Mass. Ave. redesign advances

State staff review of the Town’s plans for Mass. Ave. is complete, setting the stage for a public hearing in Arlington.

The Arlington Advocate reports that Mass. Highway is still awaiting review by the Federal Highway Administration, though it could schedule hearings sooner.

The staff comments are technical and include suggestions and lists of issues to be addressed in the next phase of the planning process. The comments are posted at the Advocate’s web site, with links to downloadable copies from the news story (at link above).

For example, the department’s Bicycle Accommodation Engineer suggests widening the proposed 5-foot bike lanes to 6 feet on some parts of Mass. Ave. A different member of the staff suggests a raised median along the Lake Street block.

Hearings on the plan will precede a final ruling on what are known as 25-percent design plans that specify such controversial elements as lane configuration and the location of traffic signals. A 75-percent-design process will follow.


5 comments so far

  1. Bob Sprague on

    Read the comments from the at the links here:

  2. Adam Auster on

    Thanks Bob.

    There are some very interesting things in those comments, such as the suggestion for a raised median on part of the street.

    It sheds some light on the process, that such changes are possible even at this stage.

    • Mark Kaepplein on

      Yeah, shows the plan isn’t about pedestrians when half cross at Lake and there is no raised median there.

      Not about environment either with no water collection – still runs into Spy pond and Alewife Brook. Plan’s 3,000 yards of cement alone generates 1,800,000 lbs. of CO2 to produce. Healthy trees are getting cut down. Still “F” Level of Service (congestion) at Orvis.

      Shows other lies: Selectman’s plan calls for utility pole moves – supposedly too expensive when widening narrow sections was proposed.

      It is about putting in bike lanes for sub 1%, white, male, professional bike commuters – liar misnomer is “transportation equity”. Review said: “The Town is particularly desirous of having this a multimodal project incorporating vehicular, pedestrian, bicycle, and transit concerns.” So, the town lied that people wanted it, and lied that bike lanes were required.

      Laura Wiener of the town also belongs to pro-bike Metropolitain Planning Organization that pushes bike lanes on projects. They consider bike lanes far more important than measuring results after projects (or un-green traffic congestion).

      All in all, only pave the road, upgrade signals, modify sidewalk ramps (if mandated), and not move curbs looks lots easier, cheaper, and a less risky project. Extra would be raised refuge island(s), moving bus stops, and increasing intersection efficiency at Lake and Orvis. Too simple to just give basics everyone can agree on! Instead a grand nightmare.

      • Adam Auster on

        Mark, every city and town in the Boston area belongs to the sinister Metropolitan Planning Organization.

        It’s how we get highway funding, for one thing.

        Next week: Arlington’s membership in the socialist Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

  3. Eric Berger on

    I can’t wait for the hearing! What a show down that will be! Not only will there be standing room only, it’ll be hard to hear on the sidewalk in front of Town Hall. I hope the Selectmen hook up loud speakers. The hearing will be even more dramatic that the march along a closed-down Mass. Ave. corridor that’s in the offing.

    The MassDOT has made in crystal clear that public outreach is a very important component in any project design. Town official continue to overlook this. By talking about a “green light” even before the DOT public forum on this design, a forum required by state law, officials continue to disregard the importance of public input. Once state transportation officials see and hear first-hand the wide scope and passionate intensity of public opposition to this project by residents and business owners, I suspect there will no longer be a “green light”.

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