Archive for the ‘median’ Tag

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.

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Mass DOT takes comments

Advocates for and against the rebuilding of Mass. Ave. in East Arlington went into overdrive, and comments from the public went into overtime, at a sometimes-raucous project hearing at Town Hall on April 12.

Some 400 people came to the Department of Transportation hearing on the Town’s proposed design. 79 gave comments, and many more were turned away when the hearing adjourned at 10:40.

Arlington Town Hall on Tuesday night. Not quite to capacity, but very full.

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Safety first

The front page of the Arlington Advocate for February 24 has a story on pedestrian safety and proposed improvements for Mass. Ave. The photo caption at the start of the story (not in the online edition) says it all:

While a back and forth about vehicles and bike lanes has dominated the Mass. Ave. Corridor Project debate, little has been said about proposed improvements for pedestrians.

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The face of a new Mass. Ave.

Never mind the sausage factory of process and meetings and interim drafts.

If Mass. Highway approves the 25-percent plans as submitted, what will we get? What will be different?

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Town files plan with 3 pedestrian islands

Long-delayed plans to rebuild Mass. Ave. in East Arlington, including many pedestrian-safety measures, propose three raised pedestrian-crossing islands at Wyman Street, Marathon Steet, and Grafton Street – Orvis Road.

Raised pedestrian refuge (gray) at Marathon Street, within the flush median (light gray)

The Town filed the plans with Mass. Highway on Wednesday.

The plan would also keep existing traffic signals at Teel – Thorndike and at Foster – Linwood, stripe bicycle lanes, reduce the outbound side of the street to a “one-and-a-half-lane” configuration, and widen the inbound travel side to permit formal striping as two full inbound lanes.

The refuge islands are the only significant change to the plans since the version unveiled at Town Day last September.

Earlier drafts of the plan did not consider raised elements, such as a Cambridge-style continuous raised median, due to opposition from the fire department.

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New drawings at Town Day may be final

New plans for Mass. Ave. in East Arlington that would partially restore the traversable median proposed last year were unveiled at Town Day earlier today.

The plans may be submitted to the state within a few weeks, according to Town Planner Laura Wiener, who is overseeing the project.

East Arlington business district plans, September 25. Click for detailed view.

The basic features, such as the lane configuration and dedicated bicycle lanes, are unchanged from the version approved by the Town a year ago. In particular, the design still calls for

  • A single travel lane for most of the outbound (Westbound) traffic;
  • Two 11-foot travel lanes inbound;
  • Five-foot bicycle lanes in both directions;
  • Traffic signals at Teel and Linwood Streets, where there are signals today (and which had been in doubt), and a new signal at Bates Road;
  • Improved pedestrian crossings.

New since the previous drawings:

  • A 6-foot textured median, flush with the pavement, from Orvis Road to Milton Street.
  • On the stretch of road with the median, parking lanes would be 8.5 feet wide; elsewhere they would be 10 feet.
  • Where there is no median proposed, the width of the outbound travel lane would swell to as much as 15 feet (11 feet otherwise).

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Design evolves, at the margins

The latest iteration of plans for Mass. Ave. in East Arlington would, like previous version, introduce bicycle lanes and a three-lane configuration for much of the length of the street.

The drawings, made available to the public at a meeting of Arlington’s Mass. Ave. Review Committee at the Senior Center on August 4, largely tinker at the margins of the design. They are still drafts labeled “for discussion.”

But compared to the plans unveiled at the community meeting last June, the new version sports narrower travel lanes for cars, wider sidewalks in the business district, and a 3-foot flush buffer zone between bicycles and cars on the westbound side of the street.

Not restored in the latest version is a five-foot traversable median, flush with the street, that would provide a refuge for pedestrians.
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A safety feature is removed

2009 plan had 5-foot safety median

Median (2009)

One of the most significant of the recent changes to the design for Mass. Ave. is the elimination of a 5-foot traversable median in favor of wider travel lanes.

No median and wider lines in 2010 plan

Wide lanes (2010)

The median, which would have been flush with the pavement, was intended to make street crossing safer for pedestrians and to provide a left-turn space for westbound cars.

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