Archive for the ‘bicycles’ Tag

Why I’m Not Riding on the Minuteman Path


Minuteman path with cyclist cut out

I am a recreational cyclist of no great athletic prowess. Since early April, I have stopped riding on the Minuteman Path because it is impossible to maintain the six-foot social distance there.

I really miss the path. Mass Ave. and other arterial roads are no fun. Continue reading

Bus Lane Returns, Permanently

Front of MBTA 79 bus as it moves past stalled trafficalong the temporary bus lane demarcated with orange and white traffic cones.

A bus takes advantage of the temporary bus lane at about 7:15 AM last fall. At Thorndike Street facing Arlington Center.

Tested last fall, ratified last February, delayed several times, the AM-rush-hour bus (and bike) -only lane in East Arlington is scheduled to restart tomorrow.

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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. Continue reading

New center design, scofflaw drivers may put cyclists at risk

A video showing motorists making illegal turns into bicycle and pedestrian traffic seems to corroborate fears that the design of a new bike lane in Arlington Center is flawed.

The illegal turns are shown in a bike-cam’s-eye view of the ride across Arlington Center outbound, using new bike facilities including a new signal at Swan Place. It was recorded and posted on YouTube by Brian Ristuccia.

Nobody was hurt, but someone could have been.

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Snappy new video is vague on bicycles

Experienced cyclists, like motorists, may proceed through the intersection cautiously after stopping at the stop sign.

That explanation is one of the few things missing from the 2-minute video the Town of Arlington made to explain the new traffic signal in Arlington Center.

Source: Town of Arlington.

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The greening of the Mass. Ave. bike lanes

Mass. Ave. got some attention last week in the form of vivid green color in 2 bike lane locations.

There's no missing the bike lane on this busy eastbound approach to Lake St.

There’s no missing the bike lane on this busy eastbound approach to Lake St. The green was added last week.

Since this marking was not specified in the final plans for the project (correction: It was so), I think it was almost certainly added by the Town.

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Town Meeting adopts ‘Complete Streets’ handily

GavelBy a vote of 157 to 32, Town Meeting last night voted to accept Chapter 90I of state law. The vote begins a process that could eventually qualify the Town for a new grants program to improve Mass. Ave. and other roadways.

The so-called Complete Streets program rewards communities for incorporating the needs of all kinds of road users (not just motorists) in street design.

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Town Meeting to vote on ‘Complete Streets’ law

An incomplete street. Paul Mannix photo.

An incomplete street. Paul Mannix photo.

The Board of Selectmen is asking Town Meeting to opt into a state law that will make Arlington eligible for a new grants program for better streets.

Town Meeting action could lead to the Town’s first formal street-design policy, one requiring design features for all users.

The grant program, however, is still just a blueprint.

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Town drops head-in parking on Swan Place, seeks other alternatives

Arlington is “no longer pursuing” a plan to site 7 head-in parking spaces on Swan Place by the entrance to the Minuteman Path and will seek other new parking in the center of town, according to Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine.

This plan, minus the head-inparking on Swan place, was center stage at the hearing.

This plan, minus the head-in parking on Swan place, was center stage at the hearing.

Chapdelaine and Public Works Director Mike Rademacher identified 9 potential new parking spaces scattered across the center, from the First Parish Church to the fire station.

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A bike ride though Arlington center

Cycling-safety expert John Allen posted this video that he made showing how he rides through Arlington Center, Minuteman segment to Minuteman segment.

John rides, safely and predictably, in traffic. He follows all traffic laws without stunts or daredevilry.

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Mass. DOT justifies Mass. Ave. design

The design for the Mass. Ave. project in East Arlington meets state and federal requirements for bicycles and pedestrians and satisfies other other criteria, according to a May 28 letter from Thomas Broderick of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

Broderick, the chief engineer of MassDOT’s Highway Division, made his reply to written comments on the plan filed in conjunction with last February’s hearing.

The letter shows a state agency that has fully embraced the Town’s design. Federal review, however, is still pending.

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Arlington Center plan has skinny lanes, new crossing

MassDOT will hold a 25% hearing next month on Arlington’s plan to add bike lanes and make other changes to the intersection of Mass. Ave. and Route 60.

Sketch of intersection showing bike lanes in green, including start of cycle track at upper left.

Sketch of intersection showing bike lanes in green, including start of cycle track at upper left. Click for larger view, but note that some lane widths have changed. Source: Town of Arlington.

The newest version narrows parking and travel lanes to shoehorn seven parking spaces by Cambridge Savings Bank and beyond. It retains a proposed new traffic signal on Mass. Ave. at Swan Place.

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