Keeping the meeting moving along, residents offered suggestions such as pedestrian lights on either side of the Lowell Street bridge to slow cars (before they get on the bridge) which would also allow safer crossing at the top. MassDOT officials made it very clear that they have no intention of putting a curb cut to allow cyclists and pedestrians to exit off of the sidewalk at the very top of the bridge citing safety issues. A representative from the Somerville Police Department backed up the MassDOT stance, pointing out that there was no need to travel from one side of the bridge to the other by crossing as users of the path have entrances on both sides. A suggestion of a Stop sign at Albion Street was quickly squashed due to laws that prevent the installation of such signs to "slow traffic down" because of increases in rear-end collisions.
The question of how the $200K+ earmarked for traffic calming measures has been/will be spent was also brought up. Officials acknowledged that the painting of the chicanes may have been paid for out of these funds, but could not confirm.
Some good news that came out of the meeting was the announcement that the extension of the Community Path could become available to the public as early as June 15th. Also announced was the 25% design phase of the Lowell Street bridge and that they are only 1 year away from design completion. Lastly, MassDOT did mention their plans to place crosswalks on both sides of the Lowell Street bridge, but no timeline on these installations was provided.
For those who want to see designs, MassDOT will be hosting a public hearing on the Lowell Street and Gilman Square Stations Thursday May 21st from 6-8pm in the Armory (191 Highland Avenue). MassDOT representatives said they would "take on the responsibility" of providing more concrete plans for Lowell Street at this public hearing.
You can also find more information on the project, including past presentations and meeting minutes, on the MassDOT website.