Archive for April, 2012|Monthly archive page

Perhaps 80 view and comment on Mass. Ave. plans April 4

No microphones, no testimony, and very little shouting were in evidence at the open house to present the latest plans for Mass. Ave., held at the Hardy School on the night of April 4.

A lively crowd at the open house.

This was not a hearing but an open house, drawings and photos spread on on tables and folks from the town available to answer questions. Participants were encouraged to write comments on little yellow cards but it is unclear how those comments will weigh on the result.

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Small tweaks led to major changes in Mass. Ave. design

The Mass. Ave. design open house at the Hardy School on April 4

Sweeping amendments to the design for Mass. Ave. in East Arlington stemmed from two small technical changes instigated last summer, according to those involved.

The decision to add an unneeded travel lane to Mass. Ave. eastbound between Pond Lane and Linwood Street, and the removal of safety features from the Wyman St. pedestrian crossing there, began as a desire for extra queuing capacity for cars waiting at the Linwood signal.

Similarly, the consolidation of two pedestrian crossings in East Arlington into a single crossing with no pedestrian island is solely a consequence of a decision to honor a request by the owner of the Arlington Restaurant to move the proposed bus-stop location, freeing up two parking spaces in front of the diner.

These two minor changes had major consequences when the consulting engineers and the town’s Transportation Advisory Committee began to fit them into the existing design framework and philosophy.

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Town drops more safety features and a crosswalk on Mass. Ave.

The latest design for Mass. Ave. in East Arlington replaces two crosswalks with one and removes a pedestrian crossing island and other safety features that had been part of the plan.

Before vs. After

As proposed April 2011: Two crosswalks, both with safety features. The Milton St. crossing (at right) would have been new.

As revealed March 30: One crossing at Melrose with minimal safety features

The changes, depicted in drawings released on Friday, replace crossings at Marathon and Milton Streets with a single crosswalk at Melrose St.

Changes that similarly remove safety features from the Wyman St. crosswalk were made public earlier in March. The Town filed the changes with Mass. Highway in February.

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In defense of jaywalking

No, it’s not a very good idea. Learning about traffic issues and observing the drivers on Mass. Ave. has scared me into the crosswalk. (And by “jaywalking,” I’m talking about crossing Mass. Ave outside of a crosswalk.)

Some jurisdictions discourage jaywalking though strict enforcement, but it seems to be part of New England’s pedestrian DNA. Here are two dirty secrets about jaywalking that you should know.

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