The Arlington Select Board recently addressed measures at an intersection still undergoing improvements, made another roadway-safety request, reported an upcoming joint meeting with the Redevelopment Board -- and gave the go-ahead to various public events and to the new owner of an extant restaurant.

Chair Stephen W. DeCourcey led the 45-minute hybrid meeting May 20, attended by members Lenard Diggins, Eric Helmuth, John Hurd and Diane Mahon, all actively participating in the discussions.

Mass. Ave./Appleton project addressed

John Alessi, the town’s senior transportation planner, presented the proposed support letter. The requested action is to “submit a support letter to the EOED alongside the town’s MassWorks application for funding to construct the Mass. Ave. & Appleton Safety and Accessibility Project.” The EOED is a state agency called the Executive Office of Economic Development.

The application seeks state money for the project four years after a fatal crash, the death of Charles Proctor in May 2020; he was one of two bicyclists struck by a car at the intersection of Appleton Street and Mass. Ave. 

“It’s just a recognition as the letter says of the unfortunate impetus for this project, the death of Charlie Proctor -- and we’ve had serious injuries there from other cyclists. We’ve had many close calls with pedestrians,” Helmuth said. “This represents millions of dollars of funding that the town very much needs in order to really redo this intersection.” He continued, “I’m really hopeful and optimistic that this vote tonight will facilitate the submission of the Mass Works grant very soon,” he said. 

Hurd said he thinks that nearby businesses may not be happy about this project and that it could possibly even lead to the closure of some.

“I think this will hurt businesses,” said Hurd. “I will vote in favor of the letter, like I said, for the purpose of someone else paying for the work.”

Roadway-safety request to go to TAC

In another traffic matter, the board referred a Roadway Safety Request to the town’s Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC), as requested.

According to the memorandum, “Town staff received a Roadway Safety Request on April 30, 2024, to implement No Parking signage on North Union Street from Broadway to Norcross Street. The requestor, a resident in the project area, explained how parking on both sides of the street during sporting events narrows the travel lane width to a single lane and prevents two-way traffic. They also explained how this creates difficulties for residents entering and exiting their driveways when parking is at its capacity on both sides of the street.”

The memorandum suggested that the board refer this request to the TAC.

Request for joint meeting

With regard to an item added to the agenda by DeCourcey, the board discussed a request for a joint meeting later this year with the Redevelopment Board.

DeCourcey said some topics brought to the town's attention seem to fall between the two boards, with parking and alcohol licensing being some examples. The meeting likely will occur some time before September, he said.

Adjournment to conduct executive session

The board adjourned after nearly 45 minutes to conduct an executive session discussing strategy with respect to possible litigation concerning Itron, Inc. This company is an industrial equipment supplier based in Boston focusing on energy and water. The board didn't provide further explanation.

In other business, the board:
    • Approved a request to repair private way and a betterment order on Montague Street;
    • Approved minutes of meetings of April 24, May 1 and May 6;
    • Approved a four-day special (one day) beer and wine license for the annual Greek Festival taking place June 6 through June 9;
    • Approved one-way designation of Appleton Place from Mass. Ave. to Burton Street for the same festival;
    • Approved Arlington Soap Box Derby, a local youth racing event scheduled for June 8;
    • Approved the Summer Concert Series at Whittemore Park on July 10, July 17, July 24 and July 31;
    • Approved the Garage Band event on June 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Wyman Terrace;
    • Approved request for contractor/drain layer license for Fiona Burguin of Keash Excavating Inc.;
    • Approved three Rainbow Commission requests for crosswalk paintings, banners and proclamations;
    • Approved a request for special (one day) beer and wine license for June 1, June 8, June 15, June 22 and June 29 at Jason Russell House for a beer garden;
    • Approved a request for a special (one day) beer and wine license on June 2 at Whittemore Robbins House for a private event; and
    • Approved Common Victualler License for Maria’s Pizza to Isahak Zakaryan. This restaurant, at 86 Mass. Ave., is already open but now has new ownership. This restaurant is located at 86 Mass. Ave. The restaurant is open, just has new ownership. The new owner is going to add Armenian food to the menu, which he explained at the meeting.

April 25, 2024: 2024 Town Meeting Information

This meeting summary was published Monday, May 27, 2024.

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