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Monday, October 15, 2012

Magoun Square to Pilot Head-Out, Angled Parking at Trum Field

Cedar and Broadway

Collaboration between Magoun Square business owners and the Traffic and Parking Department could bring significant changes to the vehicular flow from Trum Field through Magoun in an effort to slow speeding cars and increase pedestrian safety.

At business owners’ request, the Traffic and Parking Department conducted a study to see how Magoun could be more conducive to shopping and pedestrian activity, as well as, safer for cyclists. As it stands right now, the intersection of Broadway and Medford Street is home to cars speeding to merge as bus stops and parking force the main thoroughfare down to one lane. Pedestrians don’t know how many lanes of traffic to expect when crossing as vehicles line up in different numbers across with every turn of the red light.

Broadway to Cedar
When driving from the intersection of Cedar Street and Broadway towards Magoun, my 16 years of driving experience in this area always serves me well as I know there are three bus stops and parking for Trum Field on the right side of Broadway. Seeing a car trying to merge left after realizing the street is narrowing is one of the red flags that something needs to change in order to keep the square safe.

Broadway into Ball Square
This past week, new painting has now made the far right lane at Cedar and Broadway strictly a right-turn only, similarly, to the one just over the bridge leading into Ball Square. This narrows the street down to one lane and makes it much easier and safer to enter and exit both business districts, not to mention, cross from one side to the other.

After conducting the study, Traffic and Parking realized it could incorporate a little Union Square into Magoun. Head-out/angled parking is being proposed to run alongside Trum Field increasing parking capacity by, roughly, 15 spots. This would take Broadway down to one lane, similar to Ball Square, and include bicycle sharrows. Considering the three bus stops and all available parking, this does make sense as it is what cars are doing independently when navigating from Trum to the intersection of Medford and Broadway. This one lane would remain as cars ascend up Broadway before entering the Winter Hill area.

With the increase in capacity, Traffic and Parking is also proposing to keep all available spots at Trum Field free from metering. It will be at the discretion of the business community to have the spots designated with extended timing should they realize the free parking is being abused. This will certainly be a huge relief to athletes and businesses as both, On the Hill Tavern and Olde Magoun’s Saloon, sponsor teams that play at Trum Field. These teams then stop at the respective establishments (other Magoun spots, as well) for food and refreshments and help carry the businesses until close.

Trum Field
This portion of the parking plan, referred to as phase one, is expected to be piloted within the upcoming months. Everyone navigating and patronizing the square is encouraged to offer their insight and thoughts on how they think the plan is working out as this is not set in stone and can be removed by Traffic and Parking should it be realized that it is not successful.

This collaboration, study and implementation are all part of an ongoing effort to help revitalize the economy of Magoun Square. Should this prove to be a success, other areas of the square will be studied to see where further improvements can be made to help Magoun reach its full economic potential.


Anonymous said...

Thank god something is finally being done about this! Can the corner of Medford Street and Broadway also be considered? It's where the Dunkin Donuts is across from On The Hill. That is a nightmare and I think right turn only would work well there.

Ward Five said...

Thanks for commenting!

I agree!

Anonymous said...

I'm really pleased that they're thinking about finally delineating lanes on Broadway--it's true that that's confusing for all road users right now. I'm sympathetic to the parking squeeze, but I'm also concerned about taking the road down to one lane without a dedicated bike lane: I bike on Broadway a fair amount, and that area is usually okay only because there's enough room for cars to pass without having to wait behind me. I can't imagine that drivers on Broadway would be willing to wait for a safe time to pass with enough space, especially if I'm also biking a little more slowly to watch out for cars pulling out of additional spaces on the right. Real enforcement will be needed for this to be safe.

Thanks for writing about this!

Ward Five said...

Thank you. Cooperation between cyclists & motorists will be important in order for this to work. Please include your ideas after it's implemented!

Anonymous said...

Until such time as the police enforce and ticket blantant moving vehicle and bicycle violaters in and around that intersection; in and out of the Dunkin Donuts; and in and out of the CVS parking area; no amount of "changes" to travel lanes and parking accommodations are going to work.

