Mass DOT Calls April 12 hearing on Mass. Ave. plan

The long-awaited public hearing on the Town’s proposal to rebuild Mass. Ave. with a mix of state and federal funds will be held Tuesday, April 12, at 7 PM at Town Hall.

The official notice of the hearing, including instructions for submitting written comments, is here.

The hearing is the last public step in the process that will culminate in a decision on what are called 25-percent design plans for the project.

This design phase will set the broad shape of the project, including such decision as lane configuration and the location of traffic signals.

The Town’s proposal comprises the Functional Design Report and drawings that are available on the Town’s web page for the project, with some further revisions possible.

A brief summary of the Town’s proposal is here.

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5 comments so far

  1. Mark Kaepplein on

    That should be an interesting night!

    Two of the mysteries in the plan are:

    1. Why remove parking in front of Walgreens? Put benches there to contemplate the parking lot? Parking is always full one block west, so loss here is a problem.

    2. I don’t see any Loading Zones marked. Where are FedEx, UPS, USPS, and store/resturant delivery trucks supposed to stop? Double parking isn’t much of an issue with two lanes each way, but with only one lane, blocking it and all the cyclists in the bike lane is a disasterous problem. If Loading Zones are placed, what will then be the real loss of parking compared to now?

  2. Ray Jones on

    Is there actually parking in front of Walgreen’s? My own recollection is that it’s a taxi stand. In any case, in two years of living next to it, I’ve seen cars parked there only a few times, but many cases of people crossing to Adams Street. If they can’t put in an actual crosswalk because of proximity to the one at Forster/Linwood, a bumpout seems like the next best option.

    (and the parking lot itself is almost always less than half full, so parking at that point on Mass. Ave. seems extraneous.)

    And as long as I’m talking about crosswalks, I’d like to suggest one at Palmer (or between Palmer and Pond Lane) for the Dunkin’s foot traffic.

    • Adam Auster on

      I think you can park there, though it’s limited, but no one does. The only thing near the front of Walgreens that people drive to is Walgreens, and people prefer the parking lot.

      For better or worse, I suspect the opportunity to add additional pedestrian crosswalks to this design has passed. The new design does make illegal crossings at that location safer, however.

  3. Mark Kaepplein on

    I’ve suggested a crosswalk at Palmer Street also. Since the road is narrowed to just two lanes and there are new flush (little protection) median refuges there, a crosswalk is less needed than now. I think the big problem is where to locate the south side endpoint. There isn’t space to put a wheelchair compliant ramp between the driveway and the fire hydrant. The median refuges support J-walking there without removing all the high demand parking. J-walking is just a fact of life, and raised medians (as in Cambridge) acknowledge it.

    Walgreen’s parking lot belongs to Walgreen’s, and sometimes is nearly full, even when Christmas trees are not being sold.

    FYI, there is another important DOT hearing, March 31, on widening the turn from Rt. 16 to head west on Rt. 2. http://www.mhd.state.ma.us/default.asp?pgid=content/hearings/cambridge_033111&sid=hearing

  4. Mark Kaepplein on

    …continued.
    This marks the first time in 40 years local road capacity has been increased instead of removed. Its not actually an increase, its more of a partial restoration after the Alwife was changed from a roundabout to complex signaled intersection.

    Does anyone know if the project just adds more storage (parking) for cars to wait at the light, or does it remove the light, creating a merge lane for the traffic to enter RT 2 at the same time traffic comes from Fresh Pond Parkway, or both?


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