Restore Somerville’s Broadway Winter Hill to Reduce Pollution, Morning Traffic Congestion and Safety

Arthur Moore started this petition to City of Somerville MA

Restore Broadway in Winter Hill by removing red bus lanes and restoring parking back to it’s original state. Repainting of street to black to avoid confusion. Also move car lanes back to the sidewalks afterwards marking new bike lanes.

The current condition is causing many car accidents, road congestion resulting in increased more car idling which is increasing the air pollution. Also creating hazardous conditions by making it unsafe for cars coming out of side streets.

More blocking of intersections. Loss of business as parking was taken away from in front of walk in businesses. Resident parking loss forcing citizens to drive around on side streets looking for parking.

Lots of confusion of where to go due to confusion of street markings making a hazardous situation. Plus increase of aggressive and illegal driving to get around the area now.

Also we have more accidents which are more destructive now. Traffic backups are now much larger than before. It needs to be changed now before Winter to restore safety and sanity to Broadway. We care, the citizens of Somerville who employ you.

ArThur Moore
43 Fenwick Street
Somerville,  MA 02145
woodartgenie1@msn.com

                                                                                  Arthur’s Broadway Observation

1. Crossing McGrath Highway towards Winter Hill sudden conversion into one lane too soon. Causing backup and close calls for an accident.

2. Broadway approaching Temple Street towards Winter Hill cars are cutting each other off as well as buses trying to get to the right to make a turn onto Temple. Also cars staying to the left get to the light and then trying to take a right turn.

3. Temple Street backs up as street is blocked from people staying in the left lane going up Broadway to School Street. Blocking off buses and cars. Some vehicles are using bus lanes at tis point if they can get to it. Also lots of cars going to Marshal Street now.

4. Very few bikes, on an average of 3 per hour. They use the car lane or  the sidewalk going up Broadway. Only one in all the time I was there used the bike lane.

5. Parking going up Broadway from Temple Street. People are pulling over to go into the nail salon and   leaving without going in. I did not see a single person entering the salon when it was open in the times I was there.

6. In front of Salvation army the parking that is away from the sidewalk when there are cars parked there in busy times cars are pulling in behind them thinking it is a lane of traffic. Once the light changes they have to get back into the traffic.

7. From Magoun Square to McGrath at times it is backed up all the length of the road.

8. Cars going from Broadway to Fenwick Street going to Heath to get to Temple Street at a faster rate of speed instead of going down to Temple Street.

Arthur’s Thoughts and Opinions

This is what I observed by spending time on Broadway and Temple Streets at 2 hour intervals at different times of the day. There were a number of near misses from aggressive driving when it was busy.

Many people came up to me complaining about the Street being laid out this way. Complaints about loss of parking from people up to Main Street. Now having to go to side streets to find parking. Sunday morning had a lot of backup at Temple Street and Broadway to School Street.

I understand there are postings o Somerville Pride. I do not do social media so I cannot comment on what is there. I have yet to find one person who wants this. Many of us do want to start painting this ourselves.

We do have volunteers and paint contributions. We had hoped to start painting Broadway from Temple to Main Street on October 6th at 10am. We are having second thoughts about this due to some positive feedback from a couple of our council members.  

This problem needs to be fixed now. At the very least it should be painted black now before Winter to get things back in order. Having so many more idling vehicles is not helping the air quality here either.

Then based on how this did not work the city can work on another plan. I am not an expert but just using common sense the road is not quite wide enough to come up with a good plan.

Two lanes, parking to the sidewalk and bike towards the street is about the only feasible thing to do. I am not anti bike. I have biked for many years here. Common sense and being careful by drives and bikers works. Sadly I know this is not the real world.

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16 thoughts on “Restore Somerville’s Broadway Winter Hill to Reduce Pollution, Morning Traffic Congestion and Safety”

  1. After coming back home I was warned by my daughter about the change on B’way. The next day back I wanted to go to WH Bank and then to Walgreen’s and then to Home Depot. Traffic was a mess with some impatient drivers driving on the bus lane and cutting others off. It was a bit dangerous to go from the car lane to the bank’s parking area since drivers were driving on the bus lane. In short this is a mess. If the city thinks this good for us they are mistaken. Coming back I needed to take a right turn from B’way on to Medford St. in front of the Salvation Army store but cars were in the bus lane ready to cut me off even though I had my right blinker on. So I drove a bit further and cut them off warding off a potential accident. What discouraging situation to come back to. I just want to give my opinion. I don’t like it!

