Somerville Speakup Line:Somerville Traffic-Joe Curtatone’s Folly

For several years we have endured the poor planning and misjudgments of the Somerville Traffic and Parking Department, and the City Engineer.

First – Beacon Street.

For 2 plus years deconstruction of Beacon Street, the removal of revenue producing parking meters for non-paying bicycle stands. Bicycle lanes and increased sidewalk size has resulted in tree removal and resulted in fewer parking spaces. Decreased parking has made it difficult for small businesses to operate. Some have closed their doors due to decreased business.

Throughout the city, including Union Square, hundreds of revenue producing parking meters have been replaced with bicycle stands, that frequently stand empty while bikes are loosely secured to nearby trees, sign posts, HP signs and other objects. As far as I know, bicyclists have not compensated the City of Somerville or other municipalities for the loss of revenue.

Now let’s look at the latest fiasco.

Prospect Street and Webster Ave.

Some thirty five years ago the traffic pattern of Prospect Street and Webster Avenue was changed from two ways to single direction. The reason given was “to make it safer and improve the flow of traffic”. Let us remember that in those days there were fewer cars and almost no bicycles on the road.

That brings us to present day.

With traffic at a constant back up, almost into Central Square, Cambridge, due to the sequencing of traffic control signals, side streets are being utilized beyond their designed capacity to decrease the waiting/travel time of angry and frustrated drivers.

When you try to make a turn from Prospect Street to Webster or from Webster Ave to Prospect Street, life (accident) is placed in the hands of the city traffic department. Frequently drivers are faced with the uncertainty where to make a safe turn to be further stressed.

I am sure that other people expressed their opinion and experience with no action from the city. Maybe that is too much to expect.

With this past winter, we experienced new problems. Dedicated bus/bike lanes uncleaned for days. On Washington Street the bicycle lanes were not shoveled for almost a week. This slight oversight by the city caused the over-crowded streets

The Grouchy Old City Resident

2 thoughts on “Somerville Speakup Line:Somerville Traffic-Joe Curtatone’s Folly”

  1. Plan to get grouchier as it is only going to get worse as more common sense is left out of the planning of many of these senseless improvements. One that defies all logic is the Temple Street and Mystic Ave destruction of a usable corner into a hardship for commercial vehicles and buses. The areas you commented on we gave up on going near them and just elected to do business outside of the city where there are more sane places to do business with.

  2. They’re shoveling bike lanes?? Given provisions are made for bicyclists, including taking up valuable road surface, eliminating parking meters = lost revenue, and that maintenance is required in the winter – why then is there no fees bicyclists must pay. Always thought it were true “there is no free ride” – guess there actually is. Or not, its just the rest of us paying taxes to the city, as well as excise taxes on our autos that fund that free ride. Its time bicyclists pay fees for the impacts on traffic and budgets.

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