Broadway Plaza at heart of vision for center

A boldly re-imagined Broadway Plaza keynotes an otherwise conventional redesign of Arlington Center that consultants presented at Town Hall on Thursday night.

Broadway Plaza and Memorial park joined and reconfigured.

Broadway Plaza and the memorial park joined and reconfigured. For reference: The Civil War monument near the center of the drawing remains at its current location.

The fourth and final public meeting on the conceptual design was also marked by skepticism about bike lanes from an unexpected source

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Added: Visual nudge to merge

A few licks of paint added last July direct drivers to merge as they enter Arlington westbound from Cambridge. Are they effective?

Two arrows and a dotted line point drivers left. The markings were added in late July and were not part of the original pan for the street.

Two arrows and a dotted line point drivers left. The markings were added in late July and were not part of the original pan for the street.

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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 (correction: It was so), 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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