  2. Update, I did not expect to have one so soon. Before I start I would like to ask if anyone has any advice on how to get the petition to work and how to force the city to work for us in getting this matter solved. My email is in the original posting here. Thanks very much.
    Not even 24 hours yet and 300 signatures. People are really ticked off about this. I am approached everywhere I go now about this. I have had a few contact me that they wish they could sign but were afraid of repercussions. I understand this.
    I had emails from some of our counselors. They were sympathetic to the cause and had some suggestions and info.
    I talked on the phone to 2 people in the traffic department. They are going to solve the problem by retiming the lights. They are going to have more police enforcement. I am sure in traffic times that will create more of a traffic problem as I have already heard. Other cities have this so we will learn how to adapt. People will find other ways to get around it. I tried to make them understand about the poor nail salon and they said they can park at the old star. Point is mobility. I can barely make that trip due to mobility issues. Lots of older people do go to have pedicures more to get their nails cut as they can’t. They just started and need the parking in front. My point is the city is not very concerned or helpful about small business. Anyone like myself that starts out it is normally very difficult and you really make nothing to start with. Then to have the city screw you once you get open in a new multiuse building. Shame on them. The point made from them is we will just have to get used to it and find other ways around it. There were those 2 accidents reported in the paper, there was another on October 2ndnear the PO. I went online to see how many are reported and the city site I found is a year behind. So I can’t tell how many since this mess started.
    I plan on being at Temple and Broadway Sunday the 6th. I don’t expect I will try painting Broadway at that moment like I would like to as I want to try to see if I can accomplish this the so called proper way.
    This morning early more people are now using the red lanes. I have had several people tell me they are going to use them on purpose and they don’t care if they get fined. I can understand this. Seeing them use the red lane this morning it certainly did help cut down on the traffic at the top of the hill going to McGrath.
    Sorry, I tried to keep this short and get the point across and the latest on the people of Somerville fight against their employees.

  3. I actually ride this bus and the bus lanes are amazing. They totally reduce the lag time of a bus of 50+ people being stuck behind private cars – and I hate to say it, but while some people are carpooling, most cars have just one person in them. It’s not considerate to hold up a full bus for cars carrying fewer people. It also effectively means that the bus comes more often than in the past – we’re getting more bang for our bus. I’m really in favor of this and want to keep it.

    Arthur, have you actually tried riding the bus or a bike down Broadway now? It’s a lot nicer now with the bus lane, I’d recommend giving it a try.

    1. Since I do not have the mobility to ride a bike I guess the bike lane is out for me. I was not suggesting that be removed anyway. The sidewalks where I am are not good enough that I could even get to a bus here in Winter Hill. The extra traffic caused by the bus lane is just adding too much pollution to the air quality. Plus having that lane sitting empty while people could be using it is such a waste. And the buses are blocked at the intersections making this bus lane ineffective. And my work is car dependent and so is my wife’s. We have no choice. Not everyone can bike or have any use for a bus.

  4. Keep up the good work, Andrew. There was very little community input on this change and though I do think more could be done for the bikes and buses, this was overkill. A complete misuse of space.

