Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Neighbors’ short endorsements of the Mass. Ave. plan are featured on a new web page.
The upbeat testimonials are the brain child of Chad Gibson of the East Arlington Livable Streets Coalition.
The site, ABetterMassAve.org, is also the web headquarters of the Better Mass. Ave. Committee.
The group formed to urge a No vote on Question 1 at Town elections April 6.
The group warns that Yes a vote for Question 1 could forfeit $5 million of state and federal highway assistance.
The Board of Selectmen this morning declined to place a second nonbinding Mass. Ave. question on the April 6 town-election ballot.
During the brief meeting Board Chair Kevin Greeley revealed that a staff member of the Federal Highway Administration was in the audience during Tuesday’s well-attended hearing on the Mass. Ave. design.
“She chose to stay in the audience so that they [FHWA] would not become the focus” of the hearing, Greeley said. Massachusetts DOT held the hearing at FHWA’s request.
Mass. Ave. reconstruction may not begin until early 2013, according to a revised “Project Update and Frequently Asked Questions” memo that the Town’s planning department posted December 1 on its web page for the project.
The memo uses a Q&A format to address lane configuration, parking, and other issues. The eighth answer (page 3) reads as follows:
We expect construction will begin in the fall of 2012, or the spring of 2013
suggesting that the protracted design process may bump construction into another season.
The first part of the memo, which describes the main features of the redesign, appears not to reflect changes made since August.
Work crews kept showing up along the Alewife in November, past when I thought to expect them. A little more landscaping got done:
Most of the plantings on this stretch of path have been down by the motel or on the Cambridge side of the brook. There are none close to the Henderson Street Bridge – end. The bushes above were planted on Election Day, November 2, by the entryway at Cottage Ave.
Long-delayed plans to rebuild Mass. Ave. in East Arlington, including many pedestrian-safety measures, propose three raised pedestrian-crossing islands at Wyman Street, Marathon Steet, and Grafton Street – Orvis Road.
The Town filed the plans with Mass. Highway on Wednesday.
The plan would also keep existing traffic signals at Teel – Thorndike and at Foster – Linwood, stripe bicycle lanes, reduce the outbound side of the street to a “one-and-a-half-lane” configuration, and widen the inbound travel side to permit formal striping as two full inbound lanes.
The refuge islands are the only significant change to the plans since the version unveiled at Town Day last September.
Earlier drafts of the plan did not consider raised elements, such as a Cambridge-style continuous raised median, due to opposition from the fire department.
The Town has added a second round of “frequently asked questions” about Mass. Ave. at its web page for the project.
This memo explains, in plain non-technical language, the bases for many of the design decisions on Mass. Ave., such as the proposed lane configuration and the new traffic signal at Bates Road.
The FAQ supplements a more-general memo dated August 17 2010, which is still available at the Mass. Ave. page.
It’s good to see the Town reaching out with this information.
So far, concerns about cut-through traffic and Mass. Ave. have focused on fears that changes in the design of the street, and especially the new traffic signal at Bates Road, will cause outbound drivers to detour through side streets.
I took a look at this last year. Ultimately, it is not credible that drivers would take a time-consuming detour that includes two left turns on Broadway in order to avoid a 40-second delay (max) at a stoplight.
However, this whole discussion has ignored the other cut-through traffic, namely drivers who use side streets to get to Mass. Ave., for instance on the way to Lake Street and Route 2.
The Town has posted a new set of drawings on its Mass. Ave. web page.
I can’t spot anything new, can you? Perhaps some technical detail has been added.
The drawings include an October 14 date and the words “Draft for discussion” are gone.
Older iterations are still available on the Town’s archive page.
The Town has posted new Mass. Ave. drawings at its web page for the project.
With some very small differences these are (I think) the same as the drawings unveiled at Town Day.
The big question for most people is still what will change from today: things like the bike lanes and lane configurations and wider sidewalks in front of the Capitol Theater block. I summarize these in my Town Day post.
However, those features have been off the design table for more than a year. The unsettled issue this summer has been the ongoing tug-of-war over five or six feet of street width.
Wider parking lanes? Median? A westbound “buffer zone” surfaced briefly.
So in this post, I’ll try to describe what was lost and what was restored, with a dose of speculation about what will happen next and some out-and-out opinions – the latter in red.