For example: vehicle drivers and bicyclists entering the CVS parking area the wrong way (left and right turns) off of Medford Street; and conversely, exiting left out of that same CVS parking lot, west onto Medford Street.

Drivers exiting the Dunkin Donuts parking lot, Not wanting to go right, through the square itself, but wanting to go east up Broadway, forcing their exit by sticking their front end out blocking the right lane turn (green arrow) east into the square for those drivers now backed up with a green right turn arrow and cannot move.

Then those "daredevils" exiting Dunkin Donuts wanting to go west onto Broadway across multiple lanes of traffic stopped on red or moving on green.

I know, the police can't be everywhere; and evidently PCO's can only ticket parking violaters not moving vehicles.
Such a waste of personnel!!

Anonymous said...

While I see the positives to these changes (including right turn only lane at Cedar), I'm concerned this will (and is) lead to increased traffic back up on Broadway toward powderhouse.

I live in Magoun, and have to commute from Powderhouse down Broadway everyday. Traffic has been getting backed up from Cedar all the way to Powderhouse recently. Having two lanes able to go past Cedar, while perhaps confusing since there weren't lanes marked, allowed enough traffic throughput to avoid traffic jams. Especially since the light is delayed by the opposing traffic's left turn light onto Cedar.

I imagine narrowing Broadway at Trum (with the parking change) could increase more backups as well if there isn't room to go around people making left turns (which can take quite a while.)

It's all laudable goals to improve traffic and safety, but why does it always have to increase congestion (which leads to angry/agressive drivers)?

Anonymous said...

I like the new right turn only lane and bike lane at the corner of Broadway and Cedar.
I wish that on Broadway going towards powerderhouse, through the intersection at Boston ave was more like this and had a bike lane between the right turn lane and the lane going straight.
Currently the bike lane suddenly turns into the right turn lane. Cyclists trying to continue straight on Broadway get stuck in front of impatient drivers trying to turn right and unable to merge into the faster car traffic going straight. It seems strange that there isn't a bike lane considering that there is a bike lane before and after this intersection and there is plenty of room to paint a bike lane.

Anonymous said...

With legally parked vehicles, including parked trucks, bike lanes on both sides of too many streets are painted on the one and same motor travel lane--both directions.

Motor vehicles, traveling faster than bicyclists, are forced to face oncoming moving motor and oncoming bicycl traffic if wanting to "go around" a bicyclist----to say nothing about pedistrian crossings adding to the mix.
Such described streets with one and only travel motor lane in both directions, should never be painted with a designated bike lane, but many are.

Accidents waiting to happen! Operators, both motor and bicycles, "feeling" THEY have the right of way.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (10/20): I'm not sure I understand your point. It's true that some roads aren't wide enough to easily accommodate bike lanes. But this doesn't mean that cyclists don't or can't use those roads--as vehicles, they're allowed to use all roads (excepting certain highways). So whether or not there's a marked bike lane, bikes are allowed to be in the roadway, and cars are required to wait until it is safe to overtake them. This isn't a feeling, it's Massachusetts law.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10/22/12:

I'm fully aware of the law allowing bicyclists on city streets.....and btw, other laws regarding moving bicycle safety that are not complied with by many persons operating a bicycle; particularly at night sans lights on their bikes as mandated by law; and, apparently not enforced by the powers-that-be.

I simply, in my previous post, was bringing forward a day to day physical scenario faced by both vehicle operators and bicyclists; the right of way "feeling" as far as the bicyclist is concerned, being the painted bike lane.

I have yet to see a painted bike lane allowing a bicyclist to abruptly cut in front of a moving vehicle absent a signal; and/or allow the other numerous safety violations such as the bicyclist just the other day who came out of a side street, no hands on the steering handle, ignoring a stop sign @ Albion and lowell--a blind corner, and just missed broadsiding my vehicle. The only way I prevented him hitting my vehicle was to speed up and he ending up going behind me----never slowing down.
He was an adult, not a kid!

I was going south on lowell he was going west on Albion.

Right, I know there are vehicle drivers who drive stupid also.