Temporary Change to Access Road to Arsenal Park, Harvard Vanguard

The blue lines show the temporary traffic flow through Arsenal Yards to Arsenal Park and Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates. Arsenal Park is in the upper right corner of the illustration. The following information was provided by Boylston Properties:

Starting July 1, Boylston Properties, the developer of Arsenal Yards, will make temporary changes to the access road for Arsenal Park and Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates (HVMA) to accommodate the next construction phase. Park Drive, the current one-way road accessing Arsenal Park and HVMA, will remain open during the 2-week construction period to build the temporary access road. The temporary road will provide 2-way traffic access with a right-in entrance from Arsenal Street and exiting via a right turn only onto Arsenal Street.

High School Students Can Enter MassDOT Video Contest

The following announcement was provided by MassDOT:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing the sixth annual statewide high school video contest, Safe Streets Smart Trips. The contest serves as an initiative within the Massachusetts Strategic Highway Safety Plan to promote and educate the public about safe walking, bicycling, and driving behaviors. The contest began five years ago to encouragehigh school students to showcase their understanding of roadway safety across all travel modes to try to decrease pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and fatalities. “We are pleased to once again be able to give students the opportunity to create educational videos which underscore messages in the ‘Scan the Streets for Wheels and Feet’ initiative,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “The video contest has resulted in very creative ideas during the last few years and we look forward to seeing what teenagers will produce during this year’scontest to make the public more aware of safe behaviors while traveling.”

In summer 2017, MassDOT launched a new statewide campaign to raise awareness about motorists, pedestrians and cyclists safely sharing the Commonwealth’s streets. This initiative reminds travelers to “Scan the Street for Wheels and Feet.” The campaign slogan emphasizes the notion that everyone who is traveling on a roadway is responsible for doing their part to ensure safety.

Survey Finds Bus Priority Lanes Improve Speed, Reliability During Commute

Buses like this one on the 71 bus will get priority heading toward Harvard Square on Mt. Auburn Street in the new Cambridge-Watertown Bus Priority Pilot program. The following information was provided by the Town of Watertown:

Evaluation of the Cambridge-Watertown Mt. Auburn Street Bus Priority Pilot shows improved travel time and service reliability for 12,000+ daily MBTA bus and shuttle riders along Mt. Auburn Street, west of Fresh Pond Parkway.

Shuttle May Be Coming to Watertown; Initially it Would Not Serve Residents

There is good news, and some not so good news for people waiting for a public shuttle bus in Watertown, the Town Council’s Economic Development and Planning subcommittee learned Tuesday night. The Watertown Transportation Management Association (TMA) is close to creating what will be known as the Watertown Connector, which will serve Arsenal Street and other parts of the Eastside of town. However, at first, the shuttles will only be available for people who work for businesses or live in apartment complexes that are part of the TMA. The TMA is made up mostly of companies and projects required by their building permits to contribute to the TMA (and in most cases the shuttle), some who have joined voluntarily, plus the Town of Watertown. The shuttles would be an expansion of the current Athenahealth shuttle system, said Bridger McGaw of Athenahealth who also serves as president of the Watertown TMA.

OP-ED: State Senator on the Bad Week for the MBTA

The following piece was written by State Sen. Will Brownsberger, who represents Watertown, Belmont and parts of Boston:

It has been a very bad week for the MBTA. Two train derailments injured dozens and massively inconvenienced hundreds of thousands of people. 

As I write, no one seems to know yet how long it will take to repair critical signal systems that the derailed train destroyed. Red line riders may have to endure diminished service and extraordinary rush hour crowding for days or weeks. While expediting repairs, the MBTA has rightly brought in an outside consulting team to review the events. The legislature will take great interest in the results of that review. 

For me, here is the big question: What will that review reveal about the work force and operational management of the MBTA? We knew that from time to time scheduled bus trips simply don’t happen because an employee doesn’t show up. We know that the MBTA’s derailment rate is high. We knew that a terrifying runaway train incident was triggered by an operator disabling a safety device. Investigators have already concluded that the recent green line derailment was operator error. 

While safety is always nominally the number one mission of any transit agency, how strong is the safety culture really? Are line managers overextended and under too much pressure to deliver timely service with inadequate staffing? What do these incidents say about employee morale and discipline? As legislators, we tend to focus less on operational conditions, which are hard to evaluate from outside, and more on the issues of system repair and service expansion. My impression has been and remains that the MBTA’s board and leadership team have been doing a very good job in turning around a state of physical system decay that was produced by decades of inadequate investment.

Repaving Project Continuing This Week on N. Beacon St., Charles River Road

Roads inside and outside of the Arsenal on the Charles will be repaved in early June. Roadwork will soon resume at the intersection of North Beacon Street and Charles River Road near the driveway to the Arsenal on the Charles. Athenahealth and its contractor, Charles Contracting, announced that road paving will take place in the area on Monday, March 17 and Tuesday, March 18 beginning at 9 a.m. (weather permitting). Athena owns the Arsenal on the Charles complex. Residents on that stretch of road are being asked to remove cars from driveways prior to this time “as you will not have access to driveways during this process,” the announcement said.

Repaving Could Cause Delays on North Beacon, Charles River Road

Roads inside and outside of the Arsenal on the Charles will be repaved in early June. Some of the roads inside and outside Arsenal on the Charles will be repaved beginning June 10, 2019. Beginning at 7 a.m. on Monday, June 10, the area where North Beacon Street meets Charles River Road (near the Arsenal on the Charles driveway). Also starting that day is work on roadways inside the complex, including the area off the east entrance to the complex from Arsenal Street (Talcott Avenue). The top layer of the roadway will be ground, or milled, down 1.5 to 1.75 inches, and the manhole and other castings will be adjusted.

Find Out About the Bus Priority Lanes on Mt. Auburn St. at Meeting

Buses like this one on the 71 bus have been given priority heading toward Harvard Square on Mt. Auburn Street in the new Cambridge-Watertown Bus Priority Pilot program. The following information was provided by the Town of Watertown:

Did you know that more than half of all commuters using Mt. Auburn Street during rush hour are riding the bus? 

Watertown and Cambridge, working with the MBTA and DCR, created a bus priority lane on Mt. Auburn Street for the 71 and 73 buses, between Cottage Street in Watertown and Fresh Pond Parkway in Cambridge, to help move buses faster. Extensive data collection of the before and after conditions will be presented at a meeting on:

Wednesday, June 12, 2019, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.46 Belmont St.