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Shared Street Pilot on Brooks Ave. Concludes, Feedback Sought

Post Date:05/19/2020 4:43 PM

The one-week shared streets demonstration project on Brooks Avenue has ended and the Town has removed the temporary infrastructure to evaluate next steps. Town staff will provide an update on the results of the pilot to the Select Board at their June 1 meeting. We invite you to take a short survey (5 minutes) before the June 1 meeting to provide your feedback on the pilot: Street Herbert

Original notification follows:

The Town is pleased to announce a shared streets pilot project for Brooks Avenue in East Arlington. The Select Board approved the weeklong project at their May 18th meeting. The project is expected to start on Wednesday, May 20 sometime in the afternoon. Brooks Avenue will be closed to through traffic, along with the following streets between Brooks Avenue and Herbert Road: Chandler Street, Egerton Road, Melrose Street, Milton Street, and Varnum Street. The purpose of this project is to provide more street space for people to socially distance from one another while walking, biking, and using other active modes of travel. This is part of the Town’s public health response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The pilot will enable the use of street space, usually dedicated to vehicles, for walking and active travel. Vehicles will be allowed, but drivers will need to follow signage urging them to go slowly along streets. Along with signage, temporary traffic calming elements will be tested during the pilot. People walking and biking should cover their faces with a mask and maintain social distancing. Congregating and crowding on the shared streets will be prohibited. The street may be used as an alternate path for Minuteman Bikeway users between Lake Street and Varnum Street but is otherwise not a destination for residents who live outside the neighborhood.

Local traffic, as well as emergency and delivery vehicles will continue to be allowed to use the streets. Gateway treatments at Brooks Avenue and Lake Street, and Hebert Road at Egerton Road, Milton Street, and Varnum Street will have signage indicating the street is shared and the entrances will be narrowed. On-street parking will be maintained.

The Town is using a quick build model for this pilot allowing for flexibility, the ability to adapt or reverse the pilot if needed, and to easily remove pilot materials. During the weeklong pilot Town staff and Neighborways will collect data and observations about the use of the street to evaluate its effectiveness and potential for future expansion throughout the town. If the project proves successful, the Town will consider implementing it in other neighborhoods. What streets should we consider? Nominate your street.

Neighborways Design assisted with the development and implementation of the shared streets pilot. The project is being funded by the Lawrence and Lillian Solomon Foundation.

For more information, please contact Daniel Amstutz, Senior Transportation Planner in Arlington’s Department of Planning & Community Development at 781-316-3093 or

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