UPDATED Nov. 23: The Town of Arlington held a public meeting Wednesday, Nov. 10, to share information and gather feedback about a $1 million Safe Routes to School infrastructure project for areas near the Stratton Elementary School.
A survey and comment form are available to provide feedback to the project design consultant by noon Friday, Nov. 19. Read more about this project, access the project information page, and find the link to the comment form here >>
In 2019, the town received a state Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Safe Routes to School award to fund new sidewalks, sidewalk repairs and safe roadway crossings near the Stratton Elementary School. The updated project scope includes a fully accessible walking route for children and others walking in the Stratton School area along Hemlock Street between Brattle Street and Dickson Avenue, along Dickson Avenue between Hemlock Street and Mountain Avenue, and along Mountain Avenue to Wheeler Lane.
The revised estimated project cost is $1,072,752. The project is shown in figure 1 and in the Project FAQ.
Design and construction of this project is funded by MassDOT, with construction funding available for federal fiscal 2024. The town is working with MassDOT’s design consultant, Pare Corp., as it develops the project through various stages of design prepare for construction.
Watch the entire Nov. 10 meeting broadcast on ACMi:
The public meeting will be an opportunity for the community to hear about the project’s progress since the award was announced and provide Pare Corp. with guidance on issues around impacts on trees and parking, sidewalk accessibility; project scope and length and location of pedestrian crossings.
Overall, the goals of the Stratton School-area project are to
- Remove accessibility barriers by installing ADA-compliant curb ramps and repairing deficient sidewalks;
- Install new sidewalks to provide a safe and accessible walking path to and around the Stratton School;
- Narrow roadway intersections to slow vehicles and reduce pedestrian crossing distances;
- Provide safe pedestrian crossings at intersections where needed; and
- Install appropriate signage through the project corridor.
This project also supports the strategies outlined in the town’s Sustainable Transportation Plan and Connect Arlington. The specific strategies are A.8, “Continue to implement initiatives that enhance safety to and from schools and community facilities including Safe Routes to Schools projects and programs and Arlington’s ADA Transition Plan infrastructure improvements,” and B.2, “Continue to develop and implement Safe Routes to School projects.”
This project was identified as a high need by community members and school officials which led the town to apply for the MassDOT grant. From 50 to 60 percent of school users walk to and from Stratton, making walking safety a high priority for parents, town and school staff and elected officials.
The neighborhood’s steep topography, curving roadways and roadside impediments are a challenge to pedestrian visibility. The steep slope on Hemlock between Yerxa Road and Dickson Avenue makes crossing hazardous for pedestrians, and the lack of sidewalks on some stretches of Hemlock Street and Dickson Avenue compromise the safety of children and others.
Safe Routes is a federally funded initiative of MassDOT. Funding includes $15 million of Transportation Alternatives Program funds set aside for Safe Routes in the State Transportation Improvement Program spread across federal fiscal years 2022, 2023 and 2024.
April 2, 2021: Stratton paraprofessional named year's best by state union
This news announcement was published Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, and updated Nov. 23, to add ACMi video window.
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