A pilot program designed to reduce transportation problems and increase safety during arrivals and departures from Dallin Primary School was unanimously approved by the Select Board at its January 24 meeting. The pilot program, previously approved by Arlington’s Transportation Advisory Committee, is scheduled to begin on Monday, February 28.
“School arrivals and departures challenge the transport network. About 800 to 1,000 people all converge on the school within the same 5 to 10 minutes,” said Laura Swan, School Committee Liaison to the Transportation Advisory Committee and current chair.
“Most of the other schools in Arlington use infrastructure — such as one-way streets, time-limited access, curbside drop-offs, managing traffic arrival and departure times — but Dallin doesn’t have them. That’s why we’ve come up with a pilot program,” said Dallin Elementary School Principal Thad Dingman. “We have constantly heard from the community that the arrival and departure procedures for our walkers are unsafe. Our school has seen an increase in enrollment and Florence Ave is popular for drop off and morning and afternoon rides. Over the past 2 years we have seen an increase in accidental traffic accidents, but fortunately they have only been narrow. »
A memo from Dallin Elementary School to the Select Board recommends restricting use of Florence Avenue between Renfrew and George Streets and Florence Avenue to school buses and stoppers for one block during business hours. arriving and leaving school.
See agenda document >>
“Halfway through our pilot program, we will re-contact the community to get feedback and make sure the plan is positive. We hope to continue this plan for the remainder of the school year, hoping to start next school year with a new schedule for arrivals and departures,” Dingman said.
Board member John Hurd said: “It’s been a long time coming as the traffic patterns at depot and pick-up have been difficult to navigate. It’s exciting to see a program that will streamline child drop-off and pick-up. We have a long way to go to make deliveries and pick-ups much safer, and this will go a long way in getting us in the right direction.
Overnight parking in East Arlington
Council unanimously agreed to receive an application for an overnight parking pilot program in East Arlington and add it to a future agenda for council discussion.
See document for this agenda item >>
The city restricts overnight parking on public roads between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m.
East Arlington resident Amy Lyster said, “East Arlington is different from the rest of the city. It is densely populated and an urban contingent.
“Despite the increase in the number of accommodations, the number of parking options has not increased. With few places to rent, this affects the residents’ quality of life. The city overflow option exists, but we are not close to it and requires you to move your car early in the morning, so it is not viable during the winter.
“I don’t know of any compelling reason to maintain this ban, and the restriction deadlines seem arbitrary. The cars are there until midnight picking up food, and again in the morning, so the cars are parked on the street 18 hours a day.
“Other local communities, like Somerville, don’t have these restrictions. Residents here can only get 2 weeks parking waiver, so that doesn’t solve the problem. It is time to think about solutions for this part of the city.
“This pilot program will create a parking program for residents in East Arlington. Anyone in town can sign up for an overnight parking permit for a small fee, and we’ll waive the fee for people over 65 or who have a disability plate. It will only be for the side streets; this does not include Mass Ave. We are also open to parking on only one side of the street if that is a problem,” Lyster said.
Silvia Dominguez, also of East Arlington and a member of the Precinct 4 City Assembly, said, “It’s not a permit for overnight parking. We are a parking lot for gaspereau and an economic stake for owners who cannot rent cars to people.
“The streets are full of commuter cars, not residents. Streets for should be for us first, then for others. We need to create the flexibility these households need, especially those with more than two or three people. »
Eric Helmuth, board member, said, “We need to listen to people in this neighborhood about this issue. This is a difficult problem to solve. »
Member Diane Mahon said: “We need to focus on the overnight parking ban.”
Board Chairman Steve DeCourcey said, “A pilot program should be implemented at the borough or city level.”
Board Member John Hurd said, “We are well on our way with a pilot program. If it’s a citywide ballot and we have a program just for east Arlington, people in other neighborhoods will want it too. It makes sense to expand this pilot program to all of Arlington.
In 2013, residents voted in a nonbinding citywide ballot to maintain overnight parking restrictions, by a 64 to 36 percentage.
Watch the entire January 24 meeting on ACMi:
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This news digest, by YourArlington freelance writer Susan Gilbert, was published on Tuesday, February 1, 2022.