Archive for the ‘Wyman St.’ Tag

Sidewalk work awaits cement trucks

Workers stack granite curb stones near Wyman St. on September 24.

Workers stack granite curb stones near Wyman St. on September 26.

Work to replace the sidewalks on Mass. Ave. began on September 22 when a cutting machine sliced into the street across from Pond Lane.

By October 10 the sidewalk phase of the Mass. Ave. Project had advanced eastward beyond Harlow Street, absent one crucial ingredient.

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The week the ground broke and other stories

Tuesday July 29 was the day that the contractor for the Mass. Ave. project finally busted through the road’s aging pavement, constricted the flow of traffic, and raised a (small) cloud of dust.

Contractor J.H. Lynch has been busy on the street since May with survey and prep work.

A backhoe delves into Mass Ave. at Wyman St. on July 29.

The cut was at Wyman Street, where storm drains and possibly other utilities must be shifted.
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Facts on the ground: Wyman St. bump-outs

The narrator of Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way famously bites into a madeline cookie that triggers a cascade of memory.

Orange paint roughs out a curb bum-out for the relocated crosswalk at Wyman St. View is north.

Orange paint roughs out a curb bump-out for the relocated crosswalk at Wyman St. Looking north. Click for bigger.

Similarly (sort of) I experienced a wave of associations last week when I saw these marks on Mass. Ave by Wyman St. and realized I was looking at the remains of a once-impressive response to tragedy there.

The new design is an improvement, but the original plan had been even better. And the way the design changed here is the blackest mark on an otherwise impressive record of openness and transparency by the Town during the design phase.

Today, the dotted orange line shows the general shape of the bump-out at the pedestrian crossing that will be shifted there from the other side of Wyman St. as part of the new street design.

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Remembering Margaret MacDonald

Margaret MacDonald left the Senior Center on Maple Street sometime after 4 PM on Wednesday afternoon, November 20, 1996.

MacDonald, who was 77 and had moved to Arlington in 1981, volunteered as a receptionist for the Council on Aging. She also volunteered at Fidelity House as an assistant ceramics teacher.

Wyman St. crosswalk, looking north, just before sunset.

MacDonald boarded an inbound bus on Mass. Ave. at around 4:25 and disembarked at the Wyman St. bus stop in East Arlington at perhaps 4:40.

It was dusk, about 20 minutes after sunset. I took the accompanying photos at the same time of day. The sky was blue, pink by Spy Pond and behind Walgreens.

MacDonald was crossing Mass. Ave. in the marked pedestrian walkway there when she was struck by a car driven by a Cambridge man.

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Some safety features have been restored to Mass. Ave. design

Extensive changes to the design of Mass. Ave. near Milton and Marathon Streets, instigated to preserve two parking spaces in front of the Arlington Diner, have been reversed in the final plans that the Town hopes to file with Mass. Highway soon.

Another set of changes that widens the pedestrian crossing at Wyman St. and removes right-turn lanes in the stretch between Pond Lane and Linwood St. remains in the design.

These decisions were made last summer but not publicized.

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Small tweaks led to major changes in Mass. Ave. design

The Mass. Ave. design open house at the Hardy School on April 4

Sweeping amendments to the design for Mass. Ave. in East Arlington stemmed from two small technical changes instigated last summer, according to those involved.

The decision to add an unneeded travel lane to Mass. Ave. eastbound between Pond Lane and Linwood Street, and the removal of safety features from the Wyman St. pedestrian crossing there, began as a desire for extra queuing capacity for cars waiting at the Linwood signal.

Similarly, the consolidation of two pedestrian crossings in East Arlington into a single crossing with no pedestrian island is solely a consequence of a decision to honor a request by the owner of the Arlington Restaurant to move the proposed bus-stop location, freeing up two parking spaces in front of the diner.

These two minor changes had major consequences when the consulting engineers and the town’s Transportation Advisory Committee began to fit them into the existing design framework and philosophy.

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Mass. Ave. loses safety features in abrupt design change

Both the pedestrian island (dark grey) and the flush median (crosshatched) are no longer in the plan for the Wyman St. crossing.

Arlington has changed its design for the western segment of the Mass. Ave. project, stripping the pedestrian crossing at Wyman St. of many safety features.

These include a pedestrian island that had been added in response to community concerns.

These changes allow for a second lane of inbound traffic that the Town’s consulting engineers had previously determined was not necessary.

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