Globe, Aug. 6: Arlington is part of major expansion
UPDATED, Aug. 6: Bicycle riding is not only good exercise, but a great way to leave the confines of your home while still social distancing.
The town is endorsing an agreement to offer a bike-share system, again and a license to run bike shares on public bikeways, as unanimously approved by the Select Board on Monday, July 20.
Arlington, contracting with Motivate Massachusetts LLC, will own the bikes, called Bluebikes, and the fixed-station docks. Lime had the town's first bicycle sharing, starting in June 2018, and left the share market in January.
“We’ll begin with six stations, and have already created three different slates of possible locations,” said Senior Transportation Planner Daniel Amstutz.
DeCourcey, supporting this decision, said, “It’s great to be joining a system that’s available in Cambridge and Somerville.”
“I’m very enthusiastic to support this. I liked the dockless, but it had its issues,” said Curro.
Hurd added, “I’m excited about this. I was excited about Limebikes, but every time I went to look for one, none were available. With Bluebikes, they will always be available. I’m happy to support non-vehicular transportation.”
Help the town determine the first locations, by July 31, at arlingtonma.gov/planning >>
The Select Board will discuss further details at its next meeting, Aug. 17.
For more, read the town news release >>
Arlington Heights to provide parklets
Craving take-out from Arlington Heights’ myriad of dining options, and then sit outside to enjoy your meal?
Two “parklets” – small spaces that allow for outdoor seating and dining – were unanimously approved by the board.
A recent survey of town residents indicates two favorite locations: (a) 1346-1360 Mass. Ave., between Szechuan’s Dumpling restaurant and the Roasted Granola Café, and (b) 1306-1308 Mass. Ave., between Home Taste restaurant and Embassy Cleaners, said Ali Carter, Arlington’s economic-development coordinator.
“We’re trying to be responsive to residents’ needs for more outdoor opportunities to support local businesses. People want as many outdoor shopping and dining places as possible,” said Carter.
“The streets in Arlington Heights are narrow, and business owners were trying to figure out how to use these spaces,” added Carter.
Hurd, praising this endeavor, said, “We need to do what we can, especially for restaurants that need places for people to eat their take-out food. There’s plenty of additional parking up and down Mass. Ave. in the Heights, so I’m happy to support this.”
DeCourcey concurred, saying, “This can help with businesses.”
Curro said, “I’m happy to see this rate of innovation as we enter into the opening phases,” and asked whether the town will provide some of the furnishings.
Carter replied, “We’re looking for sources of funding and support, but not necessarily the town to provide this.”
Read more about outdoor dining at arlingtonma.gov/planning
Brooks Avenue shared streets to reopen
The board unanimously approved reopening street space on Brooks Avenue until the start of school, when it will be reevaluated.
The shared-streets pilot program, providing additional street space for people to social distance as well as travel and recreate, was a success because “people felt more comfortable biking and walking with their kids,” said Amstutz.
“I’m excited about this project. As the father of two young boys who like to ride bikes, it provides a way for kids to get out safely,” said Hurd.
Memorials to honor former community members
The town will dedicate two memorials along the Minuteman Bikeway, as unanimously approved by the board.
Daniel Rossetti was just 27 when he traumatically passed away on the Minuteman Bikeway June 30. See his obituary >>
His mother, who lives in Arlington, is a longtime MIT employee.
“A small memorial – perhaps a tree or bench, with a small plaque in honor of her son – will bring solace to the family. My department at MIT would be happy to make a contribution,” said professor Otto Cordero.
Curro said, “This is a very kind gesture for you to come forward on behalf of your colleague. The town’s Public Memorial Committee will provide the necessary support; that’s how we go forward on these types of matters. We’re grateful that you’re taking steps to find an outlet for grieving.”
“Every death is important to the people who remain, and we want to do anything to help with that process.” said Diggins.
Hurd expressed a “heartfelt thanks to your department for coming up with this, and seeing it through to the end, over this tragic life loss.”
A bench, made of recycled material, will be installed on the Lake Street bikeway intersection, opposite the current bench, in memory of Stan Rezendes, who recently passed away just before his 84th birthday.
Stan and his wife, Cathy, who had lived in Arlington since before the Minuteman Bikeway was built, often watched the path together while sitting on the current Lake Street bench.
“The bike path was special to me and my husband over the years,” said Cathy.
“They bike rode well into their 60s,” said daughter Kathleen. “A bench will give walkers a place to sit and rest before resuming walking. I’m interested in the steps exploring this going forward, with your guidance.”
Mahon will refer this matter to the Public Memorial Committee, which is to meet July 27.
Hurd thanked the widow and daughter for their willingness to do this, “not just to remember your husband and father, but something the community can appreciate.”
However, there may be an additional layer to this process, because the bike path is licensed to the town by the MBTA, explained Town Counsel Doug Heim.
“Anything that gets put up, including a memorial, needs to be there for a long time. I’m sure we can work this out,” said Heim.
New member joins Commission for Arts and Culture Grants Committee
Andrew Conway, a musician and 14-year Arlington resident, was unanimously approved to be a member of the Grants Committee of Arlington’s Commission for Arts and Culture.
Conway has been involved in musical-performing arts groups for many years, and has performed at Arlington’s annual Town Day and in community theater. He has served as the president of Chelmsford’s community band, and is a trustee of Sudbury Savoyards. Both his ninth-grade daughters participate in the Arlington arts scene.
“When I heard of the chance to participate on this board, I thought it was a terrific opportunity to be involved in the Arlington arts community,” said Conway.
Mahon said, “I appreciate your vast grant writing experience. We always need grants for the arts, especially with Covid-19.”
Curro added, “We’ll need arts more and more as we move away from the pandemic.”
Community Card signs to be posted around town
Be on the lookout for signs, advertising the Arlington Community Card, around town next month, as unanimously approved by the board.
The Community Card supports the Thompson School PTO, and are available at either the Book Rack on Medford Street or online at tinyurl.com/buymyACC >>
The card costs $10 and grants discounts at more than 35 Arlington businesses.
The board unanimously approved the following contractor/drainlayer licenses:
- Asphalt Services, Woburn, MA;
- Roots ‘N Shoots, Chelmsford, MA
Jan. 16, 2020: As Lime rolls out, will Bluebike roll in?
This news summary, by YourArlington freelance writer Susan Gilbert, was published Friday, July 24, 2020. It was updated Aug. 6, to add a Globe link.
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