Archive for October, 2010|Monthly archive page

Cut-through traffic and other paradoxes

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.

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An incremental revision

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.

Are these plans final? with focus on widths

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.

Detail showing 6-ft. median (right) giving way to wider lanes (left) at Orvis Road. The new design is a hybrid of previous ideas.

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.

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Alewife work for September

Crews working on the new path along the Alewife Brook returned to Cottage Ave. after a hiatus to pour a small concrete entryway at the end of the street.

Entryway from Cottage Ave. in progress

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