LETTER: Town Councilor Questions Bike Lane Markings on Arlington Street

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Markings for a proposed bike lane on Arlington Street between Grove and Arsenal streets.

(The following letter originally was sent by District A Town Councilor Angeline Kounelis to her constituents.)

Greetings East Enders,

Many of you have viewed and inquired about the pavement markings and scoring of Arlington St.; from the area of Grove St. to Arsenal St. Social media is abuzz with conversations.

Unbeknownst to myself, and others,Watertown’s Administration has chosen to prematurely set forth a plan for proposed bike lanes; as outlined on page 2-14 oftheDraftBicycle and Pedestrian Plan Report.I have brought my concerns to the attention of the Administration; but have no authority to intervene.Staff directly reports to the Town Manager; not to the Town Council.

https://www.watertown-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/30236/2020-10-13-PLANNING—Bicycle-Pedestrian-Plan-Report

On Tuesday, Oct. 13th, 2020, the Town Council will convene at 7:00 P.M. Agenda Item: 10. B., under: Communications from the Town Manager, is theBicycle and Pedestrian Plan Report. A statement, noted in the cover sheet of the report, under the signature of Town Manager Michael J. Driscoll, is as follows: “…..respectfully request the matter be referred to Committee for policy consideration and guidance from the Honorable Town Council.”

https://www.watertown-ma.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/4945

https://www.watertown-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/30236/2020-10-13-PLANNING—Bicycle-Pedestrian-Plan-Report

If the Town Council affirmatively votes to refer the Report to Committee; there will be an open public process to review anddiscuss the Draft Plans. The Committee will then make recommendations to the Town Council, for an open public process, prior to a vote.

In my opinion, the untimely public-waypavement markings,authorized by the Administration, are a blatant disregard for process and disrespect for the Legislative Body that you elected. Thank you.

Best,
Angie

Angeline B. Kounelis
District A, East End, Town Councilor

6 thoughts on “LETTER: Town Councilor Questions Bike Lane Markings on Arlington Street

  1. I suppose that we just need to know who comprises “Watertown’s Administration” and who made them believe that they are representing the citizens of Watertown and not just themselves.

  2. Who comprises “Watertown Administration?” It’s obviously not the town council members. Very strange that the councilor representing East Watertown wasn’t informed of a bike lane that affects traffic.

  3. As much as I respect Kounelis, she will predictably be one of the elected members to vote in favor of keeping the current form of government during the current charter review. However here is another example of exactly why Watertown’s form of government needs to be rewritten. Help yourself out Angie and vote towards changing the council-manager system to reflect the type of respect for the legislative body you are hoping to have here. You will never find it with the current option.

    • Good point! If we had a mayor with TC , how would things be different? Not being snarky actually this is a good example of a broken system and I’m wondering how it would work in a different type of government. I have some ideas but need to look into this deeper(say if there was a mayor with TC and Manager).. if you have ideas please let me know too. Thanks!

  4. So strange and concerning that someone thought to do this without the publics knowledge. Angie is correct. This is a blatant disregard for the process.

    Another example of why our current form of government is in need of changing.

    On a funnier note though, this very much reminds me of a Seinfeld Episode where Kramer adopts part of a highway and decides to change the lanes from 4 to 2.

  5. Chill out people. It’s just paint and can be easily undone. We don’t need years and years of planning just to put down some paint for bike lanes. This should have happened a long time ago. There’s plenty of room on Arlington Street and narrower lanes will slow down cars. Thanks to DPW for doing this!

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