Virtual Hearing on Mt. Auburn Street Redesign Planned by State Officials

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A hearing will be held to discuss the redesign of Mt. Auburn Street. Pictured is a conceptual drawing of what the new bus stop on Mt. Auburn Street near Parker Street when plans were discussed in 2018.

The following announcement was provided by MassDOT:

A Live Virtual Design Public Hearing will be hosted on the MassDOT website below to present the design for the proposed Rehabilitation of Mt. Auburn Street (Route 16) project in Watertown, MA.

WHEN: 6:30 pm, Thursday, November 4, 2021

PURPOSE: The purpose of this hearing is to provide the public with the opportunity to become fully acquainted with the proposed Rehabilitation of Mt. Auburn Street (Route 16) project. All views and comments submitted in response to the hearing will be reviewed and considered to the maximum extent possible.

PROPOSAL: The proposed project includes the reconstruction of Mt. Auburn Street from the Cambridge City Line to the intersection with Summer Street, just east of Watertown Square, approximately 9,300 feet. The project involves the alteration of roadway geometry including the implementation of a road diet. Safety improvements, bicycle accommodations including on-street buffered and non-buffered bicycle lanes, bus/bicycle lanes, and shared lanes (sharrows), as space permits have been provided in accordance with applicable design guides.

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Improvements also include the reconstruction of existing traffic signals, ADA compliant pedestrian facilities (sidewalks, pedestrian curb ramps), and modernization of bus stops in accordance with MBTA guidelines.

A secure right-of-way is necessary for this project. Acquisitions in fee and permanent or temporary easements may be required. The Town of Watertown is responsible for acquiring all needed rights in private or public lands. MassDOT’s policy concerning land acquisitions will be presented in the hearing. Project inquiries, written statements and other exhibits regarding the proposed undertaking may be submitted to Carrie E. Lavallee, P.E., Acting Chief Engineer, via e-mail to MassDOTProjectManagement@dot.state.ma.us or via US Mail to Suite 6340, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116, Attention: Project Management, Project File No. 77.

Statements and exhibits intended for inclusion in the public hearing transcript must be emailed or postmarked no later than ten (10) business days after the hearing is posted to the MassDOT website listed below.

This hearing is accessible to people with disabilities. MassDOT provides reasonable accommodations and/or language assistance free of charge upon request (e.g., interpreters in American Sign Language and languages other than English, live captioning, videos, assistive listening devices, and alternate material formats), as available. For accommodation or language assistance, please contact MassDOT’s Chief Diversity and Civil Rights Officer by phone (857-368-8580), TTD/TTY at (857) 266-0603, fax (857) 368-0602 or by email (MassDOT.CivilRights@dot.state.ma.us).

Requests should be made as soon as possible prior to the meeting, and for more difficult to arrange services including sign-language, CART or language translation or interpretation, requests should be made at least ten business days before the hearing.

This Live Virtual Design Public Hearing or a cancellation announcement will be hosted on the internet at www.mass.gov/massdot-highway-design-public-hearings.

10 thoughts on “Virtual Hearing on Mt. Auburn Street Redesign Planned by State Officials

  1. I believe that some of these changes are pushed by certain bike enthusiasts even though there is not enough bike traffic to justify them.

    Also, I believe the intent is to discourage car use and force them to use buses.

    I drive a lot and bikes usually do not obey the law and they do things that are dangerous such as blowing through red lights and not looking for cars making a right turn. They’re a menace. If they got tickets things might change they don’t get tickets and never will.

    Do people really want to give up their cars?

    I don’t think so, but they are being lulled into doing so without realizing it.

  2. These changes will create more congestion and pollution (stop & go traffic). Trying to please a few woke bicyclists is a JOKE!!! I’ll start looking for a more common sense place to live….AMF!!!!

  3. Totally insane….drive down mt auburn st by star market and mt auburn cemetery during rush hour….a long line of cars in one lane and an EMPTY bus lane….fire the city planner/ engineers. I bet we could get some high school kids to come up with a better ( common sense) design

  4. Before making any road changes I propose we make laws mandating wearing a helmet, & having bright lights on both the front & back of your bicycle. Consider wearing a bright neon vest or similar clothing. Many bicyclists I observe do not follow the traffic lights or give signals when they are turning. With no lights on at night during inclement weather; accidents can happen. Placing signage warning drivers to watch for bicyclists on our streets. Signs mandating local bicycle rules too. Have Watertown do a careful survey how many bicyclists do we have riding our streets. How many cars use our streets. I think narrowing our streets is not the right thing now. We are hoping our bus system will improve & generate more riders with improvements.
    I am all for bicyclists, but not ready to narrow our streets at this time. I believe educating bicyclists & auto drivers is a good start to protect everyone.

  5. If those who ride bikes refuse to follow the rules than Mt. Auburn street should be declared a NO BIKE zone. I’m sick of having to slam on my brakes because a bicycle is going down Mt. Auburn at full speed and passing me on the right despite the fact that I’ve been well ahead of them with my directional on. Or, after signaling, I stop at a red light and then start to make a LEGAL right turn but a bike magically decides it is no longer a vehicle but is rather a pedestrian allowed to use the crosswalk at 20MPH (again passing me on the right AND going thru the Red Light).

  6. I too have experienced situations where bicyclists are a menace on the roads. Recently I was taking a right turn on a street with a green light and with my signal on and a bicyclist sped by me on the right intending to go straight. Thank God I took one more look to the side before I turned and stopped quickly. If I hit him, I’d probably be found at fault. In the winter these bike lanes or shared lanes are not visible if there is snow on the ground and if someone is not familiar with the street, they probably wouldn’t be in the correct lane. As it is now in the section near Star, many people don’t know what lane to get into as it narrows down so quickly and they try to merge right to go straight and there are already cars in line who won’t let them in. We are catering to bicyclists when our population is aging and don’t feel comfortable or safe riding bikes. And in New England in the winter, bike riding is not safe with ice and snow covered roads. Let’s look at reality and stop this madness of catering to a small group of bicyclists who want to rule the roads.

  7. Wow, the amount of anti-bike hostility here is pretty shocking. There is a reason people don’t feel safe riding bikes – the roads are not compatible with safe bike riding. I’d love it if I felt like my kids and I could ride bikes in this town without risking our lives. Is that really such a radical idea? We couldn’t be further away from a world where bicyclists rule the roads. Watertown is becoming more urban, and the answer to congestion is not more cars.

    • Really can’t blame them. Cyclists around here are a privileged public nuisance that will never be satisfied. Rewarding them with a dedicated bike lane at the expense of removing regular traffic lanes will only make things worse congestion wise.

      And while we’re on the subject of “anti-bike hostility”, the same holds true for anti-car hostility from the bicycling crowd. There are many out there that want to see cars gone from city streets, and car owners having to pay for parking even in front of their own homes.

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