Arlington Select Board Reconsiders, Endorses New Bike Lane Plan for Mass Ave.

Bike on Massachusetts Ave. in Arlington
A bicyclist travels eastbound on Massachusetts Avenue among cones that delineate a possible new street layout. Despite the low comfort bicycling facilities present on Arlington's section of Mass. Ave., it remains a popular bike route. Photo by Petru Sofio.

On Wednesday evening, the Arlington town Select Board overwhelmingly endorsed a new compromise plan to improve safety in the vicinity of Massachusetts Avenue and Appleton Street, after rejecting a town committee’s recommendation for safety improvements in a September meeting.

The new plan, adopted in a 4-0 vote, would extend existing painted bike lanes on Massachusetts Avenue west of Lowell Street to the intersection of Appleton Street, where there have been a number of serious crashes, including a May 2020 crash that killed Somerville resident Charlie Proctor.

Two Select Board members cited their desire to preserve on-street parking when they rejected a similar bike lane plan in September.

The compromise plan that the board adopted Wednesday evening would extend the existing painted bike lanes on Massachusetts Avenue from Lowell Street to Appleton Street, by restricting parking to only one side of the street in that segment.

East of Appleton, the compromise plan would preserve existing on-street parking on both sides of Massachusetts Avenue, leaving room for only one eastbound bike lane. The westbound lane between Forest and Appleton will be marked with sharrows.

A compromise bike lane plan for Massachusetts Avenue near Appleton Street in Arlington. The town Select Board unanimously endorsed this plan in an Oct. 13 meeting, and the town expects to implement the design later this year. Courtesy of the Town of Arlington.
A compromise bike lane plan for Massachusetts Avenue near Appleton Street in Arlington. The town Select Board unanimously endorsed this plan in an Oct. 13 meeting, and the town expects to implement the design later this year. Courtesy of the Town of Arlington.

In a memo to the Select Board, the town’s transportation planner, Daniel Amstutz, wrote that “the Department of Public Works is poised to implement the Modified Option 2 before the end of the construction season.”

Previously on StreetsblogMASS:

Arlington Test-Drives Safer Intersection Designs At Mass. Ave. and Appleton

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