Transportation issues, welcoming the new town manager and Special Town Meeting were on the agenda of the Select Board at last month's meeting.

To support electric school bus parking at Ottoson Middle School, no parking of any other vehicles is now allowed on the north side of Appleton Place, 55 feet west of Fessenden Road, from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. This restriction was requested by Arlington Sustainability Manager Talia Fox and unanimously approved by the Select Board at the Aug. 14 meeting.

Removing these other parking spaces will facilitate the safe entry and exit of the school buses, officials said.

No-parking signage will be posted on the first day of school, this coming Tuesday, Sept. 5, according to Town Manager Jim Feeney. In an Aug. 30 email to YourArlington, Feeney wrote that “Signage is not always self-enforcing, so we would consider additional temporary measures initially, such as a monitor or cones to ensure compliance.”

Select Board member John Hurd added, “I’d like to look into the feasibility of having permit parking in those spaces after 5:p.m., when they’re not used. It would solve a lot of problems in that area.”

Bluebike Station to move to Russell Place

Arlington’s Bluebike station is to be relocated, to 200 feet from the Russell Place parking area, next to the Village at Cutter’s Mill and the Minuteman Bikeway. Senior Transportation Planner John Alessi requested this change, and the Select Board unanimously approved it Aug. 14.

The Arlington Police Department had recommended this location “due to its proximity to the original site and the lot’s lack of parking use,” according to a memo from Alessi to Town Manager Jim Feeney.

This new station will use approximately four parking spaces. 

Town manager to be feted in mid-September

From 4 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, all are welcome to come meet Feeney, Arlington’s new town manager, in the Town Hall gardens, next to Town Hall, 700 Mass. Ave.

This event is being hosted by the Select Board. Light refreshments will be served.

Feeney was promoted to town manager Aug. 1, succeeding the retiring Sandy Pooler, after serving as the town’s deputy manager for operations since July 2021. From September 2019 to June 2021, Feeney was interim facilities director, during which time he oversaw building projects and also developed and implemented pandemic response strategies in schools and public buildings.

Before that, he was Arlington’s assistant town manager, handling community relations, capital project management and Community Preservation Act-funded projects. He has also served as the town’s public records access officer, health compliance officer, acting director of health and human services, and interim director of recreation.

Feeney has a bachelor of science degree in health science and a master’s degree in epidemiology, both from Boston University. 

Special Town Meeting scheduled for Oct. 17

Arlington plans to start Special Town Meeting on Oct. 17. The vote Aug. 14 was 4-1; Len Diggins voted no, preferring November. Diggins expressed concern that an October date could potentially rush Town Meeting, provide insufficient time to focus on Proposition 2 1/2 and make it harder to hold precent meetings before Town Meeting.

“We’re looking at between four and six meetings,” said board Chair Eric Helmuth. The special meeting will tackle the proposed changes to zoning expected to emerge in final form soon from the MBTA Communities Working Group and then go to the Arlington Redevelopment Board. Its timely passage “would keep Arlington as one of 10 towns to participate in a pilot to ban fossil fuels in construction,” Helmuth said. 

“We also have nine additional zoning articles carried over from spring [Town Meeting], as well as collective bargaining for the police department and other administrative matters. The sooner the town finishes these decisions, the sooner the state can start its review process,” added Helmuth.  

Warrant: a brief explanation

The Special Town Meeting warrant is set to open on Monday, Sept. 11, at 8 a.m. and to close on Monday, Sept. 11, at 4 p.m. This vote was also 4-1; again, Len Diggins was the one who voted no.

A Town Meeting warrant sets the meeting’s agenda. It includes the proposals requested by town committees and professional staff, and those brought by petitions. Each warrant article represents a separate agenda item and describes the subject on which the members are asked to take action.

Watch the Aug. 14 meeting on ACMi:



 Aug. 18, 2023: Board approves removing parking spaces, creating bike lanes on Medford Street 

This article was published Aug. 25, 2023, by freelance writer Susan Gilbert.