Northland to present plan to finance four shuttle bus routes

The City Council’s Land Use Committee will meet on Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. at Newton City Hall to hear about Northland’s much-anticipated transportation plan for its project at Needham and Oak Streets. 

Northland is proposing a variety of traffic mitigation remedies, including limiting residential parking to one space per unit and funding new and improved bike and pedestian paths.

But the most significant part of the plan is a proposal to operate and fund a shuttle system that would be open to public use at

Close Shave: Where can we shave streets for parks and pedestrians?

When looking through the collaborative zoning map recently I was struck by a comment in my neighborhood. Someone had suggested turning a stretch of Albermarle Rd., which has no driveways, into parkland. It made complete sense since the one-block road is unnecessary. In fact, a few years ago the city made the left-hand turn there illegal because people were using it as a way to avoid a traffic light.

This also came to mind when I watched the video about Washington Street and saw how changes in the street can take are

‘The notion that Washington St. should be narrowed from 2 lanes in each direction down to one lane is ludicrous.’

That quote in the headline comes from this comment on a prior thread. But the “notion” that narrowing a street can improve traffic flow was also a hot topic last night at the very well-attended opening Washington Street Corridor vision event at the Second Church.

This “notion” comes from the video (below) made by by Jeff Speck, a renowned expert on this topic (with transit experts Nelson/Nygaard) who has documented where similar techniques have been successfully employed to improve traffic elsewhere.

I understand why this idea of putting a road on “a diet” sounds “ludicrous.” But before you rush to dismiss it, please take the time to watch this video. And then share your thoughts.

The Washington Street Corridor Proposal from Elkus Manfredi on Vimeo.

Should Newton consider bus only lanes and traffic lights?

Should Newton consider bus only lanes and traffic lights?

Four communities have just received a grant to “test ideas like bus-only lanes and traffic signals that give buses priority at busy intersections,” the Globe reports today.

According to the foundation, Arlington will use the money for its one-month test to improve service on Massachusetts Avenue during the morning rush, which could include a bus-only lane. Cambridge and Watertown are planning to create all-day bus lanes on parts of Mount Auburn Street. And Everett, which already sacrificed a lane of parking for bus-only traffic in 2016, plans to make two stops on that route easier to access for wheelchairs and strollers.

 

All four communities also plan to test “transit signal prioritization” on these routes, technology that lengthens green lights and shortens red lights depending on how near or far a bus is from an intersection.

Is this an idea that should be tested in Newton and, if so, where would you suggest putting these bus only accommodations?

More tree carnage looms

More tree carnage looms

The DPW war on trees continues. Remember those 35 trees removed for sidewalk reconstruction on Adams Street? There is now a similar request to remove “approximately 33 trees” on a stretch of Beacon Street in Waban for sidewalk reconstruction. One example...
Transportation Talk Postponed

Transportation Talk Postponed

The City and the Newton-Needham Regional Chamber had a talk scheduled for Friday morning (tomorrow) about the city’s transportation plan. Unfortunately, it’s now postponed due to illness, so if you planned to attend please…um… don’t.  The...

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