New parking in Arlington center?

Nine possible parking spots. Click for target view. Source: Town of Arlington

Nine possible parking spots. Click for larger view. Source: Town of Arlington

At a state hearing on November 6, the Town announced it was studying 9 possible new parking spaces in Arlington Center.

The above map showing the locations of the candidates was part of the presentation from Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine and DPW Director Mike Rademacher. I also post photos of the potential spots below the fold.

Of the 9 spaces, 5 could be enabled by redesigning landscaping, while 4 would be possible by relocating or removing fire hydrants.

The original impetus for this study was a desire to replace parking slated for removal by a new design for the intersection of Mass. Ave. and Route 60. However, converting any of these candidates to parking would be separate projects with their own plans, budgets, and schedules.

Mass. Ave. at First Parish Church (1 space)

Moving the fire hydrant could free up one more space in front of the parking lot for the First parish Church.

Moving the fire hydrant could free up one more space.

One such candidate, just east of the Library bus stop, illustrates how relocating fire hydrants can create more parking.

The hydrant there could move to the bus stop, where parking is already prohibited.

The Town used this trick repeatedly in its design of East Arlington’s Mass. Ave. Project, in the course of which the entire street and sidewalks will be torn up anyway. Piecemeal hydrant shifting at places like First Parish, however, will entail additional disruption.

Swan Place across from Minuteman Path Trail Head (3 spaces)

by reconfiguring the space, the Town might create 3 parking spaces here. View is NNW from the Minuteman trail head.

By reconfiguring the space, the Town might create 3 parking spaces here. View is NNW from the Minuteman trail head.

This is the same location the Town had studied for 7 head-in parking slots, abandoned as unsafe. 3 spaces could be created by redesigning the privately owned lot in front of the newly opened Kickstand Cafe (formerly Jammin’ Java, formerly Carberry’s).

Question: Where do the drivers point their wheels when they are ready to leave these spots? If headed east on Mass. Ave. they can go through the parking lot, taking right turns all the way.

But what if a driver wants to head west? Down Swan and around? I hope no one tries to turn around on Swan Place.

Mystic Street at Arlington Catholic (1 space)

Potential parking space on Mystic Street, in front of Arlington Catholic High School.

Mystic Street in front of Arlington Catholic High School.

Continuing roughly east, on the other side of Mass. Ave., is Mystic Street.

This spot at the hydrant is about halfway down the block.

I don’t know if the hydrant option here would be to relocate or remove.

Mass. Ave. at Legacy Apartments (1 space)

Near the entrance to the Legacy Appartments on Mass. Ave.

Near the entrance to the Legacy Apartments on Mass. Ave.

Alton Place near Broadway Plaza (1 space)

This one is right at the corner of Broadway Plaza.

This one is right at the corner of Broadway Plaza.

Mass. Ave. Westbound Near Central Fire Station (2 spaces)

Mass. Ave. neear Central Fire Station (Not shown) with Broadway Plaza in the background and the Civil War Monument at far left.

Mass. Ave. near Central Fire Station (not shown) with Broadway Plaza in the background and the Civil War Monument at far left.

These spaces would add to the eastern end of the line of parking on Mass. Ave. that abuts Broadway Plaza.

By the way, the fine print at bottom left of the Town’s map reads as follows:

The data shown on this slide are provided for informational and planning purposes only. The Town and its consultants are not responsible for the misuse of misrepresentation of the data.

Noted!

Though now separate, the idea for these spaces began as a search for a replacement for parking to be removed from the south side of Mass. Ave. abutting the Cambridge Savings Bank and the Kickstand Cafe parking lot.

Swan Place excepted, any of these prospective spaces are likely to be more useful than those slated for removal.

Regardless of how one feels about the 3 parking candidates on Swan, however, the Town deserves a lot of credit for its tenacity and creativity in trying to improve the intersection and the parking.

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2 comments so far

  1. Susan Ruderman on

    The Alton Street (not Place) spot is not a good choice. Allowing parking on that corner will just add to the existing traffic and parking problems and pedestrian dangers on Broadway. Furthermore, Alton Street is one way, but faces frequent violators who come down the wrong way–endangering the young pupils at the dance school, among others. Having a parking space there will just tempt more violators who will *back* into the space that is in front of what is supposed to pass as handicapped parking for the plaza (it doesn’t because the time limit is not enforced, so the space is taken all day by someone who works in the area.) Let’s not put other pedestrians at risk in an attempt to make a different spot (Swan Place) safer.

  2. Mark Kaepplein on

    An alternative to just one spot on Alton Street is one of the fire house parking lots. Most times there are a half dozen empty spots or more.


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