Sunday, April 7, 2013

Thank you to everyone who voted, volunteered, and donated to the cause of a better Mass Ave.

According to , there were 4,097 NOs versus 4,334 YESes in the nonbinding referendum that tried to derail the Mass Ave project.

It's better to win than to lose, but the strong support for the three-lane compromise plan in this election is more than we needed.

It is also more than some of us expected given the deliberately misleading wording of the ballot question.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Richard Fraiman is the owner of the Capitol Theater.

Like so many ballot questions, framed in an ironic inversion of speech, your NO actually means YES.

We want a resounding NO tomorrow in order to say YES  to moving forward with the Mass. Ave. improvement project.

We need you, our valued patrons, to arrive safely at The Capitol Theatre to enjoy your movie, ice cream, popcorn and/or a beer.

That means new crosswalks, traffic signals, clearly marked lanes, and changing Mass. Ave. from a speedway into a calm thoroughfare.

And East Arlington could certainly use the facelift of widened sidewalks, plantings, and a more people-friendly setting.

This is a no-brainer and, thankfully, there are so many that have contributed their expertise, time, and effort to make this necessary project happen.  

Richard Fraiman
Capitol Theater

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The revisions on Massachusetts Avenue will improve the safety and flow of drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians alike, while also making our East Arlington a place that people may choose as a destination, rather than as a thoroughfare.

In fact, residents and visitors may discover that we have many interesting places to visit, like a typewriter shop that supplied the vintage typewriters for the TV show "Fringe." Who knew?

I understand that we may potentially experience minor inconvenience because of a decreased lane of traffic leading out of Cambridge, but this inconvenience seems miniscule in comparison to the enormous improvements in safety and advancements for our community that this project will bring.

I look forward to a better Mass Ave and a better East Arlington!

Laura Vanderberg, Waldo Road

Skinnier and slower, yet more robust!

That's what will make Mass Ave a true Main Street for East Arlington. Better-scaled to humans of all ages, whether we walk, bike, stroll or drive.

Not just for residents and visitors...businesses will love it too.

Rocco-Slotnick Family
Grafton Street

By today's post:

The Better Mass Ave postcard arrives today, just 48 hours before Saturday's election.

Our "Learn More" page (link also above) has pictures and links about the new design, federal funding, and more.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I support a better Mass Ave because I value safety, beauty, and fiscal responsibility.

In addition to the road repairs and bike lane, the town will receive upgraded traffic signals and wider sidewalks.

The existing signals are old and expensive to replace. The wider sidewalks will include seating, improved lighting, and planters that will turn this vibrant business district into a destination where people want to spend time.

This plan is right for our town, and we are fortunate to have it paid for by the federal government.
Judson Pierce, Draper Avenue

We've reached our fund-raising goal and are pleased to retire our "please donate" page.

Thanks to everyone for your generosity. We still need for election day and the lead-up.

If we can communicate that a NO vote on Question 1 is FOR the project, we will win on a landslide on April 6!

by Dan Dunn

The following column was originally published in the March 26 2013 Arlington Advocate. It is reprinted here with permission of the author.

I encourage voters across town to join me and vote No on Question 1. Now is the time to move forward with the plan for Mass Ave that we have forged through years of conversation, planning, and compromise.

There are two key points to be made: First, the current design is a good one, worthy of your support. Second, now is the time to move forward. It is time to get past the debate and put shovels in the ground.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

East Arlington resident Nawwaf Kaba sums up the arguments against Question 1 in this 4-minute narrated powerpoint-based presentation:

Question 1 could cost Arlington taxpayers 6.8 million dollars, according to State Senator Ken Donnelly.

Writing in the March 20 Arlington Advocate, Senator Donnelly warns:
If we do not meet the September deadline, it is most likely that we will lose the 100-percent funding—$6.8 million—that has been allotted to fix Mass. Avenue in East Arlington.
Any attempt to reopen the design phase for Mass Ave would delay things for years, he says, and cost our funding.

Read it all .

Monday, April 1, 2013

We're voting No on 1 so that we can cross Mass Ave safely with our two sons to enjoy our wonderful neighborhood.

Andrew is looking forward to biking safely to work, and as someone who frequently drives on Mass Ave heading toward the Center, I'm eager to have improved crosswalks so I can see pedestrians when they begin to cross.

The East Arlington corridor of Mass Ave just isn't safe for anyone in its current state. This is a thoughtful plan whose time has come!

Kate Leary and Andrew Malone
Oscar and Charlie
Milton Street

Here are the latest lawn signs!

We did not order many of these, but you should be able to spot a few around town between now and election day.

Click through hold signs at the polls and otherwise.

by Phil Goff

The following column was originally published in the February 21 2013 Arlington Advocate. It is reprinted here with permission of the author.

Despite an extensive public process now entering its fifth year, MassDOT will hold another Mass Ave Corridor Plan public hearing on Tuesday February 26 at Town Hall.

The view west towards Capitol Square with new design features superimposed. More .
Supporters of the three-lane plan need to make clear to DOT that they do not want to lose the many safety benefits of the current design.

Opponents continue to push for more traffic lanes than are needed. They insist that without at least four continuous traffic lanes through East Arlington, Mass Ave will suffer “crippling” traffic congestion. In fact, numerous traffic counts and analysis have ALL said otherwise.

Have you got it? "Yes" is ballot-speak for no safety improvements to Mass Ave and no federal funds.

"No" on 1 is a vote for a better Mass Ave.

If we can explain that, we'll win on April 6!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Who would have guessed that your great would include so many beautiful dogs!

It makes sense that people who walk so much around the neighborhood want a safer and better street.

A tip of the leash to the , , , , , and the .

So, where are the cats?

