Mass Ave Corridor Project: Revised But Not Repaired
Resident feels town's updated Mass Ave plan fails to address safety, traffic concerns.
A civil engineering firm commissioned by Arlington resident Eric Berger has warned that the Town's revised Mass. Ave. plan may result in excessive backups at intersections along the corridor, leading to an increase in "cut through" traffic on adjacent neighborhood streets and prolonged emergency vehicle response times.
Dana Lynch, an engineer and president of Civilworks, Inc., has reviewed the revised project plans, met with Town officials, and conducted a field visit to gain a better understanding of the conditions along the project corridor. He summarized his findings in a report dated December 28, 2010. A copy of Mr. Lynch's report is attached.
"Mr. Lynch's findings confirm that this plan, if implemented, will be a disaster for the Town of Arlington," said Mr. Berger. "What is being presented to us as a series of 'improvements' will actually make conditions on the corridor far worse than they already are."
Using data derived from the Town's Functional Design Report submitted in November to the Mass. Department of Transportation, Mr. Lynch observes that the projected vehicle queue lengths are as long as 813 feet in some locations during peak hour commutes, which could "exacerbate" current traffic issues. Mr. Lynch notes that the primary cause for the lengthy queues at the signalized intersections is the proposed reduction in through travel lanes.
Mr. Lynch also calls attention to critical background research, data and information that is lacking in the Town's plan. He suggests that the likelihood of cut-through traffic, the environmental impacts of the increased traffic congestion and the prolonged emergency response times all warrant further consideration – consideration that is absent in the Town's recent submission.
Mr. Lynch concludes that a four (4) lane section could adequately accommodate bicycle use while still providing reasonable vehicular movement without excessive queues.
--Submitted by Eric Berger