After last summer's fatal crash, the town's Select Board convened 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.”
Both alternatives would make Appleton Place a one-way street, remove the intersection's aging traffic signals to replace them with flashing yellow beacons at crosswalks, and separate Appleton Place and the adjacent Appleton Street with a painted curb extension delineated with flexposts.
Both alternatives would also create a painted, flexpost-delineated median island on Mass. Ave. in the vicinity of the intersection, although the median in Alternative 1 would be smaller to make room for a dedicated left-turn lane:
In a phone conversation with Streetsblog on Monday, Daniel Amstutz, Arlington’s Senior Transportation Planner, said that the short-term improvements could be implemented "this spring or summer, depending on what kind of costs we might be looking at... It is a priority for the town."
The intersection has long been recognized as a threat to Arlington residents' physical safety. 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 and recommended a reconfiguration that would have simplified traffic patterns and shortened the intersection's crosswalks.