Neighborhood Group Takes Aim at Dangerous Intersection
Editor's note: The following is from Daniel Hartmann, a member of the "Corner Committee."
A group of concerned residents has raised nearly $8,000 of its $15,000 goal to pay for improving the intersection at Fountain Road, Hawthorne Avenue, and Cedar Avenue in Arlington, where for years local residents have been concerned about traffic safety.
The Arlington Heights intersection, near the Park Circle water reservoir, is a dangerous one. The paved area is large, and five roadways meet at odd angles, making it unclear who has the right of way. Because of its proximity to Ottoson Middle School and Brackett Elementary, and because Fountain Road is used as a shortcut from Mass. Ave. to Route 2, the intersection carries a disproportionate amount of traffic. There are no sidewalks or crosswalks for pedestrians, and since it’s a popular meeting place for children walking to school, the vast intersection has long been viewed as a tragedy waiting to happen.
Now this group of over fifty neighbors, known as the “Corner Committee,” is working to fix the problem.
For the past two years, the committee leadership has been working with the Arlington Department of Public Works (DPW), the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) and concerned residents to create a plan that will make the intersection safer. The design calls for reducing the size of the intersection by extending the curbs on all the streets. When complete, Fountain Road will intersect Cedar Avenue at a 90-degree angle, and stop signs and crosswalks will be added.
The unique shape, size, and location of the intersection made finding a good solution to the traffic problem challenging, but the solution that was adopted by the Corner Committee and the Town was deemed the most viable and cost-effective. Details of the plan, contact information, and FAQs can be found at the group’s website at www.corner-committee.com.
While the Town has been very supportive of the proposed renovation, the streets that comprise the intersection are Private Ways, and the Town is not responsible for funding the work. The Corner Committee is seeking donations to cover roughly $15,000 in total costs to pay for removing areas of asphalt, installing new curbs, relocating stop signs, painting crosswalks, and doing some basic landscaping. Already some one hundred Arlington residents have come forward to contribute almost $8,000, an indication of the consensus that the intersection needs to be dealt with immediately.
Donations in the form of checks should be made out to the “Corner Committee” and mailed to: Corner Committee, 31 Cedar Ave., Arlington MA 02476.