Selectboard logo, May 20, 2019
On Nov. 9, MassDOT asked the town to resubmit its plans. On Nov. 16, MassDOT said it would review them.

UPDATED Nov. 30: Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine updated the Select Board on Nov. 22 about the lack of safety-improvement progress on the Chestnut Street/Mystic Avenue intersection, where resident Ann B. Desrosiers was struck and fatally injured on Dec. 31, 2019.

“In July, MassDOT [Massachusetts Department of Transportation] approved our recommendations, and on July 22 we formally presented MassDOT those plans,” Chapdelaine said.

MassDOT must approve this project.

“After several months of not hearing back, the town engineer followed up with MassDOT on Nov. 9, who then asked the town to resubmit its plans. On Nov. 16, MassDOT said they’ll review and respond, so we’re now back on MassDOT’s radar,” explained Chapdelaine.

“I spoke with our state representative Sean Garballey. MassDOT is reviewing the materials, and once they review them, we’ll hear back.

 “We also discussed the need for funding to improve that roadway. We’ve identified the money to make these capital improvements, and as we get closer to MassDOT’s approval, we’ll have the financial resources,” added Chapdelaine.

Meanwhile, the town must wait until the next construction season to start improving these roads.

“In the meantime, until we get final approval, we’ll smooth the asphalt on the roads,” said

Michael Rademacher, Arlington’s director of public works. 

Select Board feedback

Members of the Select Board expressed their views:

Chair Steve DeCourcey: “I understand people’s frustration. We need approval from the state, and are working with Garballey to see this through.”

Eric Helmuth: “Arlington residents have the right to be frustrated, just as we are. This is now on MassDOT’s radar, and we’ve done everything we can to be ready.”

Len Diggins: “I want to find out how this lack of response happened.”

John Hurd: “We have to go through this process. The frustrations we’ve heard are reasonable, and been heard. We’ll stay in communication with our state representative, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Arlington residents, to make sure this gets done as quickly as possible.”

Diane Mahon: “An end is in sight.” 

Residents' concerns 

During the open forum, several Arlington residents weighed in:

Linda Varone: “Hearing about these delays is frustrating.”

Marcy Beck, daughter of Desrosiers: “I appreciate your effort and update. Please keep persisting, and keep on MassDOT. Get the pedestrian safety changes going, and don’t let this slip.”

Paul Schlichtman, Precinct 9 Town Meeting member: “It’s been 2 years since someone was killed crossing the road. This state agreement popped up at the last minute, after being lost at MassDOT for 3 months. We need to push, push on this issue.”

Jo Anne Preston, Precinct 9 member: “It’s unbelievable that there’s such an incredible communication problem between the town and MassDOT, and the person responsible for communicating with MassDOT is against any safety measures. I recommend that another town official be responsible for contacting MassDOT, and to paint the sidewalk so it’s more visible to oncoming traffic.”

 See the entire Nov. 22 broadcast on ACMi:


Nov. 14, 2021: Some seek action on fatal crosswalk; manager explains delay
 

This news summary by YourArlington freelance writer Susan Gilbert was published Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, and updated Nov. 30, to add ACMi video window.