1-year pilot for dockless bike-sharing rolls closer to reality

UPDATED, May 26: Arlington is joining 15 other local communities in offering a one-year pilot program for dockless bikes, as the Select Board voted, 5-0, on Monday, May 21, to accept the town's pilot bike-share regulations and to waive the annual $300 fee for the first year.

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Two dockless bike-share companies, Spin and LimeBike, will each provide 150 bikes, and charge $1 for every 30 minutes of use.

Globe, editorial, May 26: Can't bike-sharing communities all get along?

Riders can pick up bikes at local "hot spots" and then drop them off where they want, either at a hot spot or on their own, as long as they are parked either in a bicycle rack or on a sidewalk with four feet of space so people can walk around them. 

These hot spots are located throughout the town, primarily along Mass. Ave., and 40 percent connect to public transit. Each hot spot will house four to eight bikes, and their locations will adjust as needs change, said Scott Mullin, LimeBike's director of Boston expansion.

"A 24-hour customer service line will provide users support, so that vendors can respond to complaints and safety concerns. We're making sure the bike companies have insurance for their riders, so the town would not be liable for the bikes," Town Counsel Doug Heim said. 

The bike-share companies are responsible for moving any unreturned bikes after seven days.

June is Pride Month 

June has been declared Pride Month in Arlington, as unanimously approved by the Select Board. 

Select Board Chairman Dan Dunn read a proclamation stating that in June, cities and towns across the country will "gather the LGBTQIA+ community for festivals, parades, and other events to celebrate the community's enduring spirit and the progress that has been made in establishing a more inclusive, just, and equal world for the LGBTQIA+ community."

Arlington's Rainbow Commission will celebrate Pride Month with a picnic on Sunday, June 10, from 3 to 5 p.m., at the Robbins Town Gardens, said Commission member Lisa Krinsky.

Also in honor of Pride Month, a rainbow will be painted on the crosswalk outside of Town Hall, rainbow and trans flags hung on Town Hall, and the lights on Town Hall potentially changed to blue, pink and white, the colors of the trans flag, said commission member Helene Newberg.

The board also unanimously voted to support the Freedom for All Massachusetts to uphold the state's nondiscrimination laws regarding gender identity. 

"This ballot initiative serves to protect transgender people in public places," said Newberg.

This initiative also passed unanimously in Town Meeting, Curro said.

More June events

With summer approaching, it's time to get outdoors and enjoy the following town-sponsored activities:

-- June 2 (1 to 3 p.m.): Free concert on Jefferson Cutter House Lawn, Whittemore Park. Sponsored by the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum; featuring Mystic Brass Ensemble, comprising 13 local musicians. 

-- June 16 (noon to 4 p.m.): 20th annual Feast of the East, featuring food, music and family entertainment along Mass. Ave. in East Arlington. 

Block grant program receives extra money

Arlington received an additional $110,000 in Community Development Bock Grant funding for fiscal 2019, said Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine. The money will be allocated as follows: 

-- Affordable Housing capital improvements, $27,000;

-- Spy Pond trails, $27,000;

-- Food Link, $27,000;

-- Planning Studies budget, $14,000; 

-- Council on Aging, Fidelity House, scholarships and health services, $15,000.

Gibbs School tree to be removed

Selectmen voted unanimously to remove a Norway maple tree at the Gibbs School, in order to install a new student pick-up/drop-off area, as part of the school’s renovation project.

Norway Maples are an invasive species. A public hearing is required to provide residents an opportunity to reject the tree removal, and one town resident wrote in, said Tree Warden Tim Lecuivre. 

New planters for Heights

As part of the town's efforts to make Arlington a pleasant place to live, six to eight planters will be placed throughout the Heights' business area, said Jane Foley, Arlington Garden Club civic-development chairwoman. Located curbside, they will not prevent sidewalk access for walkers or disabled pedestrians.

Sale of sewer bond

Selectmen unanimously approved the sale of a $52,500 sewer bond to the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority, as recommended by Treasure and Collector of Taxes Dean Carman.

Special requests 

The board unanimously approved the following special requests:

-- Arlington for All Ages 5K Race to benefit the Council on Aging, Sept. 9. "It's been a very successful community event for the past nine years," says Susan Carp, Council on Aging's executive director.

-- Installation of 45 feet of a 6-inch plastic gas main at Mountain Avenue.

-- Contractor/drainlayer license, Joe Lamacchia Landscaping, Holliston.

-- One-day beer-and-wine license, private event, Robbins Memorial Town Hall, June 9.

 April 10, 2018: Bike-sharing regulations require further study

This news summary, by YourArlington freelance writer Susan Gilbert, was published Wednesday, May 23, 2018, and updated May 26, to add a link and to correct a reference to the Norway maple.

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