Council Backs Bike/Pedestrian Path Extension On Arsenal St., Keeps Open Off-Road Option

After looking at three options, one was eliminated, and two were moved forward with one chosen as the recommended route. The recommended route would be to continue the path along Arsenal Street, which currently goes along the north side of the street from School Street to Irving Street. It would continue west to Taylor Street and then go along Taylor, cross Mt. Auburn Street and then go along Baptist Walk, through the municipal parking lots in Watertown Square to link with the path near the Watertown Library. The cost estimate for the project is $1.3 million, according to VHB, the project designer.

Major Intersection on Arsenal St. Undergoing Repaving

The area of Arsenal Street near School Street will be repaved beginning this week. The project, which is being overseen by Athenahealth. is slated to begin with milling (scraping off the top layer of asphalt) on Nov. 19, weather permitting. The work on Arsenal Street goes from School Street to the entrance to the recently built West Garage in the Arsenal on the Charles.

LETTER: Proposed Road Projects Will Hurt Neighborhoods, Small Businesses

The DPW and Planning Department have been working on improving the traffic flow through Watertown Square, as well as making it and Mt. Auburn Street friendlier to bicyclists and pedestrians. However, as usual, they are not considering neighborhood integrity, nor the needs of small businesses. It is funny to me that they are touting “complete streets,” which simply means designing for more modes of transportation than cars. Cities in Europe have been doing this type of design for over 60 years, but we have just “discovered” it here in the U.S., and we don’t do it well yet.

LETTER: Development on Arsenal Street is Changing the East End

To the editor, and the Watertown community,

I think the thing that bothers me most about this, and many other developments going on around the Boston area, is the fact that none of what I see takes into account the existing residents. There is no thought about who already lives here, and how what they develop will affect the area. There is no thought of including any of the character, the history of the location, buildings, etc., which is very important to the knowledge of how our county was formed. No thought of the people who have made this area what it is … no thought of all of the cultures, especially in East Watertown, that already reside here.

Utilities: Combination of Factors Brought Down Utility Poles on Arsenal St.

A mix of strong winds and the force of one pole falling led to the failure of several poles on Arsenal Street during last week’s Nor’easter, according to the utilities. The utility poles along Arsenal Street are co-owned by Verizon and Eversource, said Howard Waterman, from Verizon Corporate Communications. “We jointly own those poles with Eversource, and we worked quickly with them and others attached to the poles to clear the area and restore Verizon service to those impacted,” Waterman said. Eversource spokesman Michael Durand said that a combination of factors led to the multiple broken poles. “The damage was storm related, with strong wind gusts initially snapping one pole that had four transformers on it,” Durand said.

Changes to Watertown Square, Improving Buses Recommended in Final Arsenal Street Report

Removing Charles River Road from Watertown Square, making changes to the 70 bus and improving access for bicyclists made the list of recommendations in MassDOT’s final Arsenal Street Corridor Report. The list of recommendations remained largely the same from the draft report released by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation in June. Officials added details to their recommendation for realigning Watertown Square, including removing one of the spokes off the intersection – Charles River Road. The benefits would be simplifying the intersection which then allows the traffic light phasing to change and make the intersection more efficient. The report acknowledges removing the road would have some complications,

“Eliminating the Charles River Road approach to the intersection may also reduce ‘cut-through’ traffic in the adjacent neighborhood.