Latest Details for Mt. Auburn St. Redesign Include “Road Diet,” Moving Bus Stops; Public Input Wanted

MassDOTCross sections of Mt. Auburn Street with the “road diet” that removes one lane of traffic each way and ads turn lanes and bike lanes. The redesign of one of Watertown’s major roadways will include some significant changes to the look of the road, as well as improvements that state officials said would improve the road for motorists, transit users, bicyclists and pedestrians. The repaving and improvement of Mt. Auburn Street has been discussed for many years and officially got started by Watertown officials in 2009.

Plan to Add Bike Lane to Section of Waverley Ave. Approved by Council

An illustration of the new bike lanes on the uphill part of Waverley Avenue between Orchard and Belmont streets. Bike lanes will be added on the uphill parts of the section of Waverley Avenue near Orchard Street, in a plan that will also add curbing and planting strips along the roadway. The Town Council approved the renovation of the section of the roadway running between Orchard and Belmont streets at Tuesday’s Town Council meeting. The option was chosen over another that would have had cyclists share the roadway with motor vehicles and would have preserved more on-street parking. Both options studied by the Department of Public Works would have met the Town’s Complete Streets goal, which calls for Watertown’s roadways to be designed for a variety of transportation options, including motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and public transportation.

Watertown Gets Grant for Crosswalk at Cunniff School, Community Path

A state grant will allow Watertown officials to build a raised crosswalk will be installed outside Cunniff Elementary School, improve the Community Path, and work will be done on sidewalks on Watertown Street. Watertown was one of 24 communities to receive grants for Complete Street projects from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). Watertown will receive $289,814, according to information provided by MassDOT. The project includes the installation of a raised crosswalk with ADA compliant ramps and pedestrian signals on Warren Street at the Cunniff Elementary School entrance. Additional pedestrian and bicycle improvements include the widening of the existing community path and the relocation and reconstruction of the existing Watertown Street sidewalk.

Mt. Auburn Street Project Inches Forward, Concern About Parking for Businesses

The renovation of Mt. Auburn Street, including the “road diet,” took a small step forward Tuesday night when the Town Council gave a preliminary nod for the first set of designs in a long process before the $14 million project becomes a reality. The plans given a tentative OK by the Council include the Complete Streets plan to reduce the number of lanes for motor vehicles from two in each direction to one, and adding left turn lanes at many intersections, and bike lanes along the entire length from Patten Street to the Cambridge line. Parking for Businesses
Conditions were placed on the approval after Councilors received more than 80 emails over the weekend from concerned customers of Pet Haven Animal Hospital. The plan had called for removal of on-street parking in the “T” intersection on Mt.

Mt. Auburn St. Plans Approved by Council Subcommittee, Now on to Full Council

Wednesday evening, the Council’s Public Works subcommittee recommended that the Town Council approve the plan for Mt. Auburn Street that would reduce the number of travel lanes in most sections and add buffered bike lanes along many stretches. 

The plan has been much discussed over the past several years, after the Town Council voted in 2013 to have the Department of Public Works and the town’s traffic engineering consultant, WorldTech Engineering, come up with plan for a “road diet” for the major artery between Watertown Square and the Cambridge line. The project is a Complete Streets project, which means it is designed for all modes of transportation: motor vehicle, bicycles, pedestrians and public transportation. If the Town can get TIP (Transportation Improvement Program) funding, the entire $14 million budget will be covered entirely by the state, said Bill Mertz, vice president of WorldTech. The plan would reduce the number of motor vehicle travel lanes from two lanes each way to one each way along most of the length of Mt.

Town Council Approves List of Complete Streets Projects Around Watertown

The list of Complete Street Projects in Watertown which Town officials hope to get state funding to complete was adopted by the Town Council on Tuesday night. 

Complete Streets is a practice to make roadways accessible to as many users as possible, including drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians and public transportation. The list includes 24 projects, with four that will be put forward for funding this year. The projects were narrowed down from more than 150 suggestions collected from the public and the Town at meetings in December and reported back their findings at a meeting in March. A list of at least 15 projects had to be submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) by April 1, and the list for the Construction Application for this year is due by May 1, according to the town’s consultants from Alta Planning + Design. The list includes a variety of projects, including construction of sections of the Community Path (a pedestrian and bike path through Watertown), improving crosswalks, making safe routes to school, improving pedestrian safety, and traffic calming on some roads.

Public Hears About Narrowed List of Projects to Improve Roads, Bicycling, Walking in Watertown

A variety of projects – from the Community Path to crosswalks to traffic calming – made the first cut in the creation of Watertown’s Complete Streets Prioritization Plan. Town officials, however, still seek input about which should make the final list of 15-20 projects. Wednesday night, consultants hired by the town to create the Prioritization Plan discussed why some of the projects made the grade and others did not. The town will be able to apply for funding from the Mass. Department of Transportation (MassDOT) for projects on the Prioritization Plan.