Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee - Aug 19th, 2020
COBWEB report. Officer Riley says there have been nine crashes in Arlington during the last two months. Some were the cyclist's fault and others were the driver's fault.
Galen Mook (MassBike) asks about APD traffic enforcement efforts at the intersection of Mass Ave and Appleton street. Office Riley says that an officer is stationed at the intersection each evening from 17:30 -- 20:00, but APD is adjusting hours to accommodate changes in sunset and solar glare. There really haven't been any enforcement issues. Drivers aren't trying to circumnavigate the barriers. Galen appreciates APD's efforts to improve bicycle safety.
Transportation Advisory Committee Report. Scott Smith summarizes TACs comments to the Arlington Redevelopment Board, re the proposed Hotel Lexington. TAC believed the hotel would generate more traffic than their study indicated. TAC doesn't expect hotel traffic to be a real issue, but there may be increased demand for street parking. TAC hasn't received any recent news about the Appleton St/Mass Ave design committee. On a separate note, the committee had a discussion about signage and school safety.
Mass Ave Design Review Committee. Christopher Tonkin says he's written to town manager Adam Chapdelaine about the committee, but hasn't heard back. Chris and Scott Smith will follow up with Adam.
Galen said he spoke with Adam, who hoped the design review committee will be formed soon, possibly in August.
Linda Epstein applied for a seat on the design review committee. She interviewed several weeks ago, but hasn't heard back. Nine residents applied for membership on the committee.
Ghost Bike Memorial for Charlie Proctor. Galen and members of the Proctor family met with Adam Chapdelaine. The current plan is to install a pole where Mass Ave and Appleton Street intersect. DPW is okay with the installation site. Tentatively, the memorial will be erected between late September and mid-October. They're planning a small in-person installation, and a larger virtual ceremony.
Galen would like to speak with the Church and Veterans Memorial Committee, to make sure they're okay with the site of the memorial.
The memorial might have to be removed when the intersection is redone. In that event, we'll consider a memorial bench.
Two ghost bikes have been installed since the pandemic started, as far as Galen is aware. One by Boston Medical center, and another one in Topsfield.
New Shared Lane Markings. Scott Smith speaks to this agenda item. Someone had posted pictures of new lane markings on Mass Ave, in front of town hall. Parking lanes are usually 8' wide, and shared lane lines should be 11' from the curb when parking is present. The new lines are 10.5' from the curb on the east-bound lane and 11' from the curb in the west bound lane.
Chris and Scott favor writing a letter to the DPW, asking them to correct the lane markings. The west-bound lane almost puts cyclists in the door zone; the east-bound lane is actually in the door zone.
Blue Bikes. Dan Amstutz provides a summary. Last Monday, the Select Board approved siting for four blue bike stations: railroad lot at the Minuteman Bikeway, Mass Ave at Broadway, Grafton Street at Mass Ave, and Grafton Street at Broadway. The remaining two stations need additional siting work. We can't install stations in Arlington Heights, because Blue Bike requires a certain density of stations.
Blue bike stations are 32' feet long and hold eleven bicycles. Blue bike would typically stock each station with 6--7' bicycles, so there's room to accommodate arrivals. Our six stations will have a total of 38 bikes.
One of the remaining two stations was proposed for Thorndike Field. The MBTA owns the property, and the town will have to get permission from the MBTA.
The final site was proposed for Linwood Street at the Minuteman bikeway. DPW and APD were concerned about street narrowing, and this site might require a sidewalk modification (the station would be placed on the sidewalk). During the winter months, Blue Bike removes stations that are installed on the roadway, but leave stations that are installed on the sidewalk. This is done to allow snow removal, and ensure that stations aren't hit by plows.
Docks at the four approved sites should be installed by the end of the month.
Shared Street. Dan Amstutz says the shared street was reinstated at Brooks Ave around two weeks ago. It's slightly smaller now, to accommodate construction on the bikeway (Lake street intersection).
Sustainable Transportation Plan. The planning department held a public forum 2--3 weeks ago, to talk about the sustainable transportation plan and solicit public input. There will be a few more focus group meetings before the project transitions to the planning phase.
Bike Friendly Community. The League of American cyclists changed their application process, and extended the application deadline until October 1st.
High School Rebuild. Nothing new to report.
Free Range Kids. Rod Holland says there are groups of kids riding around town and the minuteman. Some groups consist of younger kids. Other groups consist of older kids who ride around doing tricks -- wheelies and such. They're relatively new riders, and we might consider doing something to help them learn about bike safety and the rules of the road.
Galen says that the kids doing wheelies are part of a broader youth movement called \#bikelife. It's kind of a cultural phenomenon right now. In some cities, the motto is "wheels up, guns down"; it's part of an anti-gang movement.
Skateboarding was very popular in the 1980s, leading several cities to build skate parks. Is there something equivalent for young cyclists?
Galen says Springfield is considering a bike park. Boston has one underneath the Zachem Bridge.
Rod wonders if it would be worthwhile to engage the Human Rights Commission. He'd like to avoid any kind of us-vs-them sentiment growing out of what the kids are doing.
Automatic Bikeway Counters. Still no luck in getting our broken counter to work. The vendor provided a set of replacement parts; Dan hopes to install them in the next week or two.
Social Distancing on the Bikeway. More people are wearing masks, and being better about maintaining distance.
Bike Tour of Arlington. ABAC usually organizes a riding tour of Arlington each year. With the pandemic, we don't want to organize an event that brings a lot of people together. Chris Tonkin proposes a tour that riders can take at their own pace. We might pick several site in town, have ABAC members act as greeters at those sites, and allow riders to visit the ones they choose.
Suggested sites: sculptures around the bikeway, Prince Hall Cemetery, Park Ave Water tower, McClennan Park, the Robbins Farm Park, and the path between Spy Pond and Route 2.
Folks should email Chris Tonkin if they're interested in claiming a spot.
Linda Epstein. Linda summarizes an issue that came up during TAC's discussion about the Hotel Lexington. The hotel developer intends to plant several trees, and there was concern about the trees exacerbating solar glare conditions on Mass Ave. Specifically, around the trees creating abrupt changes between light and shade that reduce visibility.
Chris Tonkin suggests that cyclists always ride with their lights on, even during daylight hours.