Arlington, Lake St. light, miss out on State funding this year

The plan to speed traffic on Lake St. by signalizing the Minuteman Path hit a speed bump this week when MassDOT declined to fund it this year.

traffic signal

Also losing out were a raft of smaller projects to benefit pedestrians, cyclists, and bus riders that were not submitted to MassDOT in order to make room for the Lake St. proposal.

Despite a favorable but unofficial preliminary response from MassDOT personnel, the $400,000 requested for the Lake Street project was not granted this year.

Consequently Arlington is not included in the second of two tiers of Fiscal 2018 grants awarded to communities under the state’s Complete Streets Program.

The grant awards are described in a memo dated February 15, but news that the project had not made the cut seemed to catch Town officials by surprise this week.

Had it been funded, the Lake St. plan to speed traffic by regulating cyclists and pedestrians at the crossing with the Minuteman would have been the only Complete Streets grant directed primarily at speeding up traffic.

Grants that were funded included sidewalk improvement, traffic calming, bike lanes, pedestrian crossings, and other projects aimed at making local streets safer and more accessible for all users.

The Town did not seek any funding for its other Complete Streets projects. Grants are caped at $400,000 per community per year, and the Town sought all of that for Lake St.

The Town’s Complete Streets Project Prioritization Plan includes a more-modest version of the Lake St. light but also another dozen-odd projects to add or improve sidewalks near schools, calm traffic near Reservoir Beach and Magnolia Field, improve bus stops, and similar improvements more typical of successful Complete Streets grants.

In 2016, Arlington submitted and won a series of grants to improve sidewalks on Gray St.

The next round of Complete Streets funding, Tier 1 for Fiscal 2019, will be awarded this summer.

Given the scope of the Lake St. plan, that would probably rule out construction this year, even if the Town decides to resubmit the proposal and the state decides to fund it.

Tier 2 will be awarded in late 2018 or early 2019.

No comments yet

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: