Latest Drawings: traffic lights at Thorndike, Linwood, & Bates

The latest drawings, dated June 16, are now up at the town web site. They show traffic lights at all the controversial Mass. Ave. intersections: (1) Thorndike and Teel, (2) Linwood and Foster, and (3) Bates and Marion.

(Note: A glitch at the Town’s site provides the wrong link for the second half of the June 16 drawings. Until it is fixed, you can see the second half here. Both halves of the drawings are available from the Town now.)

The design still incorporates two eastbound travel lanes, and a “one-and-a-half” lane configuration (one lane with left-turn lanes) westbound.

As I explained last week, this is a work in progress that will be subject to approval by the Selectmen and by Mass. Highway, a state agency. A draft of the report that the town must submit to Mass. Highway is also posted on the web site along with the drawings.

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2 comments so far

  1. Joan Smeltzer on

    Thank you Adam, for creating this blog-site and reporting your notes to the hundreds of worried citizens who are not in on these meetings. It’s difficult to be objective – so I really appreciate that you’ve identified your personal comments in red.

    I am still bewildered by the group’s insistence on the one-lane west-bound design from Alewife to Pond and object strenuously to this area of the plan.

    I favor a plan for a west-bound, shared 2-lane, with significant biker markings every 25 – 50 ft. These bike and arrow graphics painted frequently on the road indicate to road travelers of all wheel-types to be alert for cyclists.

    Sharing the bike indicated right lane accommodates all situations: heavy rush hour volumes, all day truck, bus, and delivery traffic, business patronage parking, our 5-months’ winter season of snow accumulation and plowing, and finally, cleaner air without the idling that would otherwise result.

    These bike marking with arrows every 25-50 ft have been painted on many Somerville and Cambridge roadways and are very effective in signaling shared/dedicated space. I know I allow for that shared lane, whereas without the markings, I likely would not have thought about it.

    One westbound lane with an occasional turning lane that is not a traffic lane STILL makes no sense, in my opinion.

    I will be including my comments to the State at this point and I hope the Review Committee will continue to reconsider these plans as you hear more responses.
    Thanks again Adam.

    • Adam Auster on

      Thank you, Joan! Just remember, even though I am one member (of 18) on this committee, there is nothing official about my notes here.

      I’ll also say that I am one of those bicyclists who is comfortable riding on Mass. Ave. as it is today. For someone like me, a bike lane would probably be a minor handicap. But I can roll with it, and having a lane clearly does matter to many people.

      The main argument for the “one-and-a-half”-lane configuration, I think, is pedestrian safety. It’s a mistake to think this is about bicycles.

      A single lane at pedestrian crossings (widening to two lanes elsewhere) means (1) less distance to cross the street, (2) cars are going slower, and (3) no more hitting pedestrians who can’t be seen crossing in front of the car stopped in the other lane.

      These all cause, or contribute to, accidents on Mass. Ave. between cars and pedestrians.

      There’s a more practical constraint involved, too. Also as I tried to explain in my post about the June 16 meeting, parts of Mass. Ave. are too narrow for four lanes plus parking.


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