Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page

More Alewife Path construction

I am not changing the focus of this blog. It is still about Mass. Ave.

However, my previous post in the subject drew a lot of attention. And, I have more photos, as construction continues.

North along Alewife from the Henderson St. Bridge

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Safer pedestrian crossings

In an apparent response to public comments, the latest (August 2010) plan for Mass. Ave. would make four unsignalized pedestrian crossings safer.

One item in the pedestrian-safety bag of tricks is extending the curb into the parking lane at pedestrian crossings. These bump-outs have the following benefits:

Proposed bump-outs

  • The crossing distance is shorter curb to curb
  • Pedestrians stand on a raised surface that is nearly even with the traffic-side edge of parked cars, where they are more visible to drivers
  • It’s really clear that a pedestrian standing on a bump-out is crossing the street, not just hanging out
  • Traffic responds by slowing down at crossings
  • Cars are physically prevented from blocking the cross walk (unless they double park at one) by parking illegally there.

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Latest drawings lose buffer, gain bump-outs

New drawings for Mass. Ave. abandon the proposed buffer zone from last week’s meeting and shorten more pedestrian crossings with curb “bump outs.”

In place of a 2-to-4-foot buffer between the outbound bicycle and the traffic lanes, the latest plan would simply widen the outbound lane.

The bump-outs, also known as neck-downs, extend about 8 feet into the parking lane.

The Town has posted the new drawings from the consultant on the Town’s Mass. Ave. web page.

Update: More on the bump-outs here.

Design evolves, at the margins

The latest iteration of plans for Mass. Ave. in East Arlington would, like previous version, introduce bicycle lanes and a three-lane configuration for much of the length of the street.

The drawings, made available to the public at a meeting of Arlington’s Mass. Ave. Review Committee at the Senior Center on August 4, largely tinker at the margins of the design. They are still drafts labeled “for discussion.”

But compared to the plans unveiled at the community meeting last June, the new version sports narrower travel lanes for cars, wider sidewalks in the business district, and a 3-foot flush buffer zone between bicycles and cars on the westbound side of the street.

Not restored in the latest version is a five-foot traversable median, flush with the street, that would provide a refuge for pedestrians.
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