Thanks to Bill Whalen for interviewing Larry Finison and me.
The developers of the 1265 Main street project have announced a meeting followed by a site visit on Thursday, August 25 at 10 AM. This is an important opportunity to listen, ask questions, view conditions at the site, and form opinions. The meeting will be at the Flank Steak House Community room, 74 Tower Road.– see the attached notice (PDF document).
Be there or be square!
Also, the comment period for the draft environmental impact report on project has been extended to September 9. In case you need a copy of the report, contact Mr. Nagi, at VHB consulting. Contact information is in the PDF document linked to this post. There is a copy at the Waltham Public Library.
Larry Finison on Waltham bicycling history 1880-1900 (56 minute illustrated talk)
Traffic signal actuators (1 1/2 minute narrated helmet-cam video, October 20, 2012)
Northbound on Lexington Street (9 minute narrated helmet-cam video, July 4, 2015). 90% of motorists were courteous.
Southbound on Lexington Street (8 minute narrated helmet-cam video, July 4, 2015). All motorists were courteous except for one who used his car to intimidate and endanger.
Westbound on Main Street (3 minute narrated helmet-cam video, November 20, 2012). No problems during this ride. Some issues with markings placement.
Left turn, Main Street to Eddy Street (1 minute narrated helmet-cam video, November 12, 2012). Motorist turning right on red fails to yield to me and to another motorist.
A copy of the 1265 Main Phase II Draft Environmental Impact Report (see previous post) has been delivered to the Waltham Public Library, but please check with the Library about how to access it. Also, I have a correction for the e-mail of the contact person, Robert W. Nagi at the consultants Vanasse Hangen Brustlin: email@example.com
A large document arrived on my doorstep last week: the Draft Environmental Impact Report for Phase II of the 1265 Main Street development. Several transportation-related features of the plan are of special interest to bicyclists and pedestrians: particularly:
- The connector road to the City Point development (off Totten Pond Road north of the project area) — see comments in a previous post;
- Several major street and bridge reconstructions;
- Connections of the Mass Central Rail Trail;
- Bicycle parking and shower facilities
- The effect of development on traffic on local streets.
My own opinions, as they stand at the moment:
- The provision of bicycle parking and showers is welcome.
- The connector road between 1265 and City Point is helpful, but as explained in the previous post, the connector road as proposed would take a relatively long route over a hill. A path connecting from Tower Road in the 1265 project to Third Avenue in the City Point development would offer a shorter route for bicyclists and pedestrians between many locations, and avoid the hill.
- More detail is needed about how the rail trail will approach and cross Route 117, Route 128 and the proposed Green Street connector.
- Direct access to Route 128 will relieve the congestion on Stow Street, but the question of bicycle and pedestrian connectivity by way of Stow Street remains unanswered. Access to the 1265 project and rail trail should be convenient, and should create a north-south through route along with the proposed connector road (and my suggestion for a path)..
- The proposed major bridge and street reconstructions are needed to handle the traffic which the project will generate, but the project will unavoidably increase congestion on Route 128. The widening of parts of Main Street including the bridge will make some bicycle trips more challenging. A proposed addition of bike lanes does not address the problem of turning and crossing traffic at intersections, and in particular where there are multiple turn lanes and on-and off-ramps. So, additional attention to transportation issues is needed, beyond the improvements proposed as mitigation in the project.
These comments are by John Allen.
The report was distributed on July 19, 2016. Comments are due by August 19. General information on submitting comments is online, as well as specific information on how to submit them for this project (select the Environmental Monitor issue of July 20, 2016).
Copies of the report may be requested in writing, by e-mail or phone to:
101 Walnut Street
P.O. Box 9151
Watertown, MA 02471
617 607 2731
The instructors have canceled the classes due to insufficient turnout. They plan to give a class in the spring.
The complete set of three Cycling Savvy sessions is to be offered in Waltham in September.
The Truth & Techniques of Traffic Cycling (3 hours):
7 PM -10 PM Friday, September 16, Arthur C. Clarke Government Center, 119 School Street, Waltham (map)
This is an offering of the Cycling Savvy program. This Friday evening session will be followed by optional daytime sessions on Saturday.
Through guided discussion with video and animation, this session familiarizes students with bicycle-specific laws, traffic dynamics and problem-solving strategies. Students discover that bicycle drivers are equal road users, with the right and ability to control their space.
This is a classroom session. There is no need to bring your bicycle, but there is a bike rack at the left end of the building and if you would like to bring your bicycle inside, it is easiest to enter through the handicap-access ramp at the back. There is car parking in front of the building.
Train Your Bike! (3 hours):
9 AM – noon Saturday, September 17, Hobbs Brook Office Park, 303 Wyman Street, Waltham (map)
This is an offering of the Cycling Savvy program. This riding session goes with the classroom session on Friday evening: you may sign up for one or both. There is also a Saturday afternoon riding session which you may take if you have taken both of the others.
This session consists of a set of progressive drills designed to increase students’ control and comfort handling their bikes in various situations. Drills include:
- Start/Stop, Power Pedal & Balance Stop
- Snail Race, Slow-speed Balance
- Drag-race, Gears & Acceleration
- Ride Straight, One-handed
- Shoulder Check
- Object-avoidance Handling, Weave, Snap
- Turning: Slow-speed Tight Turns, High-speed cornering, Emergency Snap-turn
- Emergency Braking
Lunch is available following this session at nearby Pizzi Farm
Tour of Your City (3.5 hours):
1 – 4:30 PM Saturday, September 17, Hobbs Brook Office Park, 303 Wyman Street, Waltham (map)
This Saturday afternoon riding session goes with the Friday evening classroom session and the Saturday morning parking-lot session. The Tour session is only available with the full course. The other two sessions may be taken á la carte, in any order.
This session is an experiential tour of your city’s roads. The course includes some of the most intimidating road features (intersections, interchanges, merges, etc.) a cyclist might find in his/her travels. The students travel as a group, stopping to survey and discuss each exercise location. After observing the feature, discussing the traffic dynamics and the best strategy for safe and easy passage, the students ride through individually and regroup at a nearby location.
The Waltham Bicycle Advisory Committee has submitted comments on the Transportation Master Plan. Brew a cup of coffee and sit down — 18 pages and a map!