Month: May 2011

Somerville Lawmakers Visit Troubled Intersections

Somerville – map
On Friday, May 20th, I joined legislators and staff, local officials, and MassHighway administrators and engineers for a visit to the pedestrian crossings at Washington St. and Medford St. and Somerville Ave. and Medford St. in Somerville.  Among those in attendance were State Senator Pat Jehlen, Somerville Alderman Maryann Heuston, Jim Henry of State Senator Sal DiDomenico’s office, and Mike Lambert, director of Transportation and Infrastructure for the City of Somerville.


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An overhead view of the intersection at Washington Street and Medford Street


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The intersection at Somerville Ave and Medford St.

Local residents have expressed concerns about the safety of the pedestrian crossings at these intersections for a number of reasons. They are both long pedestrian crossings without signals, and the absence of “No Turn on Red” signs at both intersections could potentially increase the risk of pedestrians being injured by turning vehicles. These conditions combined with the higher speeds that traffic moves on these multi-lane streets make these crossings potentially dangerous, especially to elders and pedestrians walking with small children.
Sen. Jehlen and I at the Somerville Ave intersection.
MassHighway officials have committed to conducting an analysis of the two intersections in order to determine what kinds of changes should be made, and will present options for safety improvements to the City and the state delegation. I’m looking forward to seeing their recommendations, and I will be sure to use this space to provide updates on the progress of the improvements.

Memorial Day Travel Information from MassDOT

I hope that everyone has a peaceful and safe memorial day, and that all will find time to take a moment to pause and reflect upon the sacrifice of those who have died in the service of their country.
If you will be traveling to spend time with friends and family, please take a moment to read this important information from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation about Memorial Day weekend travel:
MEMORIAL DAY TRAVEL
 
MassDOT encourages travelers to plan ahead as the Memorial Day holiday weekend approaches. Historically, the heaviest traffic occurs Thursday, Friday, and Monday afternoons and early evenings. Drivers should make travel plans accordingly and if possible avoid peak traffic volumes between 1pm and 7pm on those days.
Traffic is especially heavy at the I-84 interchange at Exit 9 in Sturbridge on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend and at Exit 11A, I-495, which handles cars headed south to Cape Cod and north to New Hampshire and Maine.
MassDOT will suspend all construction work on major arterial roadways from 12:00PM Noon on Friday, May 27 through the start of normal business on Tuesday, May 31.
We encourage commuters to use the MassDOT traffic resources that we have made available for safe and efficient commuting:
  • Before you travel, check the interactive live Traffic Cameras web page to view current traffic.
  • Sign up at the 511 Traveler Information Service to receive personalized travel information alerts via email, text or telephone. MassDOT as always reminds drivers to avoid using cell phones while driving. Call into the 511 service before departing.
  • A reminder that the Massachusetts Safe Driving Law took effect in September 2010, banning texting while driving and cell phone use while driving by 16 and 17 year old drivers. Drivers are reminded to travel safely and avoid distracted driving such as using cell phones. Check out the USDOT Distracted Driving page for tips and news.
  • To save time, money and gas, motorists who have not yet done so are encouraged to join FAST LANE to avoid waiting in line at cash toll booths.
FREE COFFEE will be served at the 18 MassDOT service plazas from 10 pm Monday night through 5 am Tuesday morning.
 
In addition, the annual Farmer’s Market program is back in full swing. For the Memorial Day weekend, Farmer’s Markets will be open during daytime hours at the following days and locations:

Plymouth Route 3- Friday, 3pm-6pm
I-90 Framingham- Friday, Saturday & Sunday, Monday, 9am-6pm
I-90 Charlton West- Friday, Saturday & Sunday, Monday 9am-6pm
I-90 Charlton East- Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 9am-4pm

East Cambridge Cleanup Day this Saturday

On Saturday, May 21st, join your friends and neighbors for a morning of Spring Cleaning!

Volunteers will be cleaning up the tree wells along Cambridge Street in anticipation of East Cambridge In Bloom. Join us afterwards for some lunch and refreshments at Pug’s Bar and Grill.

Those who wish to volunteer should plan to meet at 9:30 am at one of two places:

Silva Park

The Bocce Courts

Red Line Single Person Operation Meeting in Cambridge

Cambridge Senior Center – map

The MBTA will be holding a meeting in Cambridge at the end of this month to discuss the expansion of Single Person Train Operation (SPTO) to the Red Line. SPTO requires the train operator to perform the functions that were once shared with the train attendant, including announcements and door operation.

SPTO comes with a recommendation from the Federal Transit Administration, and the MBTA has stated that it will use the cost savings obtained through the program to increase service and alleviate overcrowding.

I would encourage all who are interested in this issue, or have questions or concerns about its implementation, to attend the upcoming meeting.

Location and time:

Tuesday, May 31st at 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m
Cambridge Senior Center
806 Mass Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139

The Senior Center is accessible to persons with disabilities, and a sign language interpreter will be available upon request (send me an email and I would be happy to coordinate this with the MBTA).

Crime Prevention Meeting

East End House, East Cambridge – map

The Cambridge Police Department will hold a crime prevention meeting Wednesday, May 18, at 7 p.m. in the East End House at 105 Spring St.

Sergeants Maureen Ford and Edward Frammartino will share information about recent crimes and crime prevention efforts. Strategies and trends will be discussed.