Arlington has received state and federal funding to help turn its portion of Massachusetts Avenue "from a transportation corridor to one of Arlington’s great pedestrian-friendly streets," according to the project Web site.
The idea is to better balance the needs of walkers, cyclists and users of mass transit with automobiles. As opposed to the all-too-usual suburban roadway "improvements," typically aimed at how best to move motor vehicle traffic (what some planners rightly refer to as "traffic sewers").
Several public hearings have been scheduled this month on the plan.
The Mass Ave. redesign "will strive to create a truly livable, pedestrian friendly street, where people feel safe and comfortable meeting, shopping, and strolling, while also creating a vehicular traffic system that is safe, efficient, and easy to navigate," planners say.
More specifically, Arlington officials are considering:
* "Changes in street width and sidewalk width that offer options for seating, cafés and landscaping."
* Shorter and more visible crosswalks.
* Bicycle lanes
* Better on-street parking in East Arlington
* "Street furnishings that make using Mass. Ave. more comfortable."
Doesn't sound much like the Rte. 9 or Rte. 30 we know in Framingham ... or even what many people in a position to actually implement plans talk about for Rte. 9 or Rte. 30. But perhaps with enough public support, we'll think about such things going forward?