Wednesday, June 16, 2010

INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS: Intersection of Somerville Ave and Elm Street

Question/Comment: A resident would like to know why the right fork at the Somerville Ave & Elm Street split has been eliminated.  S/he notes that with the new traffic pattern there no right turn lane at the light and no room for a bicycle lane.

Update: According to the city's traffic engineering consultants, Design Consultants, the changes made to Somerville Ave around Elm and Craigee Streets were meant as traffic calming measures. They reduce the speed of vehicles traveling on Elm Street and other nearby streets. The concrete and other materials chosen were designed to provide visual contrast, making it clear that parts of the area are closed to vehicular traffic.


  1. I don't see that the response answered the question. Is there no bike lane and no right turn lane?

  2. I don't understand why traffic calming measures are necessary at this intersection, since the speed limit is the same on both Somerville Ave. and on Elm St.

    But even if the traffic needed to be calmed here, why do it with a Local Traffic Only area, instead of more traditional methods like speed ramps, or narrowing the lane?

    I see no justification for making that section of road closed except for abutters.

    I'd like to know when and how this design change was made?

  3. I'm not sure it's clear that the former fork is closed to vehicle traffic. I'm seeing many folks treat the raised sidewalk as a speed bump, and speed bumps tend to raise traffic speed as folks hit the gas to "recover lost time."


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