Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Innovation Ave.

Four Lime Bikes in Arlington

A platoon of the new bike-share bicycles in Centennial Park in East Arlington on June 30.

Our sleepy town has suddenly become a hotbed of experimentation in transit and public space, raising both hopes and eyebrows.

A dockless bike-share system, Lime Bike, debuted last week, and the distinctive yellow-and-green two-wheelers can be found all along Mass. Ave.

For a month this fall Arlington will try out some changes to Mass. Ave. to speed buses on their way during the morning rush hour.

Further up Mass. Ave., in the center, Whittemore Park will see a 3-month trial run as a beer garden starting in a few weeks.

Only a faddish fool would say that all change is good, but isn’t openness to improving things something to celebrate? Continue reading


Sign of the Times

Source: MassDOT

Before the new default speed limit of 25 miles per hour goes into effect on May 1, the Town will post 16 of these signs at entry points to Arlington.

The new limit, authorized by Town Meeting last fall under a new state law, will apply to most, but not all, of the streets in town. It was adopted by the Board of Selectmen on February 27.

More information in this report, which I wrote last month.

The design of the sign, and the wording “Thickly Settled Speed Limit 25 Townwide Unless Otherwise Posted,” is specified by the state Department of Transportation.

The generic 25-mph sign I used to illustrate my report is not what we’ll see.

Arlington slows down

Speed Limit 25

The default speed limit town wide will drop to 25 miles per hour, from 30, on May 1, after a vote by the Board of Selectmen. Will it make a difference?

The new limits will apply generally to roads in town that do not have a posted limit. Route 2 is not affected.

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Arlington will seek Varnum crosswalk change

The Town of Arlington next week will request a second curb extension for the Mass. Ave. crosswalk where an East Arlington man died last month.

This curb cut would be modified ubto a bump out if MassDOT grants the request the Town  Manager plans to make on Monday.

This curb cut would be modified into a bump out if MassDOT grants the change order the Town Manager plans to request  on Monday.

Varnum St. is the only unsignalized crosswalk in the Mass. Ave project that is not designed to have bump-outs at both ends under current plans.

The change, which was requested by a neighborhood group, would add a bump-out at the curb cut laid last Friday in front of the Trinity baptists Church. The state Department of Transportation will rule on the request.

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Water-main repair

Road Closed

Road Closed: The view north on Henderson St. earlier this evening

This report is not at all about Mass. Ave. but when our water went out a little while ago I grabbed my camera and went out in the wet to see what I could. Continue reading

Center parking is topic of meeting, survey, study

Arlington Center parking will be the subject of a public meeting in Town Hall on January 9.

The forum, in the Town Hall Auditorium 5-8 pm, is part of an effort by the Town to assess possible improvements to parking. Continue reading

To my readers

WordPress, which hosts this blog, has started notifying me that you may occasionally see advertisements here, at the end of some blog posts.

If so, I did not put them there. Continue reading

Neighbors for ‘A Better Mass. Ave.’

New web site has upbeat take, opposes stopping the project

New web site strikes a positive note of support for the Mass. Ave. project, but also a warming

Neighbors’ short endorsements of the Mass. Ave. plan are featured on a new web page.

The upbeat testimonials are the brain child of Chad Gibson of the East Arlington Livable Streets Coalition.

The site, A Better Mass Ave, is also the web headquarters of the Better Mass. Ave. Committee.

The group formed to urge a No vote on Question 1 at Town elections April 6.

The group warns that Yes a vote for Question 1 could forfeit $5 million of state and federal highway assistance.

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Selectmen refrain from adding new Mass. Ave ballot question

The Board of Selectmen this morning declined to place a second nonbinding Mass. Ave. question on the April 6 town-election ballot.

During the brief meeting Board Chair Kevin Greeley revealed that a staff member of the Federal Highway Administration was in the audience during Tuesday’s well-attended hearing on the Mass. Ave. design.

“She chose to stay in the audience so that they [FHWA] would not become the focus” of the hearing, Greeley said. Massachusetts DOT held the hearing at FHWA’s request.

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On the street where we live

Early last month I published a photo essay of rush-hour traffic as seen from the curb just a few feet north of Henderson Street.

Had I made just a quarter turn to the right and snapped a photo from that same spot, I would have been able to show you this view as well:
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Project update suggest slippage

Mass. Ave. reconstruction may not begin until early 2013, according to a revised “Project Update and Frequently Asked Questions” memo that the Town’s planning department posted December 1 on its web page for the project.

The memo uses a Q&A format to address lane configuration, parking, and other issues. The eighth answer (page 3) reads as follows:

We expect construction will begin in the fall of 2012, or the spring of 2013

suggesting that the protracted design process may bump construction into another season.

The first part of the memo, which describes the main features of the redesign, appears not to reflect changes made since August.

An “additional FAQs” memo posted last month by the Town and addressing other issues has slipped onto the archive page. You can download it directly here (pdf file).

Alewife in November

Work crews kept showing up along the Alewife in November, past when I thought to expect them. A little more landscaping got done:

Looking east onto the path and new shrubs from Cottage Ave.

Most of the plantings on this stretch of path have been down by the motel or on the Cambridge side of the brook. There are none close to the Henderson Street Bridge – end. The bushes above were planted on Election Day, November 2, by the entryway at Cottage Ave.

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