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A Driver Has Injured Another Cyclist at Mass. Ave. and Appleton in Arlington

1:52 PM EDT on June 17, 2020

Massachusetts Avenue at Appleton Street in Arlington. Courtesy of Google Street View.

Barely a month after a driver killed one bicyclist and sent another to the hospital on Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington, another driver has injured a cyclist at the same intersection.

Arlington Police confirmed that a driver hit a bicyclist at the intersection of Appleton Street and Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington Heights Sunday evening. This is the same intersection where another driver struck and killed Charles Proctor, 27, of Somerville, last month.

Arlington Police offered no other details about the crash or the victim's condition, except to say that the crash remains under investigation.

Earlier this month, Arlington's Select Board voted to convene a new design review committee "to study and make recommendations for both short term and long term improvements to the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Appleton Street."

A considerable amount of work on that subject has already been done. In 2011 and 2012, the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization, citing "the relatively high number of crashes at this intersection and students’ safe access to Ottoson Middle School," conducted a detailed study of the same intersection.

A 2012 study recommended traffic calming improvements for the intersection of Mass. Ave. and Appleton St. in Arlington. As of 2020, the plan has yet to be implemented.
A 2012 study recommended traffic calming improvements for the complex, crash-prone intersection of Mass. Ave., Appleton Pl., and Appleton St. in Arlington. These plans were never implemented.

The report proposed two possible reconfigurations for the intersection, both of which would have shortened its crosswalks, simplified traffic patterns, and reduced the intersection's paved footprint.

Those recommendations were never implemented.

Daniel Amstutz, Arlington's Senior Transportation Planner, warns that large-scale projects to realign the intersection are likely to take years to finance, engineer, and build, but said that "we may be able to do some tactical improvements for the geometry" in the meantime.

"There may be short-term improvements we could do with paint and pavement markings," said Amstutz in a phone interview on Tuesday. "We would need to determine if that’s a way we want to go, and then figure out what it would cost."

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