Archive for the ‘bicycles’ Tag

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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Arlington Center to get conventional bike lanes, improvements

The plan calls for a new signalized crossing at Swan Place, bike lanes, and other improvements. Click drawing for larger view.

The Board of Selectmen last night approved a plan for the intersection of Route 60 and Mass. Ave. that features a new pedestrian crossing, bike lanes, and other tweaks to improve safety and traffic flow.

The Board also gave a preliminary go-ahead to a plan that would bring temporary art installations to Mass. Ave.

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Wisdom from a bicycle advocate

He is a cyclists’s cyclist: published author on bicycle safety, expert witness in bicycle accident lawsuits, member of MassDOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board, former member of the governing boards of MassBike and the League of American Bicyclists, former contributing editor at Bicycling magazine.

And many other things besides.

And in October of 2008, John Allen was at the very first public workshop that Arlington’s consultants held to redesign Mass. Ave.

Here’s what this two-wheeled Robespierre, this Lenin of the lanes, had to say about Mass. Ave. in 2008:

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When four lanes are two

Mass. Ave FDR

One of the most interesting bits in Arlington’s plan to rebuild Mass. Ave. is a discussion of how drivers actually behave today, and would be likely to behave under new road designs.

It turns out that you can’t just draw lines on asphalt, post signs, and expect people to do what you say.

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