Update: A victory for democracy! Question on April 6 ballot!
Opinion question to appear on the Arlington town election in April:
“Shall the Town have four vehicular travel lanes on Massachusetts Avenue in East Arlington as now practiced?
Yes ____ (or) No ____”
- Urge your Selectmen to approve the ballot question themselves.
- We need 3,500 signatures to force it on the ballot!
- Please sign the petition.
- Ask all your Arlington voter friends and neighbors to sign!
- Get petition forms and ask others to sign them!
Only signatures by voters registered in Arlington MA are acceptable.
All project area businesses will suffer lost business from the two or more year construction disruption on Mass Ave, so some have made petition sheets available for Arlington voters to sign their support for giving residents a choice.
About the petition
The town of Arlington decided to reduce Mass Ave in east Arlington from two operating travel lanes in each direction to two headed east out of Arlington towards Cambridge, and only one headed west into Arlington. The lost width was used to create dedicated bike lanes in both directions and narrow the roadway in some places, mainly to add some shrub planters which residents will have to pay to maintain. There is already a bike path along Mass Ave and another, new one at the Cambridge end along Route 16. Residents were never given a choice in design options or an opportunity to keep the current four travel lanes.
We support democratic principals and free speech. We want people able to have and express opinions. We want their opinions counted at the ballot box, unlike opponents who have opposed the will of the people on both the Mass Ave Project and the creation of a seasonal leaf blower ban. Rather than make another mistake like the unpopular blower ban, we want to record resident opinion before making a $6 Million dollar mistake on Mass Ave. This ballot question costs the town no money, unlike needing a special election to ask residents if they even wanted a blower ban, after town meeting voted to create one.
We urge all voters registered in Arlington to sign our petition forcing a ballot question at the April 6 town election so their voice will be clearly heard and recorded. People who want more traffic congestion can still sign the petition so they get to vote no on April 6. The important thing is that voters get to have their opinion recorded. If Selectmen reject our request for democracy, we need over 10% of all registered Arlington voters (3,000+) to guarantee free speech and this ballot question. Given that Selectmen opposed residents in their special town meeting votes to keep the unwanted blower ban, its likely they will continue to oppose Arlington residents on Mass Ave and other issues.
Keeping four travel lanes is the alternative to having the town’s planned three travel lanes with an added bike lane in both directions. Keeping four travel lanes may remove some space for added shrubs that cost Arlington to maintain. The four lanes will be marked and there is room to have left turn lanes also. All of the traffic signal modernization benefits are still possible. Nearly all of the beautification benefits are still possible as they are not in the roadway!
This is an opinion question not subject to strict legal interpretation – just that people prefer to keep four travel lanes we have used for decades, or they want to replace a westbound one to make bike lanes. When the question goes on the ballot, everyone can vote which ever way they want.
Thanks For Your Support !