Paint goes down, lights go on

East arlington neighbor Nawwaf Kaba photographed this work crew as it was striping Mass. Ave the morning of October 25. The view is northwest from the edge of the crosswalk in front of the CVS.

Alert East Arlington neighbor Nawwaf Kaba photographed this work crew as it was striping Mass. Ave the morning of October 24. The view is northwest from the edge of the cross walk in front of the CVS.

New lights and an off-center double line are easing drivers and others into what will be the new design on Mass. Ave.

Meanwhile, some patches of sidewalk remain unpoured while several other features, including the on-off-on-again traversable median, still have not put in an appearance.

A work crew worked on painting the yellow median stripes, offset by 4 feet to the northern curb, during the day on Friday and Saturday, and the new traffic signal at Bates Road went live on Friday.

The effects of the asymmetrical layout, by which the north side of the street will be 8 feet narrower than the south, are currently masked by barrels placed along the old median line in the exact center of the street.

However, the narrower outbound side already feels decidedly squeezed when drivers act as if it were still 2 lanes by driving in the area that will be marked for bicycles and for parking.

In the business district only, the barrels are placed inside a buffer median area that reflects the offset. They aren’t centered and the inbound side is palpably wider than the outbound.

The left side (inbound from the Orvis-Grafton crossing) is 8" wider than the right.

The left side (inbound from the Orvis-Grafton crossing) is 8″ wider than the right.

Driving here gives a hint of how things will feel in a week or two when the rest of the paint is down and there are two clearly marked inbound lanes (and one outbound).

Th8ere are no less than 3 unfinished areas on the sidewalk on this block facing Lake St. Each with its own messy clutch of old and new utility poles.

No less than 3 unfinished areas grace the sidewalk on this block facing Lake St. Each has its own messy clutch of old and new utility poles. Click any photo for a closer view.

It’s not exactly news that all the new trees are planted, though I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here. The trees are ahead of the official schedule, which called for the plantings to finish in the spring.

However it is disappointing that there remain patches of unfinished sidewalk in the business district where the utility companies have still not transferred wires to the new poles.

Once that is done and the old poles are removed the sidewalks can be finished.

We’ll also have to wait and see what shape the old trees are in once the work is done and the contractor removes the trees’ wooden jackets.

Click here for recent construction news.

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2 comments so far

  1. John on

    I am very confused as to why little bicycle symbols and arrows are put down BEFORE white bicycle lane striping occurs… In fact, some of their locations seem more like sharrows than anything else- hopefully we get some white lines down this week and clarify the road layout for drivers. So far so good with the traffic; everything is quite smooth in and out for both car and bike. (Please, rush hours are rush hours and will always be busy. Our rush hour is incredibly short compared to other urban areas, or even the greater Boston area.)

    • Adam Auster on

      It is awkward right now.

      I’m seeing people driving in the bike lane, right over the bicycle symbol. Not just using the lane to get around a car but driving all the way down the street in the lane.

      Saw this on both sides of the road.

      Probably this will change once the markings are all down. Let’s hope so!


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