Participants: John Allen, Tim Smith, Brandon Morphew

7 PM Feb. 27th: CRW social event and presentation about the Paris-Brest-Paris ride in France at Lexington Depot – CRW members who rode PBP will give the presentation. Free and open to the public; refreshments will be served. PBP is running again in 2019.

Women-only March 24th CRW Winter riding and flat repair, 3-5 PM @ Ride Headquarters in Sherborn —

John and a co-instructor will teach a CyclingSavvy class May 3 and 4; need help with publicity. There may be as many as 10-12 in the riding session and an unlimited number in the classroom session. Registration:

May 12th – 20th is Bay State Bike Week – any thoughts on what to do?

Larry Finison and John will run the Waltham Bicycle History Ride again in the spring — Date TBD

The “East European Ride” — a CRW ride starting at the Spellman Museum in Weston, 29 or 47 miles, will run in June, date TBD.

May 11th Steam Punk Festival – Can we attend?

Riverfest (generally mid-June) event/ride – Can we attend?


Waltham Traffic Commission meetings occur usually on the third Thursday, 10 AM at City Hall, September-June and usually bicycling issues come up. Bicyclists John Allen, Martha Creedon and Leo Keightly attended on January 17.

The Mass Central Rail Trail was mentioned at the Traffic Commission meeting but mostly in connection with the Mayor’s question about making a north-south connection and connecting to the High School. She suggested the Western Greenway as an alternative to Lexington Street, but this would seem unlikely due to environmental issues and terrain. Alternatives? How can we help? Ask Laurel Carpenter?

Also at the Traffic commission, City Councilor Logan spoke up for improvements where the Charles River Greenway crosses Farwell Street (near the Watertown line). The Greenway is on the north side to the east of Farwell Street and on the south side to the west. The connection across the bridge is awkward. John attended and spoke in favor of Councilor Logan’s request. The Commission voted for Traffic Engineer Michael Garvin to study the problem.

John raised the issue of vehicle detectors which do not respond to bicycles and motorcycles. The committee chair, Police chief MacPherson, indicated that the Commission does not have jurisdiction over this. However, Tim Kelly of the Wires Department indicated that he will work with John on this. John has comments on the issue here:

MassDOT bicycle plan review is open till the end of January. John is going to provide some comment.
Transportation for Massachusetts conference coming up? and are there other conferences, goal of John is to make a presentation about bicycling education.

Contacts with MassBike/Livable Streets/Lexington Bicycle Committee/Newton Bicycle Committee/ Need help connecting to other organizations.

Brandon would like to lead a small team interested in getting a pump track installed in Waltham. A pump track is an undulating track where people can propel themselves on bicycles without pedaling.

The Bicycle Committee would support a Velodrome at Fernald. There is a task force from racing clubs that wants to build one in the Boston area, see

Committee projects:

Can we prepare a map? John can post routes for getting around by bicycle on the Internet, how to get to Boston/Newton/Watertown/Cambridge/ Weston/Lexington? Can we actually print a map and get it sponsored? (Brandon interested in leading)

We discussed committee housekeeping – Regular roles: Meeting announcements, dates, Meeting notes/ minutes.

Next meeting

Next meeting will be Thursday, March 7, 7 PM at the Waltham Public Library.

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:

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).

A copy of the report was delivered to the Waltham Public Library, but please check with the Lbirary about how to access it.

Copies of the report may be requested in writing, by e-mail or phone to:

Robert Nagi
101 Walnut Street
P.O. Box 9151
Watertown, MA  02471
617 607 2731