    1. Thank you Roger. To all I am very confused about this bus and bike lane. Going and coming out of Winter Hill Bank’s parking area was a challenge today. I could not figure what is legal turning into the bank from the car lane without driving on the bus / bike lane. I had the feeling that a bike would come along hit me and then I get blamed. I mention this because I came inches of being hit by a bike going very fast on Beacon Street near the Somerville Cambridge line as I was already out of my car. We can be as careful as we should be but I have a founded fear not just of cars clipping me and taking off but bikes too. Today on Medford Street at the intersection with Lowell Street coming back from the WH Bank I saw a bike rider with headphones on wiz right past the red light weaving from one side of the lane to the other, dangerous, no slowing down and of course no stopping. I yelled out my window to him, the bike operator, ILLEGAL.
      I have fear when I need to take a right onto Medford St, as I mentioned before and the right after the used car dealer where the new building is going up over Pini’s pizza. Who ever planned this out sure did not think of safety at all unless I am missing something. I hope someone from the city and police would have a discussion on this at a venue. Explain to us what is legal and what is not. When should we cut if we can into the bus / bike lanes? I know none of us would like to get a ticket for not knowing and not being privy to to what is legal and what is not. I would love feedback.

  5. I would like tp know why they have bike lanes i see alot of people riding on the sidewalk .this elderly person almost got hit .So what r u going to do about that people should be able to give tickets out to things like that or bikes should have licenses like cars so if they do some thing wrong take there plate and report them they r no different then cars

    1. Yes exactly, there is no way to track a bike rider down. They should be licensed and registered . I see some riders ride on the sidewalk too. I see bike riders driving very fast and beating red lights. True not all ride like this but they like car drivers need to accountable. I’ve been pushing this for years with the insurance company I have my car insurance with, the alderman for ward 5 and others. I been told it can’t be done. But, who is going to be responsible if a bike rider causes an accident, who is going to pay???

      1. I also believe they should be insured and accountable for their actions just like drivers. Problem is as I learned first hand it is you, the driver that is guilty. I was not at fault. Even the police agreed. But no, my insurance paid and my premiums went up. I got out by changing insurance companies. I later learned I could have sued the person for the extra cost of the insurance but would have to sue each year until the surcharge gets dropped. Next time, which hopefully will not happen I would do that for sure. I have the ability to take the time to go to court.

        1. Arthur, that is terrible. The law is suppose to protect and defend the innocent ones like you, not make you pay for another’s mistake. Reading your post makes me think the city is on a collision course. Paying a surcharge is not right. If the city is planning on everyone or most to use bikes well then that will put car dealers and mechanics out of business also, will affect the registry of motor vehicles. I know other states that have laws allowing bikes to travel the same roads as cars and people I’ve chatted with don’t like it.

          1. That’s what I get from the powers that be. Cambridge also has bike and car accident that bike wins automatically. I have biked for over 50 years. It was never a problem until a small bike group got to call the shots. In my battle with the city they think everyone is going to walk, bike or take the bus. They need a dose of reality. IN the last 10 years we have added 8000 cars to the city and that is climbing. They take away parking figuring to make us do that. Yet they design a city that is not walkable and self sufficient. It used to be at one time. I lived in Magoun Square and had no problems walking to a store as we had them to walk to. Magoun alone had 2 supermarkets and a couple of meat markets and 2 hardware stores. Seriously it was great. I am not giving up this fight. Sunday I do have a couple of people form the city and someone else I hope will show up. They seem to be trying but now it seems it’s all the traffic department and the mayor that is holding this up. I am now well over 600 people and it should account for something. I am hoping for outside advice on getting this done as I do not know all the things I need to do to fight this. But this is so awful I can’t give up on it.

            1. What time do you plan on being on B’way Sunday? Where will you be? I live in Magoun Sq. also so I may show up after church. In defense of the one lane on B’way is that it has cut down the speed especially since the B’way bridge closure. I didn’t experience what you did. I spent my early years on Waldo Ave. off Beacon St. and my later years in Magoun Sq.
              The other issue with me is all these new multi family buildings, 2 up to 6 families in 2 to 3 buildings replaced with much larger buildings with many apts. Many people still drive so this will increase the pollution in the city. I am surprised the EPA will allow this if they knew. Something is not right.

              1. I plan to be there between 10 and 12. I can’t stand for much longer than that. My family moved from Magoun to Park Street where I spent a few years.

  6. I have been out on Broadway 2 hours at a time and the bikes either use the sidewalk or the car lane. I got hit by a bike on Temple Street on the sidewalk going to Walgreens. The city is planning for the future when everyone will bike. Hope they can rebuild my body to do that.

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