The following information was provided sent out by MassDOT:
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) urges members of the public to comment on the Draft Massachusetts Bicycle Transportation Plan through January 31. The draft plan can be found online here. MassDOT is focused on making the Commonwealth’s transportation system more sustainable – to make it safe for people to choose to walk, bike, and take transit for more of their daily trips. The Plan is important because residents, members of the business community and visitors choose to use a bicycle for daily trips, choosing bike to work, to school, to run errands, for recreation or to reach transit locations. The Draft Plan defines a vision for Massachusetts in which all people have a safe and comfortable cycling option for short trips. The goal is to have a plan which presents an action-oriented strategy which will lead to increased use of trails for short trips made by bicycling. Travel on designated bike and pedestrian thoroughfares will also lead to safer conditions, helping to prevent injuries and fatalities.
After taking traffic counts in the area around Watertown Square and along Charles River Road an North Beacon Street, the designers of the Watertown Square Improvement project added more options for how the intersection could be changed. On July 9, the Town of Watertown held an open house to present the latest options for reconfiguring Watertown Square. The last time the project was presented to the public, in November 2017, many residents — particularly those living between Charles River Road and North Beacon Street — opposed the idea of removing Charles River Road from the Watertown Square intersection. Representatives from the Town’s consultant on the project, VHB, said traffic counts would be done before coming back with recommendations for the project. “Based on the traffic counts, rather than reduce the options, we added more,” said Dennis Sheehan, the DPW’s Director of Administration and Finance. “If one solution would have clearly worked best we would have presented less options.”
Many road projects planned by the Town of Watertown focus on major roads and intersections, but the Department of Public Works recently began an effort to find places to make small scale changes on neighborhood streets. The improvements are not just for motor vehicles, but also for walkers, bikers and riders of public transportation, said Phil Goff, senior planning associate with Alta Planning + Design, the firm hired by the town to create a list of projects. Accommodating all these forms of transportation is part of the Town’s Complete Streets Policy. In February Town officials signed a Commonwealth Compact with the state and creating the policy was the first step toward the Town being able to apply for up to $400,000 in state funding for the projects. The second step, or tier, is creating the Complete Streets Prioritization Plan.
The long-in-the-planning Mount Auburn Street renovation is taking shape, and Monday night plans for adding wider bike lanes to the major artery were shown to a packed meeting at Town Hall. The meeting brought together the Town Council’s Public Works subcommittee and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee. It came about after a meeting in December 2016 during which residents brought up concerns that the safety of bicyclists were not being included in the planning for Mt. Auburn Street. Talks about the renovation of the road, which goes from Watertown Square through East Watertown to Cambridge, began several years ago.
Need a place to fix a flat or do some repairs on your bicycle – the Watertown Free Public Library is the place to go! The Watertown Free Public Library announced this week that a bicycle repair station has been installed outside the front of the library, near the bicycle rack. The bright yellow station has all of the tools necessary to perform basic bike repairs and maintenance, from changing a flat to adjusting brakes and derailleurs. There are hanger arms to allow the pedals and wheels to spin freely while making adjustments. The installation of the repair stations comes as the library has seen an increase in cyclists traveling to the library, and through Watertown Square.
Watertown’s Arsenal Project will make space available for people who want to park their car and then bicycle into work.
On July 31, a new multi-modal commuting system called Park&Pedal debuted in Boston, the first program of its kind in the United States, and the Arsenal Project is one of the participating sites, according to the program announcement. The free program is designed to encourage bike commuting by providing a network of parking hub conveniently located cycling distance from centers of employment. Commuters can park their car for free and ride their bike the remaining distance to work, thereby avoiding traffic congestion and parking in the city. There are four spaces at the Arsenal Project reserved for this innovative program. David Montague of Montague Bikes, the creator of the program, said, “We are excited to be working with the Arsenal Project as a retail partner in the inaugural launch of Park&Pedal.
The Watertown Free Public Library invites bicyclists to come in for a workshop on the basics of bicycle maintenance.
The workshop will be held Wednesday, May 27, 2015, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the library’s Watertown Savings Bank Meeting Room. Galen Mook from Landry’s Bicycles will lead the a hands-on bike maintenance workshop. He’ll focus on the ABC’s of bike maintenance – the Air, Brakes, and Chain – to keep your bike safe and smooth all season long! Bring your bike and he’ll diagnose issues and guide you through the fix. The class is limited to 25 adults (and their bikes).