Statement to the Select Board: Chestnut Terrace

Here is the text of my remarks to the Arlington Select Board on November 8, 2021.

Good evening. I am Paul Schlichtman, Town Meeting Member, Precinct 9, and I reside at 47 Mystic Street.

On November 3, the town tweeted photos of the newly painted lanes at Appleton Street and Massachusetts Avenue. This occurred 21 days after the plan was approved by the Select Board.

Charlie Proctor was killed at this intersection on May 5, 2020. Since then, the town has filled the intersection with traffic cones in the afternoon, instituted a left turn prohibition during the hours before sundown, and stationed a police detail to enforce this prohibition.

On December 31, 2019, 126 days before Charlie Proctor was killed, my downstairs neighbor Ann Derosiers was killed in the crosswalk on Chestnut Street, while attempting to walk to 7:00 a.m. Mass at Saint Agnes.

On May 12, 2021, 498 days after Ann Derosiers was killed, the Transportation Advisory Committee voted to forward its recommendations for traffic calming on Chestnut Street to the Select Board.

On June 21, 538 days after Ann Derosiers was killed, the Select Board approved these recommendations for traffic calming on Chestnut Street.

On August 13, 591 days after Ann Derosiers was killed and 53 days after the Select Board vote, a No Turn On Red sign was restored on Chestnut Street at Mystic Street

Today, 678 days after Ann Derosiers was killed and 140 days after the Select Board vote, key elements of this plan are unfulfilled.

The plan included restriping Chestnut Street to provide 11 foot travel lanes, 7 foot parking lanes, 5 foot bicycle lanes, and 2 foot buffer lanes. None of this has been done.

The plan included a temporary island and curb extensions on Chestnut Street in 2021, to evaluate them in preparation for the 2022 construction season. This has not been done.

The plan included installing advance crosswalk signs, and moving one of the existing crosswalks signs. This has not been done.

The plan included the installation of pedestrian-activated warning signals at the Chestnut Terrace crosswalk. This will need to occur in conjunction with the construction of permanent bump-outs, which requires an analysis of the preliminary bump-outs scheduled for 2021 as well as the identification of $25,000 in funding.

The official tweets of Appleton Street improvements serve to amplify the disappointment that this board, and the Town Manager, have not followed up on their commitments to pedestrian safety on Chestnut Street.