Amazing….and ultimately sad.
On Saturday, voters in Arlington proved themselves simultaneously foolish and shortsighted when they attempted to shut down a proposal for bike lanes on a one-mile strip of Massachusetts Avenue. They’re foolish because the vote, essentially, rejects $6.8 million in funding from the state and federal governments. And they’re short-sighted because the installation of bike lanes on some—not all—streets is the future for cities and towns.
A recap: Massachusetts Avenue in East Arlington is a disaster. It’s a chaotic stretch of road with no painted lanes and few cross-walks that’s been the scene of far too many accidents. A few years ago, the town started planning an update for the street, and secured $6.8 million in funding from the state and federal governments. As state senator Ken Donnelly noted, however, MassDOT required that bicycles be accommodated in some fashion, either through bike lanes (which would eliminate one of four lanes of car traffic) or through wider outside car lanes (which would reduce the size of the sidewalks or remove parking).
With the rest of the Boston Metro area running full speed ahead to improve cycling infrastructure, what exactly is wrong with Arlington? It doesn’t take an oracle to see that the future of urban living involves lots and lots of cycling, pedestrian, and public transportation infrastructure. Arlington is almost literally shooting themselves in the foot here. Sad. Lets hope that this non-binding vote isn’t the last one.
Tags: Arlington, politics, stupid
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