Street, and therefore the locations of new street trees will be planned to ensure long-term tree health.  Members of the project team were on hand at the Newtonville Jazz & Street Festival on Sunday, September 24, 2017 to talk about the project.

Review the presentation from September 14, 2017

Public Meeting #3: Moving Toward a Preferred Concept

On Thursday June 22, 2017, the project team presented a concept plan that built on the ideas and feedback from the past two meetings and numerous individual conversations and email exchanges with Newtonville residents and businesses. Thank you to everyone who wrote to us!  The concept combined elements of both options from the second meeting, and showed options for a few elements that we need feedback on. The City did not have a preference among the options shown and welcomed community feedback. 

Review the Presentation

Public Meeting #2: Concept Options

The project team prepared several concept options for different layouts on Walnut St. from Elm Rd. to Newtonville Ave. On Monday May 1st from 6:30 - 8:00 pm at Newton North High School the team presented layout options, discussed the advantages of the options, and received feedback from the community.

Review the Presentation

Public Meeting #1: Brainstorm

Thanks to everyone who joined us to kick things off with the Brainstorming meeting on January 30th, 2017. This was an opportunity for neighbors, businesses, and local groups to discuss their ideas for Walnut Street, and to highlight places/aspects of the street that they like as well as those that could be improved.

Review the Presentation


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