The greening of the Mass. Ave. bike lanes

Mass. Ave. got some attention last week in the form of vivid green color in 2 bike lane locations.

There's no missing the bike lane on this busy eastbound approach to Lake St.

There’s no missing the bike lane on this busy eastbound approach to Lake St. The green was added last week.

Since this marking was not specified in the final plans for the project, I think it was almost certainly added by the Town.

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What a difference a year makes

Feast of the East, June 18 2016.

Feast of the East, June 18 2016.

Compare this year’s scene at Feast of the East with last year’s construction site fest.

‘Bricked’ flush median soaks up width

Last week, contractors put the finishing touches on the flat, traversable median on Mass. Ave. in the business district in East Arlington.

Northwest from the Marathon St. crosswalk

Northwest from the Marathon St. crosswalk

The median now sports a fake-brick treatment that is surprisingly convincing.
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‘Walkshop’ visits Mass. Ave. problems and hopes

Geoffrey Morrison-Logan led the session by the library.

Geoffrey Morrison-Logan of VHB led the session by the library.

Arlington residents took to the streets on Thursday to explore and critique parks, intersections, and blocks along Mass. Ave between Pond Lane and Mill Street.

The so-called walkshop was the second of three public meetings the Town is holding to discuss possible improvements to the central business district, including streets and sidewalks.

Participants gathered outside Town Hall at 6 pm before breaking into groups by site, each led by a staff member from Vanesse Hangen Brustlin, an engineering firm. Some people visited more than one site.
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Arlington Center planning begins

Broadway Plaza, Whittemore Park, sidewalks, lighting, and the planted median on Mass. Ave. were all in play in Arlington Center as the planning phase for Mass. Ave. II began last week with a presentation and workshop at the Town Hall Auditorium.

One of four groups weighed ideas for Arlington Center at Wednesday's meeting

One of four groups weighed ideas for Arlington Center at Wednesday’s meeting

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Mass. Ave. Project II

Just when you thought we were done

with the Mass. Ave. Project…

Phase II of the Mass. Ave. Project kicks off at Town Hall on Wednesday night.

Phase II of the Mass. Ave. Project kicks off at Town Hall on Wednesday night.

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Mass. Ave. punch list grows short

checklistSpring is in the air, and the construction contractor for Mass. Ave. is finishing up and preparing to leave us to our own devices.

The punch list for this project, so many years in the making, includes traffic signals, sidewalks, and the planned median area in the business district. There are other smaller bit of work to take care of as well.

The traffic signals have, apparently, finally got signal cameras installed and activated. I believe I saw them in action on Tuesday.

The traffic light at Lake St. has always given an advanced left turn from Mass. Ave onto Lake, allowing three or sometimes four alert drivers to make that turn before an eastbound green cuts off the stream.

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Arlington Center revamp to begin in April

Contractors will break ground in Arlington Center on or about April 4 on a project to improve vehicular and pedestrian flow through the Route 60 intersection and draw cyclists off the sidewalks and onto new bike lanes and other facilities.

One feature of the new design will be consicuously marked bike lanes connecting the east and west trailheads of the Minuteman Path. Source: MassDOT.

One feature of the new design will be conspicuously marked bike lanes connecting the east and west trail heads of the Minuteman Path. Source: MassDOT.

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Smooth

West from the Arlington Diner.

West from the Arlington Diner.

Who’s got the smoothest ride in the Boston area?

What’s the biggest single gain to cyclists from the Mass. Ave. Project? (Hint: It isn’t the bike lanes).

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Mass. Ave. old and new

Phil Goff, a professional transit planner who served on the design committee for the Mass. Ave. Project, gave the following remarks about the new Mass. Ave. versus the old at Saturday’s ribbon-cutting.

The ceremony was held at the foot of Grafton Street, site of one of East Arlington’s most improved pedestrian crosswalks. Click any photo for a larger view.

BEFORE: The crosswalk at Grafton St., where Lucy delGado was fatally struck in 2013.

BEFORE: The crosswalk at Grafton St., where Lucy delgado was fatally struck in 2013. The crossing had long been troublesome.

Today the crosswalk features curb extensions, a safety island, and a lane reduction. View SW towards Orvis Rd; both photos by permission of Phil Goff.

AFTER: Today the crosswalk features curb extensions, a safety island, and a lane reduction. View SW towards Orvis Rd; both photos by Phil Goff.

As you look around, take in the new Mass Ave.

For the past 50 years, cars dominated the old Mass Ave but no more. For the past 50 years, walking across the old Mass Ave was like playing Russian Roulette but no more. For the past 50 years, bicyclists have had no space to ride on the old Mass Ave but no more.

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Ribbon-cutting celebrates Mass. Ave. Project, though work remains

Ribbon cutting

State and local officials cut a ceremonial ribbon next to Mass. Ave, at Grafton St. Left to right: Kimberly Sloane and Peter Sutton of MassDOT, East Arlington Livable Streets Coalition Co-Coordinator Phil Goff, MassDOT Highway District 4 Director Paul Stedman, State Representative David Rodgers, Arlington Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine, Arlington Selectmen Chair Kevin Greeley, State Senator Ken Donnelly, and Commmunity Liaison Nathanial Cabral-Curtis of Howard-Stein-Hudson Associates. Selectmen Dan Dunn and Joe Curro look on from the back.

Some 75 Arlington residents and state officials gathered at the foot of Grafton Street on Saturday morning to mark the approaching completion of the Mass. Ave. project.

Although the project’s punch list will not be completed until next spring and the traffic signals are still not fully functional, the road has been essentially complete for the past 2 weeks.

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First light

The lights come on for the first time earlier this evening. Nawwaf Kaba photo.

It’s on.

After a long delay, the troubled pedestrian-scale lights in the business district shed their first steam punk beams on East Arlington earlier this evening.

The illumination comes the night before tomorrow’s ribbon-cutting ceremony set forGrafton Street at 11 AM.

Activation of the lights, and also of all of the new controllers for the traffic signals, had been stalled by Eversource (formerly NStar) which was slow to perform necessary power hookups. Read more »

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