As East Arlington residents, the choice between whether to support a Mass Ave as a thruway or whether to create more of a boulevard with safety improvements, sidewalk cafes, public art and a more distinctive neighborhood character is an obvious one.

With a better streetscape, Mass Ave in East Arlington will reflect the values so many of us share as a community, such as a pedestrian and bike-friendly lifestyle, a strong local business community, and a culturally rich environment.

Stephanie and Rob Marlin-Curiel
Cross Street

Friday, March 29, 2013

Spotted on Bates Road today

Although Question 1 is a woefully misleading and incomplete measure of the issues at stake, it is also a revealing statement of values.

Is 4-lane travel on Mass. Ave truly our highest priority?
Do we value it more than safety for adults and children crossing the street?

Is it worth rejecting more than $6 million in federal and state funding to rebuild Mass Ave,  billing Arlington taxpayers for the entire cost instead?

Is being able to race down this stretch in the shortest possible time more important than a vibrant business district that invites people to spend time in the neighborhood strolling past the shops—instead of fearing for their lives if they dare to cross the road to visit another store?

And is clinging to a 4-lane design even necessary when time and again it's been persuasively shown that the sky will not fall with the current, intelligent 3-lane design?

My answer to these questions is a resounding NO, and that is how I will vote on Question 1.
Eric Helmuth, Grandview Road

Thursday, March 28, 2013

As one of the leaders of the "Yes for Arlington" campaign, where hundreds of young families worked to provide financial stability for the Town, I am voting "No" on Question 1 to protect our financial future.

As a landscape architect who works on major transportation projects, I am voting "No" to make sure that we don't lose the money.

There are scores of transportation projects lined up to take the money that has been set aside for Arlington.

And finally, as an East Arlington home owner, I am voting "No" so that the project gets built and I can cross the street safely.

Please join me in voting "No" on Question 1.

Clarissa Rowe, Herbert Road

Beyond adding your voice to your , A Better Mass Ave needs everyone's help leafleting, holding signs, and helping with the campaign leading up to and including election day, April 6.

If you can spare a few hours (or more!), we can put you to work for a No vote and a better Mass Ave!

Please email us a line if you can help, and thanks!

I am VOTING NO on Questions 1 on April 6th because a "NO" vote ensures a better, safer East Arlington and will allow the Town to make needed repairs without exhausting already strained Town funds.

The current 4-lane structure of Mass Ave in East Arlington invites speeding. The new plan will beautify the area, increase foot traffic for businesses and make East Arlington safer for pedestrians, motorists and cyclists.

The current plan is the result of a compromise between residents who supported the original plan and residents who were against the original plan.  Let's move forward, not backwards.
John Hurd
Summer Street

, the town's environmental organization, yesterday released this statement about the Mass. Ave. referendum:
Please vote “NO” on the misleading referendum known as Question 1 that seeks to derail the Mass. Ave. Corridor Project.

Let the Town and State know that you favor a transportation vision for Arlington that meets our future needs in a balanced way. Here’s why we recommend voting “NO.”
We print the rest of the statement in full below.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I support a Better Mass Ave and the effort to build a safer, more vibrant community for all residents and visitors.

I ride a bike to work and errands everyday through East Arlington and train on my bike as a Professional cyclist.

I have owned a private business on Mass Ave for 9+ years and fell in love with the town when we lived above the Capitol Theater.

I'd love to see the roadway improved to accommodate cyclists and cars in a safer way with bike lanes, slower speeds and road improvements.

About his Read the full info at this link phentermine 37.5

NO, I don't want a four-lane freeway free-for-all.

NO, I don't want an avenue that's too dangerous to cross.

NO, I don't want a vital neighborhood business district dissected by raging traffic.

NO, I don't want our state and federal highway funds to be sent elsewhere.

That's why I am voting NO on Question 1, because I want a better Mass Ave!

Paul Schlichtman
Mystic St.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I can’t count all the ways I favor the current plan but here’s a new one.

Maybe we could even find space for a tiny rain garden along the route to help with ever-more-common flooding in East Arlington as the climate changes.

Spy Pond rain garden
Gail McCormick
Hamilton Rd.

Monday, March 25, 2013

A better Mass Ave is one with less chaos and confusion, where drivers and cyclists share the road in a way that is clear and predictable and where pedestrians can cross in safety.

A better Mass Ave is one where everyone wins. This is why I’m voting NO (!) on Question 1.
Mariann Donovan
Arlington Heights

Janet and I will be voting no, against the against the ballot-initiative roadblock.

The inclusive planning process, conducted over a long time by skilled professionals, has yielded a fine plan.

For these reasons, we must move forward not backward on Mass Ave:
  • Much better accommodation for bicycles
  • A defined space for motor vehicles on a community Main Street in place of the current un-striped lane-less expressway free for all
  • Same number of legal parking spaces as current roadway, and improvements to support a vibrant LOCAL business climate.
  • Safer crossings for children, senior, differently-abled pedestrians
  • Available Federal funding; a no vote means we pay for improvements with local funds
  • Very nice plans to improve sidewalks, lighting, landscaping and street furniture
  • East Arlington quality of life and community
Jim and Janet Gascoigne
Gray Street

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Arlington has crafted a Mass Ave project that is safer and more appealing for everyone.

It’s so clear that keeping four lanes of traffic would compromise what we've worked so hard to achieve as a community.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to make this a project with so many benefits.

Let's vote NO on Question 1 and all move forward to a better Mass Ave.

Alan Jones & Elisabeth Carr-Jones
Lehigh Street

I support a better Mass Ave because it will improve safety for everyone, promote bicycle and pedestrian use, and help local business, without interfering with traffic flow.

Catherine Farrell
Park St.