East Watertown CVS Project on Next Planning Board Agenda

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The CVS/Pharmacy proposed to go at the corner of Mt. Auburn and Arlington streets is on the agenda for the Oct. 8 Planning Board meeting.

Developers, Coolidge Square II LLC,  held a community meeting in August where many residents worried about the amount of traffic coming in and out of the new store. Others did not like the reconfiguration of the parking lot that would serve not only the CVS but also other businesses on the block such as the Mt. Auburn Grille and Dunkin Donuts.

Some said they did not think a large, chain pharmacy was the right thing to go in the spot, which is currently the site of a gas station, the Elks Club and a small former office building.

Residents also criticized the traffic study for the project because it does not include improvements to nearby intersections, including Arlington and Grove streets and Mt. Auburn Street and Bigelow Avenue.

A review of the traffic study conducted for the developers by a consultant were reviewed by WorldTech Engineering. The conclusion was that the improvements to the light at Mt. Auburn and Arlington streets and moving the main driveway from the corner to a spot on Arlington Street about 160 feed from Mt. Auburn Street, would be enough to deal with the new traffic.

“The proposed improvements to traffic signal equipment and timing at the Mount Auburn Street at Arlington Street intersection are anticipated to adequately accommodate project-generated traffic and to improve existing operations at that location by repairing malfunctioning equipment,” reads the letter to the town from WorldTech.

Some additional improvements could be considered, the letter recommends.

“However, the improvements should go a step beyond repairing existing equipment by upgrading the signal equipment to meet current standards,” the letter reads. “Consideration should also be given to providing these same improvements at the Mt. Auburn Street and Bigelow Avenue intersection, as the project will result in a higher increase in traffic at this location than at the Arlington Street intersection.”

The Planning Board meets on Wednesday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. in Town Hall. The agenda also includes updates to the Pleasant Street Corridor Zoning and that athenahealth’s considering having a public plaza skating rink at Arsenal at the Charles.

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