Archive for the ‘sidewalks’ Tag

Photos of the frabjous day

A utility worker prepares to transfer cables to a new pole, allowing Mass. Ave construction to finally proceed to its end. October xx photo from Aileen G. P.

A utility worker prepares to transfer cables to a new pole, allowing Mass. Ave construction to finally proceed to its end. September 28 photo from Aileen G.- P.

As previously reported, Eversource finally allowed J.F. Lynch to complete the Mass. Ave. sidewalks in East Arlington by shifting the cables from an old utility pole to a new one in Capitol Square.

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Signals await street markings as as night work resumes Sept. 14

Cardboard blocks this crosswalk signal facing the corner of Thorndike St. where there is currently no marked crosswalk.

Cardboard blocks this crosswalk signal facing the corner of Thorndike St. where there is currently no marked crosswalk.

The surface of Mass. Ave. will be dangerously hot at times this week as crews start to install a new road.

Meanwhile some of the new traffic signals remain disabled, awaiting new lane and crosswalk markings.

A special notice from the construction team (undated, but recent) warns,

The materials that will be applied to Massachusetts Avenue on Monday and Tuesday nights will be hot on application and cannot be traversed by standard passenger vehicles without significant damage.

Hot regions will be demarcated by traffic barrels, cones, and other means. Circumventing these barriers, a September 13 construction bulletin from the Town cautions, “will damage your vehicle whether it be auto, bicycle, or feet.”

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“Pedestrian-scale lighting”

New lights in the business district are designed to illuminate the sidewalks, not the streets.

New electric lights in the business district resemble old-fashioned gas lamps. Note modern street light at upper right.

In case you were wondering, “pedestrian-scale lighting” does not mean Leprechaun-sized fixtures that fire off light rays at eye level.

Rather, it’s these old-style street lamps, about half to two-thirds the height of the (roughly) 35-foot-tall modern-style street lights that illuminate Mass. Ave.

The pedestrian-scale stuff casts its rays on the sidewalks.

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Details, details

As sidewalk construction winds down in my neighborhood—and tears through the heart of the business district—I’m noticing the little things.

No curb cut at this curb cut on the western corner of Henderson St.

No curb cut at this curb cut on the western corner of Henderson St.

There’s no curb cut at the western corner of Henderson Street and Mass. Ave. where the sidewalk was poured just last week.

There’s a detectable warning strip (the orange bumpy thing) set into the sidewalk, but the pavement does not slope down into the street.

The reason for this surprised me.
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Despite gaps, Cap Square work comes closest to brisk ideal

Traffic, pedestrians, and construction perform a balletic dance in front of the Capitol Theater block on July 2.

Sidewalk work, inherently disruptive, is proceeded with unusual intensity and speed in the East Arlington business district.

Crews on June 22 began demolishing the sidewalk on the half block that runs from Lake Street to Derby Farm (formerly Wings Over Arlington, formerly Nellio’s, formerly Gellio’s).

Ideally once this noisy, dirty, and disruptive works begins in any single location, it should proceed as rapidly as possible until done, with no breaks and no idled half-built sidewalks.

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On schedule despite change orders

Despite last-minute design changes backed by the Town of Arlington, Mass. Ave. reconstruction “remains generally on time, ” according to the project liaison, Nathaniel Cabral-Curtis.

Granite-edged planter in front of Giles Liquors is not among those changed recently. The flamingos are a nice touch.

A granite-edged planter in front of Giles Liquors is not among those changed this month. The flamingos are a nice touch.

The changes involve the design of the Varnum Street crosswalk and the planters in the business district. In both cases, the Town asked for modifications in response to requests from the community.

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Sidewalk construction surprise strikes again

The yellow excavator takes a bite out of the sidewalk on the northwest corner of Teel St. on May 19.

The yellow excavator takes a bite out of the sidewalk on the northwest corner of Teel St. on May 19.

If you were wondering which sidewalk would go under the knife next: It’s a 3-block stretch centered on Teel Street.

The May 11 bulletin from MassDOT did not mention this work. Instead it only referred to a signal-mast-foundation project at Teel that had not begun as of May 20.

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Mass. Ave.: On schedule and coming through

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“Premature spalling” of sidewalk replaced last fall near Allen St. by Dunkin Donuts.

The state Department of Transportation is designing an additional sidewalk bump at the Trinity Baptist Church. It is investigating the “premature spalling” of some of the sidewalk poured last fall and has delayed work several times at the request of local businesses.

However, at a public meeting with residents at the Thompson School on May 14, the team managing the reconstruction of Mass. Ave. in East Arlington rebuffed requests from residents for changes to mitigate the impact of construction on residents and businesses.

About 35 residents learned the above and other construction news from the project team that includes MassDOT and contractor J.H. Lynch. It was about half the number who attended a similar briefing in June of 2014.

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OPEN FOR BUSINESS

Open for business

The door to Vincent’s Barber Shop was wide open today while a crew worked on the sidewalk outside.

Sidewalk reconstruction bit deep into the business district this week as work began on two commercial blocks between Winter and Marathon streets.

Nearly all storefronts remain open for business amidst the noise and dust.

It’s the first all-business stretch of sidewalk to be reconstructed.

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Mass. Ave. construction wakes and is everywhere

Excavating by Lake St. in sun and shade, April 28.

The dormant Mass. Ave. project stirred, flexed, and roared back to life last month, with sidewalk construction presently ongoing in 3 locations.

The sprawling sidewalk work in particular seems to confound MassDOT’s commitment made at last June’s community meeting to a construction footprint that was as small and managed as possible.

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Think pink

The concrete sidewalk across from the East Arlington Post Office is coming in pink. Although it isn’t strictly sidewalk and it isn’t very pink.

Colored concrete sidewalks just east of Grafton St.

Colored concrete sidewalks just east of Grafton St. (The “real” sidewalk is the unpoured area at upper right.)

A crew started pouring it last week.

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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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