Town of Arlington Receives a MassDOT Safe Routes to School Project Award

Safe walking routes and roadway crossings are coming to Stratton School neighborhood

The Town of Arlington received a Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Project Award to fund safe roadway crossings near the Stratton Elementary School. The proposed project will provide a fully accessible walking route with safe roadway crossings for children and others walking to Stratton along Hemlock Street between Brattle Street and Dickson Avenue and Dickson Avenue between Hemlock Street and Pheasant Avenue. The estimated project cost is $887,622, which will be funded by this award.

Between 50%-60% of school users walk to and from school making walking safety for children a high priority for parents, Town and school staff, and elected officials. The neighborhood’s steep topography, curving roadways, and roadside impediments make sight distance challenging. The steep slope on Hemlock between Yerxa Road and Dickson Avenue makes crossing hazardous for pedestrians near here. The lack of sidewalks on some stretches of Hemlock Street and Dickson Avenue put children and others in the street where safety is compromised.

The Stratton School SRTS project envisions the following elements: remove accessibility barriers on Hemlock Street by installing ADA-compliant curb ramps and repairing deficient sidewalks; install new sidewalks on the east side of Hemlock Street between Landsdowne Road and Janet Road; install new sidewalks at Hemlock Street and Dickson Avenue intersection and continuing up Dickson Avenue to Pheasant Avenue; narrow roadway intersections on Hemlock Street at Pine Street, Yerxa Road, and Dickson Avenue to slow vehicles and reduce pedestrian crossing distances; and provide safe pedestrian crossings across Hemlock Street near Janet Road and at the intersection of Hemlock Street and Dickson Avenue. Appropriate signage will also be installed.

“This investment in having safe routes to the school and around the neighborhood is crucial, and we are delighted to begin planning for this exciting next step,” said Stratton Principal Michael Hanna. “After the significant capital investment in Stratton from the Town of Arlington a couple years ago, we are able to now become something that is increasingly rare – a true neighborhood school. There are more students at Stratton School than there has been for a long time, and these students are encouraged to exercise and be active in the neighborhood. Additionally, once they leave Stratton, students commute on foot to their secondary schools – Gibbs, Ottoson, and the High School. This improvement will allow students to more easily move around the neighborhood together, as well as with their parents and younger siblings.”

The Arlington Department of Planning and Community Development will work with MassDOT’s consultant, AECOM, to guide the project through the project initiation process this summer. DPCD anticipates holding a public information session in the next couple of months. AECOM will also shepherd the project through the design process with MassDOT’s Project Management Division, including developing a final project cost, which will be funded by the federally-funded Massachusetts SRTS Program. MassDOT funding for the SRTS program includes $15 million of Transportation Alternatives Program funds set aside for SRTS projects in the State Transportation Improvement Program spread across federal fiscal years 2022, 2023, and 2024.

For more information, contact Daniel Amstutz, Senior Transportation Planner, at 781-316-3093 or damstutz@town.arlington.ma.